LA Tech Comes from Behind, Twice, to Win OT Thriller

RUSTON – The Louisiana Tech soccer team came into its seventh match this season having never trailed.

They trailed twice on Friday night in their home opener.  And not only were the Lady Techsters able to equalize both times, the team ended up getting a golden goal by Connor Barker deep into the second overtime period to pull out a 3-2 thriller over McNeese State at Ruston Junior High School.

McNeese State’s (2-2-0) Havana Johnson scored on both goals for the Cowgirls to give them leads of 1-0 and 2-1.  However, it was Autumn Woodard and Quinn Parks who netted the equalizers, followed by Barker’s game-winner in the 106th minute on a hot and humid night at LA Tech’s (7-0-0) temporary home.

“I was very appreciative of everyone taking the time and effort to be here,” said head coach Kevin Sherry.  “We had a slow start, but the fans got behind us and helped us.

“You always have to believe you can come back.  It was just two silly defensive mistakes.  We knew if we corrected those errors, we could continue to create chances.  I was confident we could come back.”

The Cowgirls dominated possession through the first 20 minutes of the match and jumped on the scoreboard first in the 21st minute when Johnson sent a shot from 20 yards out at the far post.

The score would remain 1-0 in favor of the visiting team at halftime, but LA Tech’s adjustments paid off five minutes deep into the second half when Alexandra LeBlanc found space on the left side and sent a left-footed cross to the top of the keeper box where Woodard headed in the equalizer.

With the goal, the sophomore transfer and reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week made it six straight games with finding the back of the net.  It was also her team-leading ninth goal on the team.

The tie was short-lived though for the Lady Techsters as the Cowgirls’ Johnson again gave them the lead after controlling a cross and finishing low at the far post in the 56th minute.

The second equalizer would come in the 72nd minute when Kaylee Zettler controlled the ball in traffic and passed it off to Quinn Parks at the top of the box.  The freshman deposited the ball into the low right corner to knot it up at 2-2.

Johnson nearly made it a hat trick with just over five minutes left in regulation, scoring a goal from short range, but she was whistled for being offside and the match would head into overtime, the first OT of the season for both teams.

And both teams had multiple chances in the first and second OT periods, but the match ended in the 106th minute when Woodard made a long run down the right flank.  She crossed it into the 18 where Barker flicked the one-touch finish past the keeper.

“What a great goal to win the game,” said Sherry.  “We talked to Autumn and Connor about playing to their strengths.  When you get the ball, don’t look to play pretty.  Get your head down and just go.  That is exactly what Autumn did.  When one striker moves, the other striker moves with her, and that is exactly what Connor did.  What a great cross and a finish.”

Another program record was set as this marked the ninth straight home victory for the Lady Techsters, dating back to last season.

LA Tech held a slim 15-14 shot advantage and totaled nine corner kicks.  Freshman goalkeeper Tuva Sallvin subbed into the game in the 61st minute and provided three big saves for her second win in net.

The team will head back out on the road on Sunday, Sept. 8.  They will travel to the state of Alabama to take on Montevallo with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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