Oct. 25, 2012
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech (12-2-4) soccer team has already clinched a spot in the WAC Tournament, but there is still plenty on the line versus San Jose State (5-11-1) tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium as the Lady Techsters are still fighting for seeding.
The Spartans lead the all-time series 5-1-1 with last year's match also coming in the Bay area of California where San Jose State came out on top 2-0. The lone win by LA Tech came two years ago when, in dramatic fashion, the Lady Techsters tied the game at 4-4 with 30 seconds remaining on a Scotti Culton penalty kick. Then five minutes into the first overtime period, Kiva Gresham completed the hat trick by scoring the golden goal.
Head coach Kevin Sherry and Co. will be looking for the program's first ever win at San Jose State, and have been hard at work this week in practice to try to correct the mistakes made in the 2-1 loss this past Sunday to Idaho, their first loss in 12 matches.
"We have been working on speed of play and defending one versus one," said Sherry. "I have noticed the other teams in the conference have recruited good dribblers of the ball and we need work on our game to cancel this threat. San Jose State likes to get the ball from back to front very quickly so we need to be ready to take advantage of the spaces on the field once we win possession."
The Lady Techsters will also be looking to get off to a quicker start to the match that will be aided by the playing turf inside Spartan Stadium. This will only be the second match this season that the team will not be playing on natural grass which can create in-game issues.
"Playing on turf makes the game much faster," said Sherry. "The ball skids along the floor and mantains its speed longer. The players need to adapt their weight of pass and through balls accordingly.
"Two other major issues are playing where the stadium walls are very close to the side lines and it is very confusing to know which lines are for football and which are for soccer."
LA Tech currently sits in third place in the WAC standings with a 3-1-2 conference record and will rely on their aggressive players Emily Brennan, Laura LeFevour and Brittany Beddow to stay on the attack.
Meanwhile, head coach Jeff Leightman and the Spartans will be pumped up as they are in need of a victory to have a shot at making the tournament to be held in Logan, Utah. They are currently eighth in the standings with a 2-5-0 showing. Offensively they are led by Mikaella Miebock who has two goals and five assists on the year.
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.