The Golden Eagles closed their season on a high note with a 3-2 victory over UAB. The squad ends the season 5-11-3, while going 3-7-0 in Conference USA.
Juniors Breann Hedin and Somer Jones led the way. The duo accounted for all of the Golden Eagles’ goals.
Jones scored off an assist from freshman Mary Kate Smith at the 2:44 mark for her third goal of the season. The assist was Smith’s third of the season as well. The goal gave USM an early lead over the Blazers.
UAB quickly looked to even the score following the Southern Miss goal. Senior midfielder Paige Hanks capitalized on a scoring opportunity to even the score at 1-1.
Nearing the end of the first half, the Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard again in the 40th minute. Hedin scored once again, this time unassisted, for her first goal of the season.
Southern Miss led the first half in shots with seven, four shots on goal and two scores. While UAB attempted four shots on goal, which led to their only score of the half.
In the second half, the Golden Eagles struck again in the 53rd minute. Hedin scored her second goal of the game as Smith was credited with another assist bringing her season total to four.
The Blazers did not go away quietly, answering in the 65th minute, with a Hanks score.
At the 80-minute mark, Hedin nearly had a hat trick, when another one of her shots hit the post.
In the second half, Southern Miss defended six corners from the Blazers, with the help of junior Brittany Taylor’s five saves, held UAB scoreless on ten shots. Taylor ended the season with 98 total saves.
Freshman Kiersten Bradley led the Golden Eagles with five goals. Behind her was Jones with three goals. Smith led the team in assists with four on the season. Hedin only trailed by one for the team lead.
It was a season to forget for the Golden Eagles as they were shut out in 10 of their 19 games, including a six-game stretch without scoring a goal. They were outscored 28-18 on the season.
Head coach Mohammed El-Zare praised his team, though. “The young group has grown tremenously over this short time,” he said. “I’ve had a blast coaching these girls and watching them improve. Finishing the season with a win against UAB confirms a lot of the work that we’ve done, and finishing as a high up in the standings is important for building the confidence of the team.”