TULSA, Okla. – Madison Valenzuela netted two goals to help the Oral Roberts University women’s soccer team clinch a Southland Conference Tournament bid as the Golden Eagles topped Central Arkansas, 4-1, at the Case Soccer Complex.
ORU impoved its overall record to 13-4-0 and moved its conference mark to 8-2-0. With their 13 victories, the Golden Eagles have earned the second-most wins in a season in program history.
With three matches remaining, UCA will have to battle into the conference tournament as the Bears fell to 7-8-2 overall and 4-5-0 in Southland play.
Senior Jennifer Abernathy continues to move up the all-time goal scorers list at ORU as she scored the opening goal in the 17th minute. Megan Giles crossed the ball along the endline into the box, and after a touch by Tahlor Lyman, Abernathy placed the ball in the net for her ninth of the season.
Abernathy now has 21 career goals, tying her with Kari (Harrison) Shoemaker and Heather Hall for the fourth most in school history.
Shortly before halftime, Kayla Nsien placed a ball perfectly from 40 yards out when she found Valenzuela in front of the net. Valenzuela had no problem as she slipped the ball by the UCA keeper to put the Golden Eagles up 2-0.
The Golden Eagles got a little help from the Bears in the 57th minute. On a corner kick by Ashley Martin, the ball deflected off UCA midfielder Allie Coleman’s hip and went into the net for an own goal.
Just 59 seconds after Kristin Pollard gave the Bears their first goal of the night in the 84th minute, Valenzuela answered with her second of the evening as she collected the ball in the box, blasting it into the lower right corner of the net for the match’s final tally.
Defending Southland Goalkeeper of the Week Maddie Rhodes (8-3) had yet another stellar contest as she recorded five saves, including knocking down a penalty kick midway through the second half. Lyndzey Goff was credit with the loss, picking up four saves in the match.
The Golden Eagles have a day to rest before they host Northwestern State at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Case Soccer Complex.