ISLANDERS VS. SOUTHEASTERN LA.
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's soccer team will usher in another milestone in its debut season when it plays its first Southland Conference games this weekend at Dugan Stadium. The Islanders will play host to conference foes Southeastern Louisiana (Friday, 4 p.m.) and Nicholls (Sunday, 1 p.m.) on the university's Momentum Campus.
The Islanders wrapped up non-conference play last weekend with a pair of contests against talented foes in the Courtyard Marriott Wilmington Women's Soccer Invitational. A&M-Corpus Christi dropped a 4-2 decision to host UNC-Wilmington and a 3-0 contest at the hands of Elon on the weekend. Freshman Yvette Franco scored two goals in the UNCW match and earned All-Invitational honors.
Franco has been the Islanders' greatest standout on the stat sheet, as she currently is fifth in the nation in goals per game (1.167). The Corpus Christi native has netted seven goals in her six career games, with all of those coming in a four-game stretch. The Carroll High School product has three contests this year with more than one score.
Franco is not the only standout so far this season for the Islanders, though. The team has gotten strong play in goal from senior Audrey Baldwin, as she has turned aside 72.9 percent of opponents' shots on goal.
Southeastern comes into this weekend out to a tremendous start, boasting a 5-1-1 record with its only loss a double-OT heartbreaker at Southern Miss. The Lady Lions have gone into overtime on three occasions, with a win over Louisiana-Lafayette and a tie against Louisiana-Monroe. Southeastern has a 4-0 record against teams from the SWAC on the season.
Kelsey Salcido has paced the offense so far on the campaign, with her six goals trailing only Franco in the Southland and her 18 points putting her atop the league. Casey Peacock has six goals as well on the year, chipping in 15 points, while nine other players have found the back of the net. In goal, Hope Sabadash has been strong, turning aside 38 of the 41 shots she has faced with a 0.46 goals-against average.
Nicholls (6-0-1) is one of just a handful of teams nationally that is yet to suffer a defeat. The Colonels have defeats of ULM (3-2 in overtime) and Louisiana (2-1) to their name, along with a tie against a solid South Alabama program. In addition, Nicholls has posted a 4-0 record against SWAC opponents, needing overtime to knock off Prairie View. The Colonels will play a home match against McNeese State on Friday before coming to the Coastal Bend on Sunday.
The Colonels offense is paced by Spencer Valdespino, with her five goals and 12 points on the season. But Nicholls has four other players with at least three goals on the year, and a total of 12 players have scored goals on the season. Four different keepers have played for the squad, with Taylor Mosley leading the way with an .882 save percentage and 33 saves on the year.
Live video and live stats will be available for both contests, and updates will be provided on Twitter @IslandersSoccer. Tickets can be purchased from the Islanders Athletics Ticket Office by calling 825-BALL (2255) or online at GoIslanders.com.