Oct. 21, 2012
RUSTON - Despite a furious effort by the Louisiana Tech soccer team to send the match into overtime, the Lady Techsters could not overcome two early goals by Idaho, falling 1-2 this Sunday afternoon on Senior Day.
The loss snapped LA Tech's (12-2-4) 11-game unbeaten streak and was also the first time the defense had given up more than one goal in a single game. The Vandals (5-12-1) were in dire need of a conference win and got it to increase their point standings in the WAC.
By the time the Lady Techsters could settle their emotions after a heartfelt ceremony held in honor of the two seniors Mo Rockwell and Lindsay Brough, Idaho was quickly on the board in the second minute on a ball delivered from the left corner of the 18-yard box by Megan Lopez to a cutting Katie Baran who was able to beat LA Tech goalkeeper Corina Brown for the goal.
It was only 10 minutes later that Idaho struck again, this time off of a loose ball that just happened to find the right foot of WAC preseason player of the year Chelsea Small for her seventh goal of the year, and before they knew it the Lady Techsters were in a 0-2 hole.
"We were flat from the start because of the emotions of the day," said head coach Kevin Sherry. "They wanted to do well for Mo and Lindsay but emotionally and mentally they were just flat."
LA Tech was forced to play more forward with their players, and was able to apply a lot of pressure on Idaho throughout the rest of the first period and on into the second. Midfielder Brittany Beddow applied the most close calls, taking seven of the team's 14 shots on the day.
After being the primary taker on the corner kicks, a clip of the post on a boom kick of her own and another missile off of her foot that was just cleared away by the fingertips of the Idaho keeper, in the 83rd minute Beddow received a rebound off one of her corner kicks and finally cut into Idaho's lead with fifth goal of the season.
Many set pieces for the Lady Techsters came and went before and after the goal before the final whistle blew.
"We had lots and lots of chances," said Sherry. "Soccer is like that. You need a bit of luck. We missed by centimeters, when another day they go in."
Coupled with only their second loss of the season was the loss of starting midfielder Paige Dunn due to injury. The positive that came out of this weekend though was the Lady Techsters officially clinched a spot in the WAC tournament for only the second time in program history.
Rockwell and Brough may not have been able to stay unbeaten at home this season, but they are happy to know that their careers will be extended beyond the upcoming weekend's matches at San Jose State and Utah State to have a one and six shot at the WAC title despite being picked to finish last in the preseason.
"That's a great achievement," said Sherry about reaching the WAC Tournament. "This is a real good team and they've worked so hard. It's been an outstanding season no matter what happens from now on, and to finish the least season of the WAC going into the tournament, that's really good for this team."
Before concentrating on the tourney to be played in Logan, Utah on Nov, 1-4, the Lady Techsters will focus on the next match of the schedule which is this Friday in California as they face off against San Jose State at 9:30 p.m.
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