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Soccer: Grasso’s late goal lifts Cajuns over Arkansas State


JONESBORO, Ark. – Scoreless through 87 ½ minutes, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns junior midfielder Kimberly Grasso deposited her second match-winning goal of the 2015 season via free kick, snapping Louisiana’s three-match skid Friday at Arkansas State.
    The victory improved the Cajuns’ record to 8-6-1 and 2-3 in Sun Belt Conference play, and was the fourth road victory of the season (most since the 2012 season – 3). The Cajuns’ record stands at 4-2 all-time against the Red Wolves in Jonesboro.
    Louisiana dominated the match offensively, outshooting Arkansas State, 24-8, including 14-5 in the first half. The Cajuns wasted little time looking to create offensive opportunities, firing six shot attempts (two on goal) in less than nine minutes to start the match. Eight of Louisiana’s 14 first half shots were on goal.
    At the 51-minute mark, Grasso looked to give the Cajuns the lead but her header sailed wide of the Arkansas State net. Grasso’s fifth shot attempt of the afternoon came off a free kick, finding its way through the Arkansas State defense, and skipping through Red Wolves goalkeeper Amanda Lee’s hands in the 88th minute.
    The match-winning goal was the third of Grasso’s career (Nichols State on Aug. 21) and the fourth score overall for the Houma, La. native this season. 
    Cajuns freshman goalkeeper Cosette Morche improved her record to 6-5 and registered her fourth shutout. The four shutouts for Morche moved her into a tie with Leslie Beckman for third place on the Cajuns’ all-time list.
    "It was a very good road win," Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Scot Wieland said. "We played well and created a lot of opportunities [to score].
    "I give a lot of credit to Arkansas State, their goalkeeper [Amanda Lee] was phenomenal. Conference wins and road wins are awesome – I was happy our team got a reward for all the scoring opportunities they created today."
    The Cajuns will end the weekend with a road match at Little Rock on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. Louisiana has won the past three meetings overall with the Trojans and is 5-3 all-time in Little Rock, Ark.
    "I hope that every game is a learning experience going forward," Wieland said. "Our team played hard all game and that’s what it takes. If we continue to play 90 minutes in conference matches, I like our chances. Every game is an opportunity to improve."