ABILENE – Kallyn Redona scored her first goal in an Islanders uniform, but a lightning delay stole A&M-Corpus Christi's momentum as Abilene Christian edged the team 2-1 on Friday afternoon.
"Even though the scoreboard results are what count in the end, I'm extremely proud of the team's play today," head coach Shanna Caldwell said. "We played some really great soccer and competed the entire match. This was the effort we were missing last weekend."
The Wildcats struck first with a goal in the 18th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Emily Sumrall fed the ball to leading scorer Andrea Carpenter, and Carpenter was able to put it past Baldwin for her 10th goal of the season at 17:55. From there until the halftime whistle, the score and the gameplay remained even into the break.
"At halftime we told the girls to just keep playing and working the ball around but to be more aggressive in going at goal and challenging the keeper," Caldwell added. "Our goal tonight was a great free kick and an aggressive run in the box by Kally."
Out of the locker room, the Islanders upped their pressure and were able to knot the game in the 55th. After a foul on the Wildcats resulted in a free kick, Meghan Cordero sent a cross from the far side toward the back post, and Redona crashed the net and headed it home for her first goal in an Islanders uniform at 54:47.
Shortly thereafter, lightning was spotted in the Abilene area and the teams were sent to the locker room at 5:17 p.m. for a required 30-minute delay. Repeated lightning strikes stretched the delay to 1:13, and the teams retook the pitch at 6:30.
"Coming back off the delay and the temperature dropping about 20 degrees, we were eager and excited to finish the game," Caldwell said. "And I think we just got a little frenzied resulting in a poor pass and turnover that led to their goal. After that we settled down again. We fought to the final whistle. While I wish it was a different result tonight I'm happy with the effort from the team today."
The Wildcats came out quickly with an answer, converting in the 59th minute to regain a 2-1 lead. Carpenter was able to cross a ball from in deep to Sumrall, and the junior transfer found the back of the net for her third goal of the season at 58:56.
The Islanders were able to bounce back, and had a number of scoring opportunities in the closing minutes, but weren't able to find the back of the net before the match reached full time. It marked the sixth time this year that A&M-Corpus Christi has fallen by a score of 2-1.
A&M-Corpus Christi does not have a game this Sunday, but it won't be an off day for the team. The Islanders will head to San Antonio for a practice and will then head to the Alamodome to take in an international match between the United States Women's National Team and Australia.
The Islanders are back on the pitch next weekend, as they take to the road for the final two games of their four-game road swing. A&M-Corpus Christi takes on Sam Houston State on Friday at 7 p.m. in Huntsville before facing off with Houston Baptist on Sunday at 1 in Houston. For all the latest on the team, be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersSoccer) and like their official Facebook page (Islanders Soccer).