Sept. 1, 2011
RUSTON, La. - This weekend the Louisiana Tech women's soccer team travels to Jacksonville, Ala. to play in the adidas Gamecock Soccer Classic. The Lady Techsters will face off against Tennessee Tech on Friday at 5 p.m. and Jacksonville State, the tournament hosts, on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with both games being played on JSU Soccer Field.
This will be the first in-season tournament for the Lady Techsters since 2008 when they beat Alabama A&M and Troy at the Troy Trojans Soccer Classic.
Going into the tournament, LA Tech will be playing with a slight disadvantage as head coach Kevin Sherry will not be able to bring his full travel roster.
"We are only able to bring 18 of the 20 that we would normally bring on a road trip because of injuries," said Sherry. "It is going to be like this all season, so to see how we cope with the situation will be interesting."
The Lady Techsters have shutout four of their first five opponents, with McNeese State being the only team to find the back of the net against LA Tech. Sophomore Caitlin Updyke (Broomfield, Colo.) is credited with three of shutouts and the fourth going to the team when all three goalkeepers saw action against LSU-Shreveport.
Updyke's three wins this season gives her 17 for her career which also ties her with teammate senior Cat Buchanan (Shawnee, Kan.) for the most in the program's history.
LA Tech has had a balanced offensive attack this season with 10 players scoring at least one goal. Senior Olivia Lukasewich (Woodbridge, Ontario), sophomore Emily Brennan (Plano, Texas) and freshman Abby Sentz (Kingwood, Texas) lead the team with two apiece.
Sophomore Taylor Dennis (Albuquerque, N.M.) paces the Lady Techsters with three assists and is also tied for the team lead in points with Brennan and Lukasewich at five apiece.
The balanced attack has come about from trying to find players that can be constant scoring threats.
"We have had to move players around to try to find something that works," Sherry stated. "Defenders have been moved up front and midfielders have been moved around as well."
LA Tech leads the series between the two schools 1-0 after winning 3-2 in double overtime on a goal from Kiva Gresham in the 101st minute in Cookeville, Tenn.
TTU enters the weekend with a 2-2-0 record after defeating East Tennessee State (2-1) and UNC-Asheville (4-1) last weekend on the road. The Golden Eagles started the 2011 season with two losses at home to Chattanooga (2-1) and Belmont (3-1).
Sarah Gawthrop, Kerri Reid and Jacquie Watkins have each scored two goals to lead the team. In goal, Becca Toler has stopped 20 shots and started all four games for TTU.
Last season the Lady Techsters defeated the Gamecocks 3-0 in Ruston in the only other meeting between the two schools.
JSU begins the tournament with a 0-4-0 record with all of the games being on the road. One defeat was by a single goal in double overtime and the other three losses coming by two goals.
Last weekend the Gamecocks fell to South Alabama and Southern Mississippi, the first two opponents that LA Tech played to begin the year. The Lady Techsters beat South Alabama 4-0 and played to a scoreless draw against Southern Miss.
Courtney Hurt paces the team with 10 shots, two of them on goal. Katelyn Geddings and Ali Koenig have both appeared in all four games in goal, started two games apiece and have stopped 13 and 14 shots, respectively.
Live stats will not be available for any of the games this weekend. Fans can get a full recap of the game at LATechSports.com, the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics, and follow sports information contact Phillip Pongratz on twitter, www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz, for the latest and most current news.