LA Tech Mounts Comeback to Advance to Semifinals

Nov. 1, 2017

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Down a goal with only 30 minutes left to play, the Louisiana Tech women’s soccer team notched two goals in the span of 96 seconds to help take down Old Dominion, 2-1, and advance to the C-USA Tournament semifinals on Wednesday afternoon at FAU Soccer Stadium.

After giving up a late goal in the first half, No. 4 seed LA Tech (14-2-5) trailed for only the fifth time this season at intermission.

Senior midfielder and First Team All-Conference USA selection Nomvula Kgoale had an early chance in the second period to equalize the match, but the opposing keeper came up with a diving save.

She got another chance later on and found the back of the net. Then about 90 seconds later assisted on the go-ahead goal by sophomore Jenna Dages to pull off the come-from-behind victory and register the second tournament win in program history

“I thought we dominated the first half, but we made one mistake and Old Dominion capitalized on it,” head coach Kevin Sherry said. “The team came off at halftime and they were down. We went through some tactical changes because we were playing from behind now.

“Just before they went out [for the second half], their body language was not good. We reminded them that they are not going to achieve anything if they are not going to fight. You just have to fight and work. That is what they did and it all paid off.”

The back line for LA Tech was stout throughout much of the first half. Through the first 40 minutes of action, they had only allowed one total shot by No. 5 seed Old Dominion (9-5-4).

However, the Monarchs converted on their second shot attempt of the match which came in the 44th minute when Emma Gervase sent a lob pass inside the top of the box to Iris Achterhof who got position on her defender and made a strong finish inside the far post.

LA Tech had a few scoring opportunities in the first period with a couple of free kicks and a couple of corner kicks, but none of them resulted in a goal which put the team down 1-0 at the halfway point.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Kgoale sent a dart at net, but the opposing keeper made a diving save to her right to keep the Lady Techsters off the scoreboard.

Not a lot of action happened in LA Tech’s attacking third from then on. That was until the 61st minute when great combination passing ultimately led to a corner kick that was taken by Jaelyn Peeples.

The sophomore sent the cross to the far post where it was headed back into traffic by Elizabeth Doll. The ball was deflected, then controlled by Kgoale who sent it into the back of the net for the equalizer (sixth goal of the season).

LA Tech flipped the scoreboard around only 96 seconds later when Kgoale received a pass and dribbled forward before sending a rocket from 25 yards out. The ball deflected off the keeper’s hand and then off the crossbar.

Charging in came Dages who headed it into the net off the rebound for her team-leading 11th goal of the season (tied for the fourth most in program history).

“All during the game as we changed systems or people, we kept edging Nomvula a bit more forward,” Sherry said. “She was literally playing as a striker when she scored and assisted. We even played her in the back when Lizzie came off with a bloody nose. She was a rock star today.”

The Monarchs made a furious attempt late to tie the match up in regulation. They produced a corner kick and two shot attempts in the final two minutes but the Lady Techsters held on.

“The team supported each other and encouraged each other through thick and thin,” Sherry said. “Win or lose, I was so proud of them. Being the second time we have won a tournament game, they are really deserving of it. I am really happy that they have something to be cheerful and proud about. It was hot conditions and they pushed through all the way to the end to get us across the line.”

LA Tech had an 8-6 shot advantage over ODU in the match. The Monarchs took four corner kicks to the Lady Techsters two.

Junior goalkeeper Courtney Tompkins, making her first start in net after missing three matches due to injury, needed only one save to register her eighth win of the season.

LA Tech will now face No. 8 seed Charlotte who upset No. 1 Rice in the quarterfinals. The two teams will square off on Friday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. CT. Fans can watch a free live stream of the match on CUSA.tv.

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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