Prescott, Ariz., Sept. 4 — Hannah Benedict notched a hat trick and three other teammates scored to lead MidAmerica Nazarene of Kansas past The Master’s University 6-2 Saturday evening on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The loss dropped the Mustangs to 1-2-1 four matches into the 2016 campaign.
Benedict’s first two goals came eight minutes apart (15:39 and 23:41) in the first half and were sandwiched around teammate Denise Dantzler’s score at the 21:02 mark.
Rocked back on their heels by the early Pioneer barrage, the Mustangs sliced into the deficit when sophomore Lynnae George put one past MNU goalie Anesa Curic in the 28th minute (27:11). It was George’s first goal of the season.
Then, the offensive spigot went dry and neither team scored again until the final 20 minutes of play. When the next ball went between the pipes it came off the foot of Benedict, who gave the Pioneers a commanding 4-1 lead in the 71st minute (70:14).
Mustang head coach Curtis Lewis applauded Benedict’s effort, saying, “MidAmerica was clinical its finishing. Benedict had a great day against us and it was one of those days that you never want to be a part of.”
As her initial goal in the first half did, Benedict’s final score initiated a lot of offense as the clubs combined for four goals in the final 20 minutes. MNU’s Taryn McClendon and Breanna FitzGerald followed with goals of their own at the 72:08 and 81:09 marks, respectively.
TMU’s Michaela Rickard capped the match’s offensive fireworks in the 88th minute (87:03) when she booted one in the net for her team-leading second goal of the year.
Despite the loss, Lewis was both thankful and optimistic, saying, “We fought to the end and although it was a 6-2 loss, there was, surprisingly, some good things from us that we can build on.”
After giving up a season-high in goals, the Mustangs are looking for a rebound on Monday when they play host Embry-Riddle at 10 a.m.
Bobcats run past Mustangs
Santa Clarita, Sept. 2 — Cruz Trenado’s unassisted goal with 9:13 left to play snapped a one-all tie and propelled visiting UC Merced past The Master’s University 2-1 Friday afternoon on Reese Field.
The loss ended the Mustangs’ winning streak at two games and dropped them to 3-2.
Although he would never admit it, head coach Jim Rickard may have been watching a club with dead legs after three matches in a span of 72 hours. That may have led him to say following the match, “No excuses today, we just didn’t finish our chances.”
Those chances were on display in a 10-minute window during the first half when the Mustangs put four shots on goal, including one that hit the crossbar off the foot of Luis Garcia-Sosa and three others that were saved by Bobcat goalie Alan Ochoa.
Mustang keeper Casey Phillips did his part to keep the game scoreless over the opening 45 minutes, highlighted by a save with 3:55 left in the stanza. The Mustangs outshot the Bobcats 9-4 overall and 3-2 in shots on goal in the first half.
However, Phillips couldn’t stop the Bobcats’ first shot of the second half when Bobcat Brian Chongtoua put one by the junior keeper 1:50 into the second half to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
That smallest of margins lasted less than six minutes as Chris Logan took a pass from Garcia-Sosa and shot it by Bobcat keeper Bernardo Garcia at the 52:16 mark to even the match. It was the senior’s second goal of the season and Garcia-Sosa’s team-high third assist.
The Mustangs had a chance to move in front a little more than 10 minutes later but Benjamin Tembo’s shot was turned back by Garcia at 63:37. Notably, that was the Mustangs’ final shot on goal the rest of the afternoon.
At the other end of the field, the Bobcats had one more shot left in their arsenal and they made it pay off when Trenado sliced one by Phillips with the game-winner at the 80:47 mark.
Following the match, Rickard added, “There are so many things to be encouraged and excited about. I’m really proud of the team’s perseverance and resilience over the past week (five matches in the past nine days).”
The Mustangs get their first extended rest of the regular season over the next four days before resuming play at Marymount in Palo Verdes on Sept. 7.