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Soccer: Pioneers outlast Zias in Lone Star opener

PORTALES, N.M. — TWU won its Lone Star Conference opener Friday in a 2-1 thriller against Eastern New Mexico. The Pioneers improved to 2-2-1 overall while winning their second consecutive game.

Senior Brittany Martin gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute with her fifth goal of the season. Her header found the back of the net off a cross from senior Katy Black.

Martin equaled her goal total from last season and leads the team with 12 points. She has scored at least a goal in the last three games and has two assists on the year.

Junior Meredith Molge scored for the Pioneers at the 63:53 mark. Black assisted on the goal for her second point of the game. Molge found the net from the top of the box for her first goal of the season.

The Zias answered in the 66th minute to cut the deficit in half. ENMU got off five more shots in the final 24 minutes, but the Pioneers’ defense held.

“It was a physical battle, but we were the better team on the field,” TWU head coach Fleur Benatar said. “We went up 2-0 but they scored right away to put pressure on us. Our defense played great to seal the win.”

The Pioneers outshot Eastern New Mexico 17-11, including 6-3 in shots on goal. TWU had a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.

The Pioneers now head to Canyon to face West Texas A&M at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. “It will be another physical game,” Benatar said.