Hardin-Simmons women’s soccer beats UMHB in penalties for ASC title

Hardin-Simmons women’s soccer beats UMHB in penalties for ASC title

Another season, another American Southwest Conference tournament championship for the Hardin-Simmons women’s soccer team.

It took penalty kicks for the Cowgirls to secure their 19th consecutive conference tournament title, but they came through 3-1 after playing to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtimes at the HSU Soccer Complex.

This year’s team saved some of its best soccer for when it mattered most.

“This team grew as we went along,” HSU coach Marcus Wood said. “We were not very good at the beginning and then I think some of our best soccer was played this week. We played really great against UT Dallas and McMurry. Even (Sunday), it’s just the o]We needed the whole season. Really proud of the senior leadership and how far they’ve taken us. I feel like God wrote the story and just get to live it and pretty special to live the story.”

In PKs, HSU keeper Kendall Dowling made her presence known. The Cru converted their first attempt, but Dowling made a save on the second try, the third try went off the crossbar and Dowling came through on the fourth. When Aurora Arevalo made her spot kick, there was no fifth try from UMHB.

“Just put everything I had in it, get a good result for my team, for our seniors,” Dowling said. “… Every one that you save, pushes you to get the next one. It gave me that extra edge and compete.”

Dowling wasn’t the starter to begin the season, but she’s stepped into the role and came though in HSU’s biggest matches so far this year.

Hardin-Simmons keeper Kendall Dowling (0) saves a penalty kick during Sunday's American Southwest Conference tournament final against Mary Hardin-Baylor. Dowling made a pair of saves as the Cowgirls won 3-1 in penalty kicks.

“We’ve been very pleased to have amazing goalkeepers for a long, long time,” Wood said. “Kayla Gable passed the torch, Haley Foley had her appendix out. Kendall didn’t know she was going to be called on. And way to step up when she got her moment. A shutout all through the tournament, penalty shootout saves, so just an awesome story that Kendall wrote.”

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