After losing to Southeastern Louisiana last weekend 2-1 on the road, the Southern Miss soccer team got back to its winning ways, defeating Arkansas State 1-0 in double-overtime Sunday afternoon at the USM Soccer Complex.
Through two periods and the first overtime, the game was deadlocked at 0-0.
In terms of shots, both teams tied for seven total shots during the first period. However, in the second period, Arkansas State edged Southern Miss in shots, hitting nine to the Lady Eagles eight.
In overtime, the Red Wolves produced two shots in comparison to Southern Miss’ none. Tayler Carter and Crystal Zeledon each contributed a shot but it was not enough for Arkansas State to earn a goal for the afternoon.
In double-overtime, the Lady Eagles (3-4) scored the game-winning goal in the 102nd minute of the game. Missy Wentz made a forward pass to Andrea Rivera. From there, Rivera went one-on-one with Red Wolves goalkeeper to get the game-winning goal for Southern Miss.
After the game, Rivers replayed the game-winning goal scenario saying she felt pretty amazing after getting her first goal.
“All that was going through my head was ‘don’t miss,’” Rivera said. “Missy was to keep making that run because it was working. I did it and when she passed me the ball all that was going through my mind was doing it in practice and getting it to the far post.”
Rivera, a freshman, recorded the first goal of her career while Wentz recorded her first assist for the season.
For the game, both teams finished closely in the number of shots taken. Southern Miss recorded 17 shots with eight on the goal while Arkansas State (2-5) finished with 18, including seven on the goal. Ashley Johnson led the Lady Eagles in shots, recording six followed by Breann Hardin with three.
Jenna Duerst, Samhia Simeo and Mykel Ward all recorded three shots for the Red Wolves.
Defensively, Southern Miss goalkeeper Shelbi Presnell recorded six saves, earning her first collegiate victory in a complete-game shutout. The Golden Eagles tallied one team save. As for the Red Wolves, Sara Wicks recorded seven saves.
“Arkansas State is a good team – top two or three in their league,” said USM head coach Mohammed El-Zare. “It is a great result for us going forward and building some confidence. I am really proud of the team. We worked on some things the last 10 days and they came in today and executed what we had been working on and I am really excited about that.”
El-Zare also said the win was a great confidence builder for the defense as well.
This week, Southern Miss will travel to face Alabama A&M University Friday in Huntsville, Alabama. Game time is set for 4 p.m.