After shutting out St. Mary’s and Texas A&M International in back-to-back games last weekend, the TWU Pioneers were rewarded with the opportunity to host a quarterfinal match against West Texas A&M on Tuesday at Pioneer Soccer Park.
TWU midfielder Lexi D’Abrosca erupted for two goals in the second half, and Daniela Marin pitched her 10th shutout of the season to help TWU beat the Lady Buffs 2-0.
The Pioneers (15-4) will play in the Lone Star Conference semifinal round at No. 1 seed Dallas Baptist (13-0-2) on Friday at 5 p.m.
With three shutouts in five days, Marin earned the LSC’s goalkeeper of the week award for the second time this season. The senior goalkeeper has allowed only 15 goals in 19 total games.
“Dani has stepped up for us tremendously,” coach Babak Abouzar said. “Going into the summer break, she wasn’t expecting to be the starter, but a few things happened and she stayed prepared. Her communication on the back line and her shot stopping ability in one-versus-one situations has been huge for us. She’s a big reason why we’re 15-4 right now.”
The Pioneers’ three-game winning streak will more than likely keep them at No. 4 in the South Central Region. The top six teams in the region advance to the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season.
In that case, it looks as if TWU will be dancing in November for the first time in program history.
“It’s something that we talked about the last few years during preseason,” Abouzar said. “But now that it’s becoming more of a reality, it’s something that we feel great about. We’re definitely excited to be breaking records this season while being able to accomplish things that are so tough to do.”
The Pioneer soccer team will find out their NCAA Tournament first-round opponent at 5 p.m. Monday in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Selection Show, which will be streamed live on ncaa.com.
Volleyball: TWU looks for chance to host LSC match
With their starting outside hitter out due to an ankle injury, the Pioneers have had to shuffle the lineup multiple times throughout the last week.
For the most part, the new lineup has been effective. TWU took care of business last weekend and swept Midwestern State in a home-and-home series before losing to Tarleton State on Tuesday night.
Caroline Noel had a great weekend, finishing with 20 total kills in the two wins over MSU
“We went 6-0 against a very underrated Midwestern team, and I was proud of our girls for that,” TWU coach Jeff Huebner said. “We showed a lot of grit through the past week, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”
Trixie Oche collected seven blocks in the loss against Tarleton, moving her into second place in the Lone Star Conference with 123 blocks.
“What she [Oche] does for us on the defensive end is incredible,” Huebner said. “She’s been working at her craft for a long time, and she’s starting to see the results of that.”
TWU will host its final two regular-season home games this weekend at Kitty Magee Arena, starting with Cameron on Friday night before turning around to play Arkansas-Fort Smith for Senior Day on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The final homestand of the season comes at a pivotal time for the Pioneers, as two wins this weekend would give the Pioneers the opportunity to host an opening-round match in the LSC tournament.
Basketball: Pioneers dominate in opener
TWU kicked off its 2019-20 season with an 83-48 victory over Champion Christian College.
The Pioneers began the game firing on all cylinders and ended the first quarter on a 17-0 run to create early separation from the Lady Tigers.
TWU also put on a show from beyond the arc. The Pioneers made 12 three-pointers, the most they have made in a single game since Jan. 24, 2016, at Angelo State.
Junior Ajine Taylor provided a spark off the bench and finished with a team-high 13 points, while the Pioneers collected 19 total assists.
“I thought we were really efficient offensively tonight,” TWU coach Beth Jillson said after the win. “We were able to get some inside touches first, which really opened up the perimeter for our guards to knock shots down.”
“It was a good start,” Jillson said. “But the competition gets a lot tougher, and that starts with Southeastern Oklahoma State. They’re extremely efficient on offense. They run motion, they can shoot the ball, they can post up, so if you’re not down and ready to go they can hurt you. We’re excited for the opportunity.”