By: LSU-Shreveport Athletics
MOBILE, AL (LSU-Shreveport Athletics) – The LSUS Women’s Soccer team kicked off their season tonight in Mobile, Alabama against the University of Mobile. A hard fought game from both sides eventually finished in a 1-1 draw as both teams move to 0-0-1 on the young season.
The Rams got on the board first as Cecilie Esbak Pedersen found the back of the net in the 21st minute of action. Pedersen connected on a long ball well outside the 18 to give the Rams the early lead heading into halftime.
“It took us some time to work ourselves into the game,” said LSUS Head Coach Mark Matlock. “They were able to score a good goal from distance.”
The Pilots did not let up, however. They battled defensively after allowing the goal and kept finding themselves with opportunities on the offensive end. In the 70th minute, a ball was sent inside by Joana Villanova (SR/Mogi-Mirin, Sao Paulo, Brazil), deflected off the foot of a Rams defender and found its way to Chelsea Brown (SO/Sulphur, Louisiana) who put it in the back of the night for her first goal of the season to tie the match at one.
“We made some adjustments at halftime to try and push a few numbers forward and it helped us create more chances,” said Coach Matlock. “Joana played a nice ball across the goal and Chelsea was able to get on the end of it and poke it past the keeper.”
The Pilots were able to play excellent defense down the stretch in regulation, holding off eight Mobile shot attempts. Karolyn Hasler (SR/Chandler, Arizona) was huge as she totaled two important saves in the second half to go along with two in the first.
The Pilots had one last opportunity in regulation with a corner kick in the 83rd minute by Ameris Taylor (SO/Ocean Springs, Mississippi). Taylor sent a good ball in but the Rams were able to hold off the set, keeping the score tied at one and eventually sending the match to overtime.
In the first overtime period, both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm. The Pilots got one shot attempt off from Taylor, but the ball sailed high. The Rams had a shot miss wide with two minutes remaining, sending the game to the second and final overtime period.
In the second overtime, it was the Rams who threatened to walk off winners, but Hasler came up with two more huge saves to keep things tied. Hasler finished the match with six saves.
“I felt that the rest of the game and through the overtime periods we were the better team and had a few good chances to win the game,” continued Matlock. “I was very proud of our response after being down and our work ethic as a team. The mentality and energy from the ladies to close the game was awesome to see.”
The Pilots will be back in action on Saturday as they take on No. 2 William Carey, last season’s national runner-up, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at 11 a.m. CT.