LA Tech Ties Defending Champion North Texas
Sept. 24, 2017
RUSTON – Facing the three-time defending Conference USA champions North Texas, the Louisiana Tech women’s soccer team was 10 minutes away from pulling out the win but the Mean Green equalized and the match ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw on a hot Sunday afternoon at the Lady Techster Soccer Complex.
LA Tech (8-2-3, 1-1-1 C-USA) got on the scoreboard in the first half on a goal by sophomore striker Jenna Dages. With North Texas (5-2-2, 1-0-1 C-USA) consistently pressuring the back line of the Lady Techsters, they took advantage of a corner kick opportunity that deflected numerous times in the six before being scored to tie the match up.
The tired squads got off a couple of overtime shots but none that found the back of the net for the golden goal, giving each team a point in the league standings.
“We withstood that physical, long-ball assault,” head coach Kevin Sherry said. “We stood tall and only kind of crumbled once. That is a good sign of mental toughness. We could have done a little bit better. We panicked a little bit and started to play their game instead of our own game. Overall though, we got a point from a very good team.”
The first half was primarily controlled by LA Tech. The Lady Techsters spent much of the time with possession through their combination passing.
In the 32nd minute is when they finally struck. Sophomore midfielder Jaelyn Peeples sent a booming shot from 25 yards out that was deflected by the opposing keeper. The ball came off the left post and a charging Dages clipped the ball perfectly from a tough angle to score her fifth goal of the year.
LA Tech held a 9-5 shot advantage through the first 45 minutes as well as a 4-0 corner kick edge.
North Texas turned it on though in the second period. The Mean Green sent long ball after long ball into their attacking third trying to use their physicality to come up with the equalizer.
They ended up outshooting the Lady Techsters 12-2 and had five corner kicks. It was off one of the five corners that tied it up.
In the 81st minute, a 50/50 ball ended up going out of the end line and a corner was given to NT. The free kick was taken by Aaliyah Nolan who sent it into the six. After three different attempts to clear it by LA Tech, Elle Marie DeFrain kicked it in amongst the chaos.
Each team had one shot attempt in the first overtime period, one of which was another long range attempt by Peeples that was saved.
LA Tech had one last opportunity to pull off the victory with a free kick inside one minute to go. Senior defender Olivia Millington sent the ball from midfield but it was snagged in the air by the keeper.
For the match, North Texas had a 20-13 shot advantage and a 7-5 corner kick advantage.
Sophomore goalkeeper Carlotta Cartelli was credited with six saves in the draw. Four other Lady Techsters – Peeples along with senior defender Haley Laque, junior defender Makenna Johnson and freshman defender Elizabeth Doll – played the full 110 minutes.
Next up for LA Tech is a matchup versus Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia on Friday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT.
For all the latest in LA Tech Soccer, follow them on Twitter (@LATechSOC), Instagram (@LATechSOC) and Facebook (LATechSoccer) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.
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