HUNTSVILLE - The Sam Houston State soccer team took care of business at home this weekend with a pair of shutouts to stretch its winning streak to three matches with a 3-0 victory over Nicholls Sunday at Pritchett Field.
The Bearkats (7-7-1 overall) improved to 5-2-1 in league play to clinch a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament, which will be held in Conway, Arkansas Nov. 6-10. Sam Houston State is currently tied for third place with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Abilene Christian and Northwestern State.
Lamar leads the conference at 7-1 followed by Incarnate Word at 6-2. McNeese is seventh at 5-3-0 and Stephen F. Austin is eighth at 3-5-0.
Sam Houston State broke a scoreless match with the Colonels (3-11-1 overall, 0-8-0 in SLC) with a goal by freshman Kalynn Bickford in the 21st minute. Junior Briana Woodall got the assist off a free kick from the left corner into the box, and Bickford headed it into the middle of the net over the goalkeeper’s head for her third goal of the season.
The Bearkats found the net again in the 33rd minute. Senior Acacia Shepardson came off the bench to provide a spark and quickly got in on the attack by dribbling down the right side and sending a cross into the box where senior Carlota Suarez-Crespo punched it past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Sam Houston State broke the match open in the second half. Bickford scored her second goal of the match with a kick over the goalkeeper’s head off a corner kick by sophomore Grace Stine in the 85th minute.
The Bearkats were stingy defensively, holding Nicholls to three shots. Only one was on goal and freshman goalkeeper Tatum Krueger made a great play on it for the save.
Sam Houston State has not been scored on in 219 minutes, including Friday’s 2-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana and dating back to the second half of the 3-2 win against McNeese a week ago.
The Bearkats close the regular season with matches at Incarnate Word on Oct. 25, ACU on Oct. 27 and at home against SFA on Nov. 1.