WACO, Texas – The most historic season in Abilene Christian University’s Division I soccer history came to a close Saturday night under the lights in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Championships with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the No. 11 Baylor Bears. Goals in the 14th and 46th minutes proved more than enough, ending the Southland Tournament champion’s season at 15-6-1.The two teams opened the 2018 campaign at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field all the way back on Aug. 16, and the game ended in identical fashion, with the home team prevailing 2-0. Both goals came in the second half for the Bears in the opener, but the green and gold would score in the first 45 minutes Saturday evening.Baylor had control of the ball for the majority of the first half, leading 12-1 in shot attempts. ACU had its best looks in the sixth and 33rd minutes off corner kicks from Christina Arteaga, but nothing came of either chance as the ball was cleared. The visitor’s lone shot of the half came with just 28 seconds remaining from Arteaga, but it was saved by BU goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt. The Bears just kept at it with their offense, and it would eventually push through.Sarah King got the home team on the board, scoring her first goal of the season in the 14th minute. Baylor put pressure on the Wildcat defense with two corner kicks and three shot attempts all in a 36-second span. The shots were blocked, but after a deflection, the ball came right back in, this time to King, who scored from a couple feet out on the left side. Goalkeeper Rachel Johnson was just a fraction of a second late, and the Bears took the 1-0 lead into halftime.FINAL | @BaylorFutbol 2, ACU 0.ACU’s season ends with a 15-6-1 record, the most wins in our Division I history, a @SouthlandSports Championship, and the first @NCAASoccer Tournament appearance.#SACRFCE #GoWildcats pic.twitter.com/6wNVr0iJN5— ACU Soccer (@ACU_Soccer) November 11, 2018 The goal was significant for the Wildcat defense; it was the first goal allowed all season by ACU in the first half of a game. Saturday also marked the first time the team trailed in any game since the 1-0, double-overtime loss at home to McNeese on Oct. 12 in Abilene.Baylor scored the game’s second goal just 1:55 into the second half, when Camryn Wendlandt sent a header past Johnson off an assist by Ally Henderson. The lead was 2-0 for the Bears, and leading 13-1 in shots at that point, it would be a challenge for ACU to overcome the deficit.Baylor led in most statistical categories, including shots (22-2), shots on goal (13-2), and corners (6-2). Johnson recorded a career-high 11 saves in net, taking the loss and dropping to 11-4-1 on the year. The Second Team All-Southland keeper wrapped her redshirt junior season with 89 stops.The two shot attempts were the second-lowest total of the season; Texas Tech limited ACU to just one shot on Aug. 26. Arteaga and Shay Johnson recorded the two shots for the Wildcats.The season comes to a close with so many wonderful moments of reflection. The 15 wins breaks a new program record at the Division I level, which began in 2013. The standard is set for the future, winning its first Southland Conference championship and earning the first trip to an NCAA Division I Tournament for any team at Abilene Christian University. The 13 shutouts break an all-time program record at any level, and ties a Southland Conference record as well. The ACU defense was one of the best in the country from start to finish, and remains one of the best this program has ever seen. The seven-consecutive wins leading into Saturday was the most for the team since 2011. 2018 has built an incredible foundation for the years to come.The team will say goodbye to six seniors, including Johnson, Dylan Owens, Sophie Standifer, Caity Acosta, Chelsea Reedy, and Hannah O’Donnell. ACU will, however, bring back a load of talent, including Arteaga, the First Team All-Southland forward, and Alyssia Anuat, the Southland Freshman of the Year. Shay Johnson capped her junior season with an all-conference honor, and Mulrooney and Brooke Lenz will help guide the defense once again in 2019.Baylor moves on to the round of 32, and will host the Vanderbilt Commodores Friday, Nov. 16 in Waco.
JOCKEY QUOTESABEL CEDILLO, RIVER BOYNE, WINNER: “Well, thank God my horse can go anywhere, inside or outside. I was trying to go outside, but when I saw him move up a little bit, I got plenty of room inside. So, I just took a chance to go inside.“My horse responded really good. I’m excited, my horse is running really good.”TYLER GAFFALIONE, GOT STORMY, SECOND: “It’s definitely a step forward from the last race. We would have liked to have won, but hopefully she comes out of the race fine.“We didn’t see much pace on the form, so we figured we’d be a little aggressive out of the gate – she usually breaks well. I let her run down to the first turn, and it looked like the seven (Kingly) wanted the lead, so I just took back on the outside of him and sat beautifully the whole way. I had a ton of horse coming into the stretch, and she kicked on, but she just got run down.”TRAINER QUOTESJEFF MULLINS, RIVER BOYNE, WINNER: “A perfect trip. I told Abel to try and get the same trip as he did last time. This time he had to go inside instead of outside. Abel has done a great job keeping him in position, that is the way he likes to run and he’s got a really good kick down the lane. I couldn’t say anymore about Abel. I do want to wish Jeb Cohen a happy birthday.“He’ll go anywhere you want him to as long as he’s got enough energy left. Abel has done a great job of saving it until it counts so a lot of credit goes to Abel.“When I brought him back off the layoff, I wasn’t sure he was coming back. He threw a dud the first time and then he had some troubles, but he’s back.”MARK COHEN, RED BARON’S BARN, RIVER BOYNE, WINNER: “Congratulations Dad and happy birthday. This is probably the real definition of a racehorse. When he was turned out for a little while he was not happy. He did not like being at the ranch; as soon as he came back to the track it was straight to business. This is what he loves to do. If he didn’t hit the board our plans would have definitely changed. There are no plans, as always the horse will tell the trainer what to do and the trainer lets us know what he wants to do but it is always about the horse.”“I am thrilled for the horse and thrilled for anyone who has been involved with him. He is a super nice horse, and everybody has just done a great job with him, Jeff (Mullins) in particular.”NOTES: The winning owners are Red Baron’s Barn LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC. This was River Boyne’s first Grade I win.