EDINBURG, Texas – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's soccer team opened its 2016 campaign on Friday with the inaugural meeting of the South Texas Showdown presented by NavyArmy Community Credit Union. A late first half goal for the hosts proved to be the difference, as the Islanders fell 2-1.
UTRGV opened the game on the attack, using a 21 MPH wind to aide their offensive efforts. Islanders goalkeeper Jordan Wainwright jumped into action twice in the sixth minute. The junior-transfer tipped a back-post shot off the crossbar, before making a quick reaction save on the ensuing rebound.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when Vaquero forward Hannah Spets found the back of the net on a corner from Diandra Aliaga, one her two assists on the night.
Kaitlyn Joy made an immediate impact for the Blue and Green after head coach Shanna Caldwell introduced the redshirt-sophomore to the game in response to the Vaqueros' strike. The Dripping Springs native leveled the match five minutes later with a delicate flick beyond the keeper on a cross from Brooke Erdmann.
As the first half came to a close, both teams were maintaining possession in the midfield and appeared to have a 1-1 tie going into the halftime break; however, Kelzi Jepsen scored the game winner for UTRGV on a knuckling long-range effort that slipped by Wainwright in the 44th minute.
A&M-Corpus Christi held the majority of possession in the second half, but the Blue and Green managed a single shot on goal with Meghan Cordero's effort in the 51st minute. Wainwright kept the Islanders within one in the 72nd minute with a sprawling effort to tip the ball wide of the post. The Live Oak, Fla., native finished the game with five saves.
The Vaqueros tallied 18 shots on the night, in addition to 15 corner kicks.
SOUTH TEXAS SHOWDOWN
UTRGV takes the lead in the South Texas Showdown with the win this evening. The Islanders and Vaqueros will square off in women's soccer one more time, with the return leg on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7 P.M. at the Jack.
The next matchup for the rivalry series will be on Friday, Sept. 2, when the men's and women's cross country teams compete in a duel meet in Edinburg.
• With her start between the pipes, Jordan Wainwright became the first junior goalkeeper in Islanders history.
• Kaitlyn Joy wasted little time hitting the scoreboard for the Islanders, with the third goal of her career. She previously tallied a pair during her two-year stint at Idaho.
• While she may not have reached the box score, freshman Karla Kedenburg was impressive in her first outing with the Islanders. The German international was a calm presence in the back line all night.
The Islanders will face UNLV on Sunday at 1 PM to wrap up the UTRGV Tournament. The Runnin' Rebels won their season opener earlier today against Farleigh Dickinson 3-1.