Southern Miss’ women’s soccer team tied Nicholls State 2-2 on Friday in double overtime and fell to UL-Lafayette Sunday, 2-1, in heartbreaking fashion.
Against Nicholls, the Golden Eagles started out sluggishly and allowed Nicholls to rush out to a 2-0 lead at halftime. But, the Golden Eagles came out with a sense of urgency and tallied two goals in the second period, the first by Mark Kate Smith in the 52nd minute. It was Smith’s first career goal.
The second goal came by way of Asia Ribbens, who sent one over the head of the Nicholls goalkeeper in the 58th minute. Both teams held tight and played conservatively, even in both overtimes. The game ended in a tie and would be the highlight of the weekend for the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss hoped to turn things around against the Ragin’ Cajuns, but were let down early as the Ragin’ Cajuns scored in the seventh minute of the game to quickly go up 1-0.
Southern Miss had many opportunities in the first half, but just could not find the back of the net. They had nine shots on goal in the first half.
Despite not holding much possession, the Ragin’ Cajuns managed to net another goal in the 36th minute after a chip shot from 25 yards out that skimmed the fingertips of USM goalkeeper Brittany Taylor and went into the net.
USM continued their aggressive offensive approach in the second half with eight shots on goal, but were still stymied. However, Asia Ribbens scored her second goal of the weekend after a free kick edged the Ragin’ Cajuns defense.
Despite their resiliency and second half surge, the Golden Eagles could not overcome the two-goal deficit and ultimately lost.
Golden Eagles head coach Mohammed El-Zare said he was proud of the fight his team showed, but that they need more of the energy they had in the second half to show up in the first half.
“We have to have a little more patience in the first 15 to 20 minutes,” El-Zare said.
“We have to be able to hold the opponent off a little longer and slow the game down and that comes with playing the game more and having experience.”
The Golden Eagles will return to the soccer pitch to play at Southern University on Friday at 6 p.m. The Golden Eagles next home game will be September