Sept. 23, 2012
TYLER, Texas - Coming into today's contest against UT Tyler, Louisiana Tech had never won a match when going into a scoreless overtime. Midfielder Brittany Beddow changed that as her golden goal in the first period of overtime secured the 1-0 victory for the Lady Techsters.
The hard-fought win in the last nonconference game of the season pushed LA Tech's unbeaten streak to six games and brought their overall record to 9-1-2, one win more than they had all of last season. The loss for UT Tyler dropped their record to 5-3-0 on the year.
The Techsters started strong and kept control throughout the first part of the opening period. Midfielder Erica Stewart was able to take a few touches inside the box that were either saved or that crept just wide of the post. However, in the final minutes of the period, the Patriots managed to gain more 50/50 balls that turned into more offensive possessions and more shot opportunities.
"[UT Tyler] were really strong and they gave us some real problems," said head coach Kevin Sherry. "That to me was like a conference game to be honest."
Shots taken by both teams prior to the conclusion of the period seemed to always drift just left or right of the post, bringing the match to a scoreless halftime. At the break LA Tech held a 10-6 shot advantage over UT Tyler, but continued to struggle in finishing and creating chances in their final third of the field.
A reshuffled lineup entered at the start of the second period and the strikers were off to the races to put more pressure on the ball in the Patriot's half of the field. One of the constants in the lineup though was Beddow in the midfield, and she continued to take long chances at the goal.
Aside from forward Emily Brennan's shot in the 47th minute that hit the post, the best scoring opportunity came in the 74th minute when Beddow used her left foot to deliver a beautiful corner into the box that was headed by defender Mo Rockwell. With their keeper out of position the ball was inches from crossing the goal line, but a Patriot defender was able to clear it out.
A short break for the players ensued, and Beddow again took the field having played every second of the match so far. Halfway into overtime, another long chance from outside the top of the box was taken by Beddow, but this time on her seventh shot of the day, the twenty-yard strike struck the back of the net for the golden goal, her fourth goal of the season.
"I passed the ball to Andrea [Weng] and she gave it back to me, and I turned and there was open space so I took the shot and it went in," said the tired and exhausted midfielder who played all 100 minutes of action.
This marked the first overtime win for the Techsters, regardless of score, since Oct. 15, 2010 when LA Tech defeated San Jose State 5-4 in the first overtime period.
Coach Sherry used this last-minute scheduled match as an evaluator for his team with conference play just over the horizon. The coaches will use this time to break down the areas that need the most attention before facing off against WAC preseason favorites Denver in less than two weeks.
"We are going to decide the top four or five the problem areas and we are going to set up phases of play and just repeat, repeat, repeat so through repetition we'll make it sharper, tighter and better," said Sherry. "We will have two weeks of repetition of some basic techniques that will help us, particularly in the offensive phase."
That match is scheduled for a 4 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 5 at the Lady Techster Soccer Complex.
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