AC Athletics/Gary Stallard
LUFKIN, TX (Press Release)- A first-year program qualifying for the playoffs in any sport is a rare feat indeed, but the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners aren't satisfied with simply making an appearance.
The Lady 'Runners have already clinched a post-season tournament berth, having gone 5-4 in conference play thus far. Saturday's regular-season finale at home against Navarro College, however, brings with it an opportunity to improve the team's seeding in next week's tourney semifinals.
A win over the Lady Bulldogs pushes the Lady Roadrunners into the third seed, while a loss would drop them to the fourth. The third seed will travel to Mount Pleasant on Wednesday to take on Northeast Texas Community College; the fourth seed will head to Tyler College to face the Lady Apaches. The winners of those two matches will meet on Saturday, Oct. 29 for the conference championship.
AC topped NTCC back on Oct. 8, extending the game into its second overtime before prevailing 2-1. Leslie Saenz scored first for the Lady 'Runners, and Lauren Martinez nailed the game winner in the second extra frame. At the time, NTCC's Lady Eagles were ranked 20th in the nation.
AC dropped both regular-season games to Tyler, ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Saturday's opponent, Navarro College, blanked the Lady Roadrunners 3-0 on Aug. 25 in just the second game for AC's new program. Since then, head coach Freddy Drago and assistants Jorden Smith and Sher Khan have found numerous lineup combinations to combat the different types of teams they've faced all season long. AC's defense, which has allowed just 1.7 goals per game, will prove a key element in defending the high-scoring Lady Bulldogs, who have scored 77 goals in 2016 – an average of more than five per game.