Taylor Thigpen recorded a hat trick to propel Hardin-Simmons women’s soccer team to a 4-0 win over Texas-Tyler in the American Southwest Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon at the HSU Soccer Complex.
The title was the 10th straight and 15th overall for the Cowgirls. HSU improved to 17-0-1 on the year and the Patriots ended their season at 14-5-1.
“We really came out and performed, I thought it was the best we had played all year,” said HSU head coach Marcus Wood. “Our girls were prepared and executed. Taylor Thigpen was special and we played with a great deal of purpose. UT Tyler is a very good team.”
The two teams played a defensive struggle the firth 30 minutes of the game and then Thigpen scored the first time on a centering pass from Devon Howard at the 37:47 mark.
The game remain 1-0 through halftime when Katie Kuykendall found Caitlin Cramer on the back post on a corner kick and Cramer headed it home to give HSU a 2-0 lead. The assist moved Kuykendall into second place on the HSU scoring list with 174 points. It was her 21st assist of the season and the goal was Cramer’s fourth.
Howard found Thigpen again in the 57th minute and she buried the shot and then Thigpen scored unassisted in the 75th minute on a laser shot from 35 yards out. It gave her eight goals on the year.
Lexi Stinson worked 80 minutes of shutout ball in goal and Abby Blunt finished it up for the Cowgirls in goal. Stinson had a pair of saves.
HSU outshot the Patriots 26-5 in the game and 11-2 on goal.
Thigpen was named the tournament MVP and Christina Hartsfield, Cramer and Howard were named to the all-tournament team for HSU. Amanda Weaver, Meagan Stewart and Macy Hurley were named to the team from Texas-Tyler. Genna Shelley and Megan Whitten of Mississippi College and Taylor Maeker and Emily Hokanson of Texas-Dallas were also on the all-tournament team.
The announcement of the NCAA Tournament Field will be at 12:30 on NCAA.com.