The Golden Eagle’s offensive dominance set a tone that kept ULM on their heels throughout the game.
The Golden Eagles kicked off their home opener on Friday with a impressive 1-0 win over the Warhawks. The Golden Eagles avenged their loss from last season against the Warhawks and extended their all-time series lead to 4 -1.
The Golden Eagles offense played roughly thirty minutes on ULM’s side of the field which led to constant pressure on their defense. In the first half ,the Golden Eagle offense compiled seven shots and took six corner kicks. Notably, Ola Akinniyi had a crucial shot just tapping the post.
“It’s exciting for us to open our season with a win exciting for us and our fans” said coach Mohammed El-Zare. “They stuck to the gameplan and played collective soccer.”
The second half of the game would be just as dominant as the first. Within 15 minutes of the second half, Bri Schubeck and Akinniyi blew past the defense and set themselves for a classic two on one match against the Warhawk goalie. Akinniyi would pass it to Scubeck who fired a laser to the unprepared goalie, scoring the lone goal for Southern Miss.
The Southern Miss offense would outshoot the Warhawks on a 15-5 ratio. The defense, much like the offense, showed a superior performance and kept Britney Taylor and Kelley Brahmbhatt’s jobs to just three saves each, despite five corner kicks.
“We need to recover and do the things that we need to do in the next 24 hours mentally and physically,” El-Zare said. “We want to be more organized in terms of not giving the ball up easily.”
For the second game in a row, the Golden Eagles went to deep into the bench, all of whom had solid performances. El-Zare went on to say, “It’s a good sign since this is a young team. We have a lot of freshman and sophomores and it’s exciting to see that everyone is contributing.”
After capturing the second win on the season, the Golden Eagles traveled east to take on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on the road at 1 p.m Sunday.
To keep their undefeated streak alive, the Golden Eagles stormed back from being down 1-0 in the first half coming back to score two goals for the 2-1 win.
In the first half the Golden Eagles found themselves on their heels as Celine Rumpf scored in the first minutes of the game to give the Ragin’ Cajuns an early 1-0 lead. For the rest of the half, the Golden Eagles would find themselves defending the ULL attack.
The defense managed to hold off five corner kicks while goalie Brittany Taylor stayed busy holding off four more shots.
In the second half the Golden Eagles came out more determined by adjusting their game plan.
Last week’s C-USA Defensive Player of the Week Beth Coleman started the Golden Eagle rally by scoring the first goal in the 53rd minute. Ten minutes later, Becky McMullan nailed a 15-yard shot to give the Golden Eagles the 2-1 lead in the 64th minute. The Golden Eagles offensive stats nearly doubled totaling to 15 shots and six corners.
Coach El-Zare’s strategy of going deep into his bench proved to work and continues to show the talent in his bench. The fresh legs may have been the turning point for the Golden Eagles since ULL only made three substitutions.
The Golden Eagles look to stay undefeated as they travel to Alcorn State at 4 p.m. on Friday.