Off week comes at ideal time for Cardinal football

Off week comes at ideal time for Cardinal football

The Cardinals ran into a buzz saw last week at home when they faced Nicholls, a team who should have beaten Texas A&M a few weeks earlier. The Colonels (3-2, 2-1) jumped out to a 20-0 first-half lead and never looked back to roll on 41-14 over Lamar (1-4, 0-4) in front of over 6,000 fans at Provost Umphrey Stadium on Sept. 30.

The Cardinals struggled to move the ball, finishing the night with 237 yards of total offense. LU’s quarterbacks completed 14 of 33 passes for 121 yards with two interceptions by junior transfer Darrell Colbert.

Nicholls recorded 506 yards of total offense behind a strong ground attack. The Colonels rushed for 354 yards, led by Kyran Irvin’s 152 yards and two scores. Jeremy Rounds rushed 16 times for 103 yards and a score.

LU was led defensively by senior Manasseh Miles who recorded a career-high 11 tackles, including 1.5 for losses. Miles was one of nine Cardinals to record a tackle for a loss Saturday evening. Junior Lane Taylor and freshman David Crosley each added 10 tackles.

Sophomore punter Tyler Slaydon connected on a 73-yard punt for Lamar, the third longest in program history and longest since the 1973 season.

“We have to stay the course right now,” said coach Mike Schultz. “We have to keep working. Needless to say, we’re not where we want to be. Right now we have to stay the course and get better. As a 37-year veteran of coaching, I can tell them the process will work – we just have to trust the process. Nicholls was in the same situation. Now in year three under their new coach, they have a really good ball club.”

The Cards will get a much-needed week off as they battle several injuries before they play Incarnate Word (0-4, 0-2) on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m.

“We will use this week to heal up, plus hit the recruiting trail,” added Schultz. “Going to definitely look for some big kids on both sides of the line — offense and defense. We also want to offer several scholarships to kids in the Golden Triangle.”

Schultz said despite the turnovers, Colbert would still be his starting quarterback, but the offense will see more of true freshman running back Myles Wanza.

“He’s explosive,” said Schultz. “Kendrick King has been carrying the load for us for four games now, so Wanza will get some chances to run the ball.”

Soccer

The Cardinal program continues to roll on, winning two more matches last weekend, beating Sam Houston State 3-1 on Sept. 29 and SFA 3-2 on Oct. 1, to improve to 9-3-1 overall and 4-1-0 in Southland Conference play.

In the win over Sam Houston, freshman Brittany Harris scored her first career goal.

Harris scored on a breakaway off a beautiful feed from senior midfielder M.J. Eckart. Harris got behind the defense and buried the shot behind Sam Houston State goalkeeper Anna Kaiser.

“Brittany showed a lot of composure on that play,” said coach Steve Holeman. “Her speed makes her dangerous, but I was impressed by how she finished that play.”

Eckart also scored on a penalty kick, and Juliana Ocampo added a third goal.

Hosting SFA, Eckart scored two goals, including the game-winner on a penalty kick with 3:26 remaining in regulation.

“It’s one of those moments you’ll remember the rest of your life,” said Eckart, a senior, about the game-winning goal. “We knew we had never beaten Stephen F. Austin, so this is a special win for us.”

Eckart was named the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3.

“It was a really great weekend for us, and M.J. played a huge role,” said Holeman. “In addition to her productivity in the attack, she also had a big defensive presence. Her leadership on the field was important for our success.”

LU will travel to Hammond to play at Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.

Women’s hoops

Jadyn Pimentel didn’t take long to make a positive impression on the Lamar University women’s basketball coaching staff.

The freshman guard from St. Louis, Missouri, stood out on the first day of official practice at the Montagne Center on Oct. 2.

“She is a baller,” LU coach Robin Harmony said of Pimentel. “She was outstanding. That says something when a freshman is your best player on the first day of practice.”

The soft-spoken Pimentel admitted that the LU practices were much different than those at Kirkwood High School.

“They’re much harder, but I expected that,” Pimentel said. “I was a little nervous at first, but that went away quickly.”

Harmony hopes that Pimentel’s performance will serve as inspiration to the rest of the Cardinals.

“We have to keep working hard and get out of our comfort zone,” Harmony said. “We definitely have the talent to be champions. We have to work on our mental toughness.”

The Cardinals return all five starters, including three all-conference selections, from a squad that went 22-8 overall and 15-3 in the Southland Conference. LU ended the season with a heartbreaking loss at Rice in the first round of the WBI.

“There is so much talent here,” Pimentel said. “They’ve accepted me. I’ve been able to fit right in. I think we work together well on the court, and we get along off the court.”

The Cardinals will practice every day but Thursday this week as they get ready for the season opener at Baylor on Nov. 10. The home opener is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 13 vs. Louisiana College.

Men’s golf

Lamar University’s Eason Wang tied for 18th as the Louisville Cardinal Challenge came to a close Oct. 1.

Wang fired a 1-over-par 73 on Sunday to end the tourney at 5-over-par 221 as the Cardinals finished 10th in the 13 team field, finishing ahead of the two other Southland Conference schools in the event. As a team, the Cardinals had a three-day total of 904. The host Louisville Cardinals took advantage of their home course to win the event by 11 strokes. Louisville finished the tournament at 855. Miami (Ohio) was second at 866.

“We had a tough tournament,” LU coach Jessie Mudd said. “We have some good things to build on, but we still have a lot of improving to do.”

LU’s Sam Dumez tied for 34th at 224 after a 77 on Sunday. Clay McCrory finished in a tie for 48th at 227 after a final-round 77. Cody Banach fired a 73 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 64th at 234, while Garret James posted a 75 to finish tied for 76th at 241.

LU’s Juho Kurikka, competing as an individual, tied for 62nd at 233 after turning in a round of 74 on Sunday.

Patrick Flavin of Miami (Ohio) took home medalist honors with a 54-hole total of 9-under-par 207, two strokes ahead of Louisville’s Erik Dulik, who was competing as an individual.

The Cardinals return to action when they compete at the Bayou City Collegiate, slated for Oct. 9-10 in Pearland.

Baseball

The Lamar baseball team will be hosting its annual golf tournament Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Beaumont Country Club. The tournament will begin with registration and lunch at noon, followed by a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m.

Registration for teams of four will be $400, but individuals can sign up to play for $100 per person. Prizes will be award for first and second place. LU baseball is also offering hole sponsorships for $125.

Those wishing to participate can download the tournament registration form located on the LU athletics website at LamarCardinals.com. All checks should be made payable to Lamar University Baseball.

For more information about the tournament please contact Justin Eckols at jeckols [at] lamar [dot] edu or by phone at (281) 731-4473. The Cards fell to 2-11 overall and 0-3 in league play with another 3-0 loss at Houston Baptist. LU will play one home game on Saturday, Oct. 7 against SFA at 1 p.m. then host Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

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