SAN ANTONIO – On a cold and windy Thursday night at Sigma Beta Chi Field, Texas Woman’s totaled five unsuccessful shots in the opening 32 minutes of the game before they found the back of the net en route to a 2-0 victory over St. Mary’s.

Sophomore Riley Sutton, who recently came off an injury suffered in early October, entered the game looking to provide a spark for the Pioneers’ offense. Just one minute and nine seconds after the substitution, Sutton received a pass from sophomore Keely Chapman and had a 1 vs. 1 matchup with the Rattlers’ goalkeeper. Sutton made a move and fired a shot past the outstretched arms of the goalie to give TWU a 1-0 lead at the 32:57 mark.

In the second half at 62:20, sophomore Abigail Martinez scored her seventh goal of the year on a pass from sophomore Kaylee Rekieta to help lead the Pioneers (13-4, 9-3 Lone Star) to a crucial 2-0 victory over St. Mary’s (5-12, 3-9 LSC).

“We were going against a really hard wind in the first half, but we were fortunate enough to get a great goal from Rylie,” coach Babak Abouzar said. “Rylie’s a player that’s really crucial to what we do in our attacking third, so it was really great to see her make an immediate impact the way that she’s doing.”

Martinez’s second-half goal ties her for lead in goals with junior Haley Ward, who is sidelined with an injury. Martinez, a Waxahachie native, has given the Pioneers a much-needed boost while they wait for last year’s leading scorer to return to the pitch.

“With both Riley and Haley going down, a lot of weight was put on Abigail’s shoulders,” Abouzar said. “She just settles the game down, and she’s really good with the ball at her feet while running at defenders. She’s a big part of why we’ve still been able to score goals and be successful.”

After Martinez’s goal, TWU’s defense cleared multiple scoring threats from St. Mary’s while Pioneer goalkeeper Daniela Marin finished with five saves for her eighth shutout performance of the season. The Pioneers outshot the Rattlers, 18-12.

TWU is in sole possession of fourth place in the LSC standings, and a win on Saturday combined with a Lubbock Christian loss would vault the Pioneers to third place as the season wraps up.

Finishing the regular season slate on the road, TWU will face Texas A&M International in Laredo at 1 p.m. on Saturday. A win will guarantee the Pioneers an opportunity to host a quarterfinal match in the Lone Star Conference Tournament on Tuesday.

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