SAN ANTONIO - Corpus Christi native Yvette Franco's goal in the 78th minute lifted the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over UTSA on Friday night in San Antonio. It marked the first win in program history for the Islanders (1-3-0).
Franco scored both goals for the Islanders, while Audrey Baldwin came up with eight saves in net for the visitors to tally her first victory. Brianna Livecchi scored the lone goal for UTSA (1-4-0).
"What a huge win tonight for Islanders Soccer," head coach Shanna Caldwell said. "Every single player on the roster played a part in this program win. As a staff we made some adjustments in midfield at halftime that really made a difference in the second half.
"I think the big thing was that even after UTSA tied the game we believed in each other on the field and knew we were capable of scoring another goal and securing a win," Caldwell added. "We had the fight and effort for 90 minutes tonight. Now it's about enjoying the win tonight and starting the process of focusing for the next set of games."
The game was scoreless at the half, but the wind picked up after the break, and with it the scoring. The Islanders struck first, in the 66th minute, as Audrey Kuhl took a free kick along the left sideline and sent it into the six-yard box. The ball deflected off Franco and tumbled into the back of the net, giving the freshman her team- and Southland-leading fourth goal of the season.
But UTSA was able to gain the equalizer less than 10 minutes later. A free kick near midfield sent the ball into the right hand corner. There, Livecchi set, created some space and lofted a ball toward the back post, where it fluttered over Baldwin for the freshman's first career goal and a 1-1 score.
The Roadrunners' joy did not last long, though, as Franco came through once again in the 78th. Hannah Joseph came up with a big play, winning a ball in the air on the offensive side of the field, and it found its way to the feet of Franco.
The speedy freshman touched the ball forward into space, fought for possession inside the 18, then sent a low ball just inside the right post for a 2-1 lead that sent the Islanders faithful into a frenzy. It marked her fifth goal of the season, all of which have come in the last three games for the Islanders.
UTSA held a significant advantage in the shots column, 12-0, in the opening half, but the Islanders were able to keep most of those opportunities out of the high-percentage area of the field. Anissa Munson put two shots on frame and Taylor Wingerden added one, but Baldwin was able to turn all three aside.
The Islanders' best chance of the opening half came on the stanza's only corner kick. Meghan Cordero served a ball toward the back post, and it was just too high for the head of a crashing Kallyn Redona, and landed harmlessly outside the box.
The Islanders will return to action next weekend at the UNCW Courtyard Marriott Wilmington Invitational, hosted by UNC Wilmington. The Islanders will take on the hosts on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. before facing Elon on Sunday at noon. For all the latest on Islanders Soccer, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersSoccer) and like the team on Facebook (Islanders Soccer).