LaShaundra Hildreth scored Louisiana Tech's first two goals of its 2004 inaugural season and put the Lady Techster soccer squad up 2-0 over Belhaven College, but the Blazers fought back to end the game tied with Tech at 2-2 on the Lady Techster Soccer Field on Friday.
The knot marks Tech's first-ever tie, and Tech's head coach Jen Soileau could not have been prouder of her team's effort.
"Our girls played a great game today, and they gave all they had," Soileau said. "It feels good to tie a team like this, and our girls are excited. We played hard for 90 minutes. I just wish we could've come away with the win."
The Blazers (5-5-1) out-shot Tech 15-4 in the first period, but Tech's (0-8-1) stingy defense kept Belhaven out of the nets. With fresh legs entering the second period, Hildreth electrified the 275 fans in attendance with Tech's first goal in program history and her first career goal only 59 seconds into the period.
Then, only one minute and nine seconds later, Hildreth struck again with a 35-yard bullet from the right side of the field into the upper-left corner of the net.
Suddenly, after not scoring a goal in their previous eight games, the Lady Techsters found themselves up 2-0, and Soileau knew her freshman forward, Hildreth, was due for an outbreak in scoring.
"I'm so proud of LaShaundra (Hildreth)," Soileau said. "She's been so close to scoring all year, and it's nice to see her finally get a goal."
However, after Tech jumped ahead 2-0, 43 minutes remained in the contest, and the Lady Techsters found themselves running on fumes with a limited 15-player roster.
Belhaven threatened to score several times early in the second half and finally lit the scoreboard on a goal by Lisa Vidal in the 59th minute. The Lady Techsters' defense, led by freshman Keona Collins, clamped down over the course of the next twenty minutes and did not allow Belhaven to find a rhythm offensively.
Then, in the 81st minute, Belhaven tied the game with a goal by Jessica Salgado. The Blazers continued attacking throughout the remainder of regulation, but Collins and Tech's defense would not give up another goal.
The match endured two overtime periods, but neither team scored, resulting in a tie.
Belhaven out-shot the Lady Techsters 30-12 for the game, and 27 fouls were called in the gutsy battle both teams were determined to win - 15 fouls on the Blazers and 12 on Tech.
Tech's junior goalkeeper Jade Berbert recorded 10 saves in the contest and increased her total to 106 saves through nine games, allowing 39 goals on the season.
The Lady Techsters will play in Ruston on Oct. 20 for a visiting match against Grambling State University. The tentative site will be Ruston Junior High School at 4:30 p.m.
"Grambling is a tough, physical and fast team," Soileau said. "If we play as hard as we did today, we can win that game. We're a little beat up after this game, but if we recover, we'll give them a good match."