BEAUMONT, Texas — Scoring the winning goal just 58 seconds into the match, Lamar University (7-6, 4-1 SLC) struck early and often in a dominant decision over Sam Houston State (4-6-1, 2-1-1 SLC). The Cards had three goals in the first half and another two in the second to win 5-0 over the Bearkats.

"We challenged our student-athletes coming into this game," said head coach Steve Holeman. "Sam Houston is coming in with momentum, they're undefeated in conference, and they didn't play Friday so they'll be rested. We knew that we had a good rhythm going from Friday night so we challenged our players. Can we better today? Can we start off strong? If we want to be a team to be reckoned with then we have to bring everything. They definitely came through."
Lamar's first scoring chance came in the opening minute.  Madison Ledet passed to Lucy Ashworth in front of the goal, and Ashworth immediately connected with Anna Loftus. Loftus used a deft touch to squeeze a shot off in limited room, putting LU up 1-0.
The Cards struck again just four minutes later. Ashworth again played the role of the point guard, eyeing Esther Okoronkwo sprinting down the field. Ashworth placed the pass just in front of Okoronkwo, who danced a bit and fired one off. The junior from Richmond, Texas, found the back of the net to put LU up 2-0.
The Cards had five more shots in the first half that were either saved or just barely off target. Ashworth had chipped it over the goalie in the 19th minute but was just off target as it bounded off the right post, and she again came close to retaking the team lead in goals in the 30th minute when her shot in the bottom right corner was saved. Ledet had a shot saved in the middle of the goal in the 10th minute, and Loftus and Ali Hebert each had a shot drift a bit on the way to the goal.
Big Red's final goal of the half came in the 32nd minute. Okoronkwo connected with Juana Plata who found Ledet. Ledet found net and put LU up 3-0.
The second half saw two more goals for LU. Okoronkwo got her 11th goal of the year in the 62nd minute on an assist by Ashworth, and Loftus returned the favor to Ashworth when she assisted Ashworth on her 11th goal of the season in the 66th minute.

Sandra Nygard and Erin Branch collaborated on the shutout for LU. Nygard had three saves and Branch saved two. The keeper duo faced 19 shots by the Bearkats.
The Cards return to action on Oct. 11 at Southeastern Louisiana (2-9-1, 1-4 SLC) and host Abilene Christian (8-2-2, 4-0-1 SLC) on Oct. 18.