Colonels end record-breaking season

Lauren O'Brien
(Courtesy of Nicholls Athletics)

Staff Report

LAKE CHARLES — In the first postseason game since 2004, the Nicholls State University women’s soccer team fought hard in its rematch against Sam Houston State Thursday in the team’s opening match of the 2013 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament.

But a Bearkat goal in the 56th minute was the difference, ending the greatest season in Nicholls’ soccer history with a 1-0 loss in the quarterfinal round.

Nicholls ends the season with a program-best record of 12-6-2, the first winning season in team history and first double-digit winning season in the more than a dozen years that the program has been in existence.

The 2013 Southland Conference Soccer Player of the Year, Spencer Valdespino, led the Colonels with four shots, followed by three from former Morgan City High School soccer player Lauren O’Brien and two from Misty Tatom.

After the first contest where Nicholls was the more aggressive team, the Bearkats (9-10-1) outshot the Colonels 20-12, with Sam Houston State having eight shots on target to the Colonels’ four.

In the second half, the Bearkats outshot Nicholls 14-7, although the Colonels seemed to possess the ball for much of the half.

Nicholls goalie Amanda Boylson (7-4-2), the winningest goalie in a single-season in Nicholls history, played valiantly in net for the team as she stopped seven shots. Five of her saves came in the second period and kept the Bearkats off the board even though the opposing side had multiple chances to score.

In the 56th minute, after a foul, Sam Houston State kept the ball on the ground on the free kick and pushed it around the right side of the penalty area. Ashley Fluty found Allie Johnson on a cross to the other side and headed in the score for a 1-0 Sam Houston State lead.

Sam Houston’s Katie Ferrara led all players with five shots and three shots on goal, while Mariah Titus finished with five.

Seven Bearkats took shots for Sam Houston with six having no less than two shots.

Nicholls and the Bearkats played to a scoreless draw after a tense first half of play, as the two teams totaled 15 fouls and just 11 shots. It was a far cry from the first meeting between the two as they combined for three goals Sunday.

Sam Houston State outshot the Colonels in the first half 6-5, with two shots on goal for Sam Houston to Nicholls’ one.

Valdespino had two while Kristy Tatom had the other. Ferrara had all three shots for the Bearkats, both on goal.

The Bearkats also took three corner kicks in the half.

In the 22nd minute, Tatom broke away and got a one-on-one situation with the goalie. However, Tatom’s shot was wide left.

Late in the 31st minute, Boylson was peppered on consecutive shots by Ferrara, stopping both in succession to keep the Bearkats off the board and preserve the draw.

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