CORPUS CHRISTI – Northwestern State scored in the fourth minute and didn't look back en route to a 3-0 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's soccer team. It marked the final game of the season for the Islanders' first-year program.
Prior to the game, the Islanders honored their lone senior, Audrey Baldwin, in her final contest of her college soccer career. Baldwin made 128 saves in her only season for A&M-Corpus Christi, a total that led the Southland Conference this season.
"It was a great atmosphere today to honor our lone senior, Audrey Baldwin," head coach Shanna Caldwell said. "She has been a leader on and off the field and will be greatly missed. She has helped establish the foundation of this program and we, as a staff, can't thank her enough for that.
"I thought we played great soccer today," she added. "We played as a strong unit and really looked to put them under pressure. We had a couple mistakes and they led to goals for Northwestern State.
"But I'm very proud of this whole team. They have stepped up and grown as people and soccer players throughout the course of this fall. They accepted a challenge to build a program and their work and effort will never go unnoticed. The future is bright and the work begins again next week."
The Islanders averaged 570 fans for their nine home games this season, a total that led the Southland Conference.
"We'd like to thank everyone for all their continued support and belief in Islanders Soccer," Caldwell said.
Baldwin made five saves in a losing effort for the Islanders on Sunday. Jessica Danku picked up the shutout in net for Northwestern State, turning aside five Islanders attempts.
Northwestern State struck quickly, netting a goal in the fourth minute to take a 1-0 lead. After the Lady Demons earned a corner, Taylor Mulnix sent the set piece toward the near post, where it was deflected by an Islanders defender. But Alex Rios was there to jump on it, putting the ball in from inside the 6-yard box at the 3:55 mark.
The two teams battled at midfield for much of the next 15 minutes, but NSU was able to sneak loose and double its lead in the 20th. Nikki Saunders sent a ball up the right side to a streaking Brooke Eastburg. The freshman came in alone on Baldwin, and ricocheted a ball into the back of the net off the left post for a 2-0 advantage at 19:46.
In the second half, the Islanders controlled play for much of the period, but couldn't find the back of the net. Danku came up huge in the stanza, making a diving stop on a Brooke Erdmann header and another nice play as Hailey Sutton was streaking toward the net.
Northwestern State added its final tally in the 74th. Alexandria Jackson made a nice run down the right side after forcing a turnover. She then sent a ball toward the box for Cassandra Briscoe. Briscoe shook loose near the top of the 18 and lofted a shot to the upper left corner, making it 3-0 at 73:32.
The Islanders wrap up their debut season with an overall record of 2-16-0 and a conference mark of 1-11-0. For all the latest on the team during the offseason, be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersSoccer) and like the official Facebook page (Islanders Soccer).