Soccer Experiences Highs and Lows of First C-USA Season


 

 

Dec. 10, 2013

RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech soccer team experienced many highs and lows in 2013 which was predictable with a roster of 18 freshmen and only one senior.

Despite the vast amount of youth and inexperience, the Lady Techsters came together to produce a 9-10-1 record and came within one win of reaching the Conference USA tournament in their first season in the competitive league.

"This season was a big learning curve for the players and coaches," said head coach Kevin Sherry about the transition into Conference USA. "This season showed us exactly what we are up against and what we need to improve on if we wish to be competitive at this level.

"Having so many freshmen play last season will prove a benefit for the program in two or three seasons. The experience they gained is invaluable. This offseason is a great opportunity to prepare physically, mentally, technically and tactically for next fall."

Struggles offensively hindered the team during the non-conference stretch. However, when C-USA play began the team started to click.

The first ever C-USA win came at home in a 2-0 shutout victory over Marshall on Oct. 4.

After dropping a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in overtime to FIU, a match that saw LA Tech hold two separate leads, the Techsters reeled off three straight shutout wins over Middle Tennessee, UTEP and Southern Miss.

A win at home versus Rice in the season finale would have gotten Tech into the league tournament, but they fell 3-0.

Lone senior Caitlin Updyke was the anchor in goal all year, earning second team All-Conference USA as well as Team Player of the Year honors for her performance.

The Broomfield, Colo. native registered four league shutouts and tallied a career-high 12 saves against eventual C-USA champs Colorado College before succumbing to a double overtime loss to the Tigers.

 

 

By season's end, Updyke racked up 85 saves, the most ever in a single season by the senior.

Leading the team offensively was freshman striker Kathryn Sloan who was chosen as the Team Offensive Player of the Year. She recorded team-highs in goals (seven), points (15), shots on goal (22) and game-winning goals (three).

Sophomore Brittany Beddow took home Team Midfield Player of the Year. The Keller, Texas native tied for most assists (four) and led the team in shots (41).

The freshman duo of Charity Simmons and Marjolein Timmermans shared Team Defense Player of the Year honors.

The two combined for three goals and were staples of a backline that recorded nine shutouts on the season.

Laura LeFevour and Erica Stewart shared the coveted Team Award which goes to the player who best reflects the team culture of service, passion, respect and fearless.

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.