UNA soccer picks up big win against West Alabama

The women’s soccer team beat the University of West Alabama 3-0 to win its fifth consecutive game.

UNA (11-2-1, 8-2) moved ahead of the Tigers for third place in the Gulf South Conference with the victory.

The Lions were able to stay calm throughout, despite the game featuring multiple yellow cards and a red card called on the Tigers.

“If we keep our heads level I know we’re a good team,” said coach Chris Walker. “It’s a huge win, it’s always a high tempo game and the pressure is always there. It’s a rivalry and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon.”

Junior forward Chloe Richards scored all three goals for the Lions to bring her total to 25 goals on the season, the most in D-II.

“She got double team and triple teamed in the first half but we had a lot of players set things up for her,” Walker said. “The second half they changed it up a little and it allowed her to get into more space. When you make mistakes she can hurt you.”

Walker said even though Richards does score most the goals for UNA, the success of the offense is a total team effort.

“B(eatriz) Fernandes, the other forward, doesn’t get the credit she deserves,” Walker said. “She works so hard and created the first (goal).”

Richards’ first goal came off a penalty kick at the 11:55 mark. Her made her next two in the second half to put the game away for the Lions.

“Sometimes (I amaze myself), on that last goal I caught it right and it went in,” Richards said. “I know I can do it but when it actually happens you don’t feel the same.”

The game was the fourth consecutive shutout for the Lions, and UNA now has more shutouts (eight) than goals allowed this season (seven).

“The best part (of the game) was the zero (on the scoreboard), we’re not conceding goals at the moment,” Walker said.

The Lions will host Mississippi College Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. for senior night.