Huntsville - Two minutes after entering the game, freshman Megan Manis right-footed in the winning goal to give Sam Houston a 1-0 decision over Northwestern State for the Bearkats' first Southland Conference win of the season.

Goalkeeper Mallory Garthwaite made three big saves as the redshirt freshman picked up her fourth shutout of the season. Both teams had several opportunities to score with each team totaling 11 shots.

"We made some offensive lineup changes this week, moving Kirby Zak up top to go along with Tricia Mallory and we played with a lot better attacking mentality," Sam Houston head coach Tom Brown said. "We created some great chances and Megan finally stuck one in. Mallory Garthwaite continues to play with more confidence. She did a great job of getting to a ball in traffic right at the end to preserve the shutout."

Manis replaced Kaitlyn Stowe when the freshman was cut on the head. Less than two minutes later, when Mallory fired a shot from five yards out that was blocked by a Demon defender, Manis fired a shot into the left side of the Northwestern State net.

The victory upped Sam Houston to 5-8-1 for the season and while Northwestern State dropped to 7-6 for the year. Both teams are 1-2 in Southland action. The victory ended a three-year winning streak for the Demons over the Bearkats.

"We had a good solid week of practice," Brown said. "We've been waiting awhile for a positive result and we got it tonight. Looking ahead to getting a berth in the conference tournament, we know we have to get as many (standings) points as we can at home and try to steal some on the road."

Sam Houston had three good opportunities to score in the first half as three times Bearkat forwards found the goalkeeper out of position but had Northwestern State defenders block the ball on the goal line. Zak had a one-on-one opportunity with the Demon goalkeeper in the 55th minute but Northwestern State 's Jessica Danku made a diving stop, one of her four saves for the night.

The Demons had one last opportunity to tie the match with 1:30 to play as Ashlee Savona found an open shot in traffic just outside the six-yard box but Garthwaite was there for the save.

Sam Houston State continues its home stand Sunday when the Bearkats play host to Central Arkansas at 1 p.m. at Joseph Pritchett Field.