Sept. 26, 2013
RUSTON - The much-anticipated Conference USA season starts on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. with Louisiana Tech opening up on the road against Tulsa at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium.
This marks the first ever match for LA Tech (5-4-1) in C-USA which opens its 19th season of women's soccer competition on Friday with all 16 teams squaring off in league action.
"The ladies are excited," head coach Kevin Sherry said. "This level of soccer is very physical with a lot of direct long balls and fouls. The non-conference schedule has helped the team prepare for this level of play, but nothing compares to the real thing."
With the challenges ahead, the team preparation has been on everyone being in sync and not relying on just the back line to defend and the forwards to attack.
Kathryn Sloan was the key contributor on offense in the early part of the season, scoring four of the team's first six goals in the first seven matches.
Lately though, it has been an entire team effort in putting the ball in the net with goals from Hannah Dauzat, Taylor Dennis, Jessica Harmon, Erica Stewart and Nicole Jaquemet. This type of all-around effort will be crucial in facing one of the strongest teams in the league on the road.
"The team accepts the challenge and will do everything they can to overcome the challenge," Sherry said. "The potential of this young team is limitless, but we must seek ways to help the team be competitive while they learn and develop."
The opponent Tulsa (6-3) enters the match having just come off a California road swing that saw them drop a 1-0 decision to Cal State Northridge, but the Golden Hurricane bounced back to defeat UC Riverside by the same score.
Picked fourth in the preseason poll and currently ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Central Region, Tulsa has only allowed six goals all season for a .565 goals against average which ranks 45th in the country.
Three of those six goals came in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to No. 13 Penn State who scored the game-winner with only 20 seconds left in regulation.
Midfielder/forward Bradi Hinch anchors the squad with a team-high five goals, averaging an impressive .769 shots on goal percentage.
This will be the first of 10 C-USA matchups this season with LA Tech playing all seven teams in the west division, including Tulsa, and three teams from the east division.
The top five from each division will advance to the Conference USA tournament to be hosted by Rice in Houston, Texas on Nov. 6-10.
Links to live video and stats can be found on the team schedule page.
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.