- Staff Reporter
- Autumn Woodard netted her program-record 14th goal that was the game winner (photo credit – Donny Crowe)
RUSTON – If there was an award for “Most Adaptable” women’s soccer team, Louisiana Tech would make a good case for winning it.
Forced to play at another new home venue – James Field at Hoss Garrett Stadium on the campus of Ruston High School – the Lady Techsters overcame the adversity and took down the Florida Atlantic Owls by a final score of 1-0 in overtime on Friday afternoon.
It was a tale of two halves as LA Tech (10-1-1, 2-1 C-USA) had the better scoring opportunities in the first half, but defending C-USA champion FAU (8-3-0, 2-1 C-USA) flipped the script and controlled much of possession for the second period.
Regardless, the match was scoreless after regulation and went into overtime. And it was Autumn Woodard who came up big, netting the golden goal as the Lady Techsters ended the top-20 RPI Owls six-game winning streak.
“We only practiced here once so it was almost like a road game to us,” said head coach Kevin Sherry. “To be honest, we seem to be getting used to all of the changes. It is good character building for us and it showed in the game, especially in the first half when we were outstanding.
“We should have scored in the first half. Once we started getting tired, the momentum definitely shifted in FAU’s favor. But, we were able to stand tall, hang in there and then what a great ball by Klesha and a great ball by Autumn.”
Two of LA Tech’s best scoring chances came in the first 15 minutes. One was in the 11th minute when Connor Barker ran onto the ball and had a 1v1 opportunity with the opposing keeper, but her chip was off target.
Then in the 14th minute, Sophie Fijneman had a free kick from just outside the box, but the shot sailed over the crossbar. LA Tech ended up having a 5-3 shot advantage in the first half, but that completely changed in the second half.
The Owls totaled eight shots in the second 45-minute period, four of those coming on goal, but Carlotta Cartelli saved every one of them, including a lethal close range shot by Mary O’Hara who had a total of six shots on her own.
The first part of overtime was much of the same with the ball staying in the Owls’ attacking third for the majority of it. However, in the 99th minute Klesha Darroux sent a long ball that was run on by Woodard.
The striker was able to split the two center backs, take a touch and then drill the shot inside the far post past the diving keeper for the game-winner. Not only was it a golden goal that gave LA Tech another three points in conference play, but it was goal No. 14 for the sophomore which is a new single-season program record.
FAU finished with a 14-7 shot advantage and a 3-1 advantage on corner kicks. Cartelli got her fifth win of the season in net and her second shutout, tallying six saves in the process.
Along with Cartelli, Alexandra LeBlanc, Elizabeth Doll, Jaelyn Peeples and Kaylee Zettler played the entire match.
LA Tech returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 6 when they battle FIU at home. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
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Article sourced from provided press release.