ABILENE, Texas – Two days after being knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten in conference play, the Oral Roberts University women’s soccer team returned to first place in the Southland Conference standings with a 1-0 victory at Abilene Christian on Sunday afternoon.
ORU (9-3, 4-1 SLC) shut out ACU (10-2-1, 4-2 SLC) for the first time this season, and it was the second shutout of the season for Maddie Rhodes, who made five saves in her fifth victory of the year in goal.
Despite the low score, both teams had plenty of opportunities with 36 combined shots, 20 of which came from ORU. Those 20 came from 11 different Golden Eagles and 10 were on target forcing ACU keeper Kelsey Dombrowski to make nine saves in the loss.
Jennifer Abernathy had five shots, two on goal, to lead ORU, while Andrea Carpenter took five shots for the Wildcats.
For the second game in a row, ORU and its Southland Conference counterpart ended the first half locked in a scoreless draw.
Things changed for the better just over 10 minutes into the second frame, as Megan Giles earned her fourth assist of the season, sliding a ball in front of the goal to a waiting Kayla Keller. Keller simply redirected the ball into the back of the net to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Keeping the pressure on with less than 10 minutes to go, ORU had a couple of additional opportunities to get an insurance goal with headers by Maria Stordahl and Mary-Kate Halsmer, but the Golden Eagles were unable to connect.
Keller’s goal proved to be enough to escape the test against the Wildcats who had taken over the top spot in the conference following ORU’s loss to Incarnate Word on Thursday night. It was the eighth game this season decided by a single goal, with ORU holding a 6-2 record in those contests.
The Golden Eagles return to the Case Soccer Complex this week as they host Nicholls State on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana will come to ORU on Sunday, Oct 13 at 1 p.m.
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