CHICAGO – A penalty kick goal by junior forward Elysha Peele (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) with just over six minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as Saint Xavier University upset No. 4 ranked Hastings College (Neb.), 1-0, in NAIA women's soccer action Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Peele's shot found the lower right corner of the goal just missing the outstretched hand of Broncos junior keeper Tenaya Howsden. The Cougars were extremely tough defensively earning their first shutout and victory of the season (1-3-0) behind a stellar start in goal by senior Ashley Shugar (Lake Orion, Mich./Western Illinois University/Lake Orion). Shugar finished the game with seven saves.
The game-winning score was set up following a tackle in the box on a shot attempt by freshman midfielder Morgan Graves (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Central). With Graves leaving the field with an injury after the tackle, Peele was selected to take the resulting penalty kick. Both teams finished the game with 13 shots apiece with Hastings logging seven shots on goal and SXU posting four on goal attempts. It was the program's first victory against a nationally ranked foe since the Cougars defeated No. 20 Ohio Dominican University, 1-0, back on September 5, 2009.
Saint Xavier (1-3-0 overall) heads to Goshen, Ind., on Tuesday, September 6, to take on Goshen College (Ind.). The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (eastern) start.