Coming off a hard-fought tie against Louisiana State Shreveport, the Southern University women’s soccer team were looking to end their out-of-conference play strong with a win versus the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Sunday, September 12. Speaking with the coach of the Jaguars pregame, Jeremy Fontenot predicted that if the Jaguars could keep the score low, their backline would create opportunities for the forwards and midfielders to score, “we feel great. This is one team we feel like we can compete against. Coming off a tie last Friday, I think we have improved, we had thirty-five shots then so now we just need to get it into the back of the net.”
Unfortunately, the Jaguars were unable to repeat the offensive production that they had seen the game prior. The first half was competitive and true to coach Fontenot’s game plan, although the number of shots and the time of possession were overwhelmingly in ULM’s favor. The first half saw about ten shot attempts for ULM with about three attempts for Southern.
The Jaguar’s stout defense and excellent goalkeeping by senior keeper, Chioma Eriken, kept the Warhawks to just two goals while a pass from sophomore, Alayla Jackson, allowed freshman, midfielder, Victoria Thomas, to juke out the Warhawk’s goalie for an easy goal. The half ended with a questionable offsides call that stopped a late, lady Jag’s advance. The half ended, 2-1 Warhawks, with Southern fans upset at the call.
“We could be a little more aggressive. We’ve missed a couple opportunities, a couple missed balls. I thought there was an offsides call that was questionable but we’ve been playing hard,” commented fan, Zavier Moore.
The second half saw much more of the same from both teams. The Lady Jag’s defense was unable to continue to withstand the constant pressure from the Warhawks, who started the second half much more physically than the first and, ultimately, defeated the Jaguars in a 6-1 route.
ULM won because they were able to beat the Southern defense, caching them out of position during rotations, with quick touches and accurate passes. The lack of offensive production also severely hampered Southern, with the ball spending the vast majority of the game on Southern’s side. The offense just wasn’t able to get it going versus ULM’s defense. “I think we started off well but we let the goals differentiate how we would continue the rest of the game. I believe that we could have fought harder,” said senior, center-back Miamour Mesa.
“We let up a lot of holes. But other than that, we played okay. We have two weeks before conference play so we need to fix some things so that we can show everyone that we can play at a high level,” said Coach Fontenot.
Southern looks to start conference play at home, September 24, against Texas Southern University at 6 PM.