NACOGDOCHES — Mila Bettinelli’s goal in the 85th minute led Tarleton State Women’s Soccer to a 1-1 its WAC opening match on Thursday night at the SFA Soccer Field against Stephen F. Austin.
The Texans (3-5-3 Overall, 0-0-1 WAC) rallied for their first draw in WAC play as a program and the Lumberjacks (1-8-1, 0-0-1) earned their first deadlocked result of the season.
Bettinelli found the back of the net for the third time this season, with less than five minutes remaining in the match off a cross from Victoria Cameron, to tie the game and earn a point in the conference standings for the Texans with the draw.
The WAC’s leader in saves, Mikayla Kendall notched a trio of saves to improve her total to 76 on the season.
Avery Harr fired yet another shot on goal to increase her team-leading total to 11. She is just four shots on goal away from tying the program record she set last season.
The ‘Jacks started the scoring 15 minutes into the first half. Ava Shannon sent a through ball from just past midfield that found Jayme Bailey just outside the box where she fired a shot that just skimmed off the diving hands of Kendall.
Less than five minutes into the second half, the Texans won the ball off a goal kick. Harr was the benefactor receiving the ball in space in a two-on-one in favor of the Texans. Harr fired a shot with only the goal between her tying the match, but SFA’s Logan Pilgreen got her hands on it to salve off the potential Texan goal.
In the 51st minute Rylee Low sent a free kick into the Texans’ offensive zone. Cameron sent a header directed for the left of the goal, but the SFA keeper was there to stop Tarleton’s attempt to tie the match.
The Lumberjacks thought they had opened their lead in the 67th minute as a ‘Jack got past the Texans and snuck a ball past Kendall that found the back of the net. Unfortunately for the ‘Jacks the goal was overturned on an offside call against SFA, keeping the Texan deficit at 1-0.
Bettinelli found the opportunity to give the Texans a point in the WAC standings tying the game in the 85th minute. Jaycie Bass flipped the ball to the corner for Cameron who in turn sent a long cross to the middle of the 18-yard box. Bettinelli launched the cross into the back of the net, and her teammates erupted in jubilation.
Deadlocked at one, Cameron brought the ball to the corner of the field hoping to create a game-winning possession for the Texans. The freshman sent a cross that found Kyra Goudzwaard about 18 yards out from the goal. Goudzwaard’s one-touch shot was aimed just under the crossbar just barely within the reach of Pilgreen who swatted away the Texans’ attempt to sneak out a win in the final two minutes of action.
Neither team was able to push the needle across for their second goal of the game, resulting in a 1-1 draw in the WAC opener for both squads.
The Lumberjacks held the advantage in shots, 16-7, but Tarleton made the most of their shots leading in shots on goal, 6-4. The Texans also led the Lumberjacks in corner kicks, 6-4.
Tarleton State will continue its three-match road trip on Sunday against the UTRGV Vaqueros. The Texans will travel down south for a 12 p.m. first kick at the UTRGV Soccer and Track and Field Complex.