Second Half Rally Leads Soccer to 2-2 Draw
THIBODAUX, La. -- After being down by two goals at halftime, the resilient Southern Miss women's soccer team rallied back to tie Nicholls, 2-2, in double overtime on Friday afternoon in Thibodaux, La.
It was the third straight double overtime game for Southern Miss, who remains unbeaten with a 1-0-2 record to start the 2015 season. The school record for overtime games in a season was set in 2013 with eight.
The Colonels came out strong in the first half, scoring two goals within a five-minute stretch. In the 21st minute, senior forward Spencer Valdespino scored on an assist from senior midfielder Jess Coates. Five minutes later, the pair combined again for another goal by Valdespino.
Southern Miss got on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute when true freshman Mark Kate Smith scored on assist from fellow freshman Ashleigh Lewis-Shodeinde. It was Smith's first career goal and Lewis-Shodeinde's first career assist for the Golden Eagles.
The momentum stayed with the Golden Eagles as they scored again just six minutes later. In the 58th minute, true freshman Aisa Ribbens hit a long shot over the head of Nicholls goalkeeper Haley Golden. This was also the first career goal for the rookie Ribbens.
Despite being outshot by Nicholls 14-to-10, the Golden Eagles proved to have better scoring opportunities. Southern Miss led the game in shots on goal with seven, and forced the Nicholls goalkeeper to make five saves.
Depth continues to be an offensive advantage for the Golden Eagles, who had seven different players record shots in the match. Smith, Hannah Abrams and Becky McMullan each recorded two shots, while Ribbens, Ola Akinniyi, Kierstin Bradley and Adriana Garcia added one a piece.
Southern Miss junior goalkeeper Brittany Taylor notched her second straight 110-minute game, making four saves against a tough Nicholls offense. Taylor's performance adds to a stellar career at Southern Miss, where she is already in the record books for total career saves (205), career wins and career goals against average.
The Golden Eagles are back in Hattiesburg on Sunday against Louisiana-Lafayette at the Southern Miss Soccer Complex. The game kicks off at 1:00 p.m. and the first 100 fans will receive a Russell drawstring bag.