Aug. 24, 2012
RUSTON - As the rain came so did a victory as the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters used three second half goals to defeat Southern Miss 3-1.
The series is now even with the win bringing Tech's overall record to 2-0-0 and dropping the Golden Eagles to 0-1-1 on the year.
With a beautiful blue sky overhead most of the first half, the ball seemed to be stuck at midfield as neither team was able to generate many scoring opportunities. Southern Miss only had two shots while Louisiana Tech had three.
For the Lady Techsters the lack of offense may have been as a result of two foreign newcomers, arriving on campus no more than a week ago, in Rosie Lethbridge and Andrea Weng seeing their first action of the year.
"The first half was a little rough," said junior midfielder Paige Dunn who scored two goals on the day. "We threw some people in there that we have not practiced much with so we were trying to get our team chemistry together and get everything going. Defensively we played really well, keeping everyone composed and going forward."
At the half, head coach Kevin Sherry reemphasized to the team the importance of the forward pass and needing the strikers to look for those passes.
The sky went completely gray as the second half began. Soon thereafter the rain came pouring down, and the Lady Techsters were not fazed in the slightest as they reeled off three straight goals within thirteen minutes of each other.
The first goal came in the 57th minute as Dunn angled a shot from the right wing that surprised everyone, including herself, as the ball found the back corner of the net.
"Honestly I looked up and saw Emily Brennan in the box and tried to aim for her head and somehow it just got in the goal," said Dunn.
The second goal came just a few minutes later in the 62nd minute of action when forward Laura LeFevour delivered a pass into the box to a sprinting Lethbridge for a put-in to make it 2-0 Tech.
"That second goal was probably the best goal I've ever seen at Louisiana Tech," said Sherry. "It started back with our goalkeeper and there must have been about 10 or 15 passes of quick interchange combinations. Everything that we've been working on in practice, it was like a practice session."
"Rosie gave us something up top that we have not had," Sherry continued about his freshman from Surrey, England. "We have not had a player like that with speed and intelligence, knowing where to go and when to go."
As Louisiana Tech was putting more and more pressure on the Southern Miss defense, a foul was committed in the box resulting in the first penalty kick of the season for the Lady Techsters. Dunn took the kick in the 70th minute, remaining calm and collected, and knocked it in through the left side for a 3-0 lead.
Tech's defensive line remained steady the rest of the way as the clock ticked down. In the final seconds Southern Miss got on the scoreboard as midfielder Missy Wentz drove a desperation shot from 20 yards out that went off of Caitlin Updyke's outreached hands and into the net to finish out the game 3-1.
Despite the near shutout, Updyke recorded three saves on the match making her the all-time career leader in saves at Louisiana Tech.
Former Lady Techster great Scotti Culton, who recently wrapped up her first season as a professional player for the Colorado Rapids Women, was on hand to witness the impressive victory.
I thought [Tech] moved the ball very well and I think they dominated," said Culton.
The Lady Techsters will be heading to Conway, Ark. for their first road game of the season versus Central Arkansas. That match is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
For complete coverage of Lady Techster Soccer, please follow @LaTechSOC or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.