STARKVILLE, Miss. – It was a challenging weekend to say the least for the Louisiana Tech soccer team.
It started with their Friday match being stopped at halftime due to lightning. Then the team's bus broke down in route to Starkville, Mississippi, stranding the team for almost four hours until a replacement bus came. Then there was an 80-minute lightning delay at the start of Sunday's match.
LA Tech and Mississippi State was scoreless at halftime, but the undefeated Bulldogs used three second-half goals to come out on top, 3-0, at the MSU Soccer Field.
"We had one hour of great defensive organization," head coach Kevin Sherry
said. "MSU is a very powerful and fast team. We learned a lot about how to step up against such an opponent who are similar to teams in our conference. We did get a couple of good looks to score but delayed a second too long to take it."
The Lady Techsters, playing without starting defender Elizabeth Doll
, held strong defensively for the first 45 minutes against the potent offensive attack of MSU (7-0-0) who is just outside the top 25 national rankings.
The backline remained solid through the first part of the second period as well. That was until the ball bounced the way of the Bulldogs.
The opponent's fourth corner kick came in the 61st minute which resulted in the first goal. The free kick was sent into the 18 where the ball bounced around in traffic until Brooke McKee controlled it with her chest and punched the shot into the net from close range.
It was a tough break six minutes later as well when the Bulldogs' Courtney Robicheaux sent a long-distance shot from the left wing on target, but the ball went through the hands of goalkeeper Courtney Tompkins
MSU tacked on its third and final goal in the 68th minute. The right bounce went the way of the home team as Tompkins came off her line where the ball deflected right to Niah Johnson who sent the shot into the open net from the top of the 18.
LA Tech (7-2-0) was only able to generate five shot attempts with one coming on goal by Alexandra LeBlanc
. Tompkins, playing against her former team, registered a season-high seven saves in the contest.
The Lady Techsters will look to start a new winning streak after having a week off before they begin Conference USA action. The first league test will come on Sunday, Sept. 16 at UAB with kickoff set for 1 p.m.
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