Missed Opportunities Prove Costly
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss soccer tallied 16 shots, including seven shots on goal, but dropped a 2-1 decision to Nicholls on Friday evening at the Southern Miss Soccer Complex.
"It is very heartbreaking for the girls," head coach Mohammed El-Zare said after the game. "That is the way the game is. You can play well, create chances and the other team capitalizes on opportunities and they win. That is soccer. If you look at the box score, we had opportunities, but we were unable to capitalize on opportunities and they did.
"I am proud of the girls," El-Zare added. "They really played good soccer. They moved the ball and created chances. Our youthfulness showed a little bit, but it is part of the growing process. I would have liked to have won the game, but there are a lot of positives to take from the game. Hopefully, we can get better every game. That is what we are about right now, getting better with each game."
Southern Miss collected 16 shots in the game, while Nicholls notched 10 shots. The Golden Eagles took seven shots on goal compared to five by the Colonels. The Black and Gold had six corner kick opportunities, five more than Nicholls.
Five different Golden Eagles combined for 16 shots on the day. Ashley Johnson and Breann Hedin led the team with four shots apiece, while Brooke Hendrix and Beth Coleman each added three shots. Becky McMullan took a pair of shots, which were both on goal. McMullan converted one shot for a goal - her first collegiate goal. Hedin was credited with the assist for her first point of the season.
Sophomore goalie Brittany Taylor worked a complete game, notching three saves and surrendering a pair of goals. Nicholls' counterpart Taylor Mosley earned the victory, allowing one goal and notching six saves.
Southern Miss was the first to scratch the scoreboard, netting a goal in the sixth minute. Hedin sent the ball into traffic. McMullan came away with the ball, splitting the defenders. She fired a shot past a diving goalkeeper, putting the ball into the back of the net.
Nicholls knotted the game in the 38th minute. The Colonels' Kristy Tatom took a pass from Kaitlyn Caro and chipped it over the goalie's head from the middle of the box.
Less than two minutes later, Caro sent a pass to the front of the box where Kirstie Champagne was able to come down with the ball. She sent a low shot into the bottom right corner of the goal, giving the visitors a 2-1 advantage.
The two teams went into halftime with Nicholls leading 2-1. In the second half, Southern Miss took 13 shots, including six shots on goal, but were unable to sneak a ball past Mosley. The Nicholls' keeper recorded each of her six saves in the second half.
Southern Miss returns to the pitch on Sunday afternoon as the Golden Eagles host Mississippi Valley State. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. and admission to the game is free. On Sunday, the game is designated as "Block Out the Delta Devils" and the first 100 fans receive a pair of Southern Miss sunglasses.