Sep 5, 2013
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech soccer team heads south this weekend to take on two in-state foes along I-10 beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. versus UL-Lafayette and on Sunday at 1 p.m. against McNeese State.
LA Tech (1-3-1) is coming off an appearance in the Trojan Classic tournament where they notched their first win of the season, a 2-0 shutout of Troy, and suffered a hard-fought 1-0 loss to South Alabama.
This young squad made up of 17 freshmen has been learning on the job, going from high school and club soccer to NCAA Division-1 level competition. However, head coach Kevin Sherry strongly feels as though they are starting to find their feet.
"The freshmen have been confronted with many difficult challenges and this has given the coaching staff an opportunity to assess each of them so as to determine how we can get the best out of them as we move forward," said Sherry. "We are very happy with their progress so far and the players are enjoying the challenge. The team spirit is amazing, the best we have ever seen in the history of the program."
With only two goals to their credit so far this season, one each by freshman strikers Kathryn Sloan and Kailee Hervey, the emphasis on practice this week has been on fundamental skills and decision-making when in possession.
There has been a lot of improvement across the board in these two areas, especially the essential area of ball striking, but it is necessary for the Lady Techsters to repeat these techniques this weekend starting with the Ragin' Cajuns.
UL-Lafayette (1-2-2) is led by Scot Wieland who is in his ninth season as head coach. Freshman striker Annika Schmidt leads the team with four goals, three of which came in a hat trick versus Northwestern State.
Friday's meeting will be only the second time the two teams meet on the soccer field. The first time was in 2004, the inaugural season of LA Tech soccer.
On the other hand, this will be the sixth battle against McNeese State (3-1) with the Lady Techsters holding a slim 3-2 advantage after shutting out the Cowgirls last season in Ruston 1-0.
Scooter Savoie, in his 16th season at the helm, recently earned his 100th career win with a 1-0 victory over UL-Monroe. The Cowgirls have netted 15 goals this season so far.
"In-state games are always tough because of the local rivalries and regional school pride," said Sherry. "The games will probably be very physical and frantic. However, this is a good learning environment for our team because they need to learn how to handle this intensity and find a way to make good decisions during the match and find a way to play our brand of soccer."
Follow the links on the schedule page for live video and stats for both matches.
For complete coverage of LA Tech Soccer, please follow @LATechSOC on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.