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Soccer: Louisiana Falls Short To Jags in SBC Semifinals, 4-1

Louisiana ends season at 9-5-1; records best two-year record (18-13-4) in school history

FOLEY, Ala. – Senior Ashley Newland scored her first career goal midway through the sixth minute to give the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Soccer team early momentum, but South Alabama scored twice in the final 14 minutes of the first half before adding more goals to claim a 4-1 victory in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Championships on Friday at the Foley Sports Complex.
The loss ended a challenging 2020 season for Louisiana at 9-5-1 with the Ragin’ Cajuns reaching the SBC semifinals for the second time in as many seasons and posting its best two-year record (18-13-4) in school history. South Alabama (9-3-1), which has won six of the last seven SBC titles, advanced to Sunday’s final against the winner of Arkansas State and Georgia State.
Coming off a 3-0 win over Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, Louisiana came out aggressive in its second contest against the Jaguars this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute as Newland collected a deflection off a Jaguar defender and blasted a shot past USA goalkeeper Allison Luckhardt into the lower, left corner of the goal.
Louisiana kept its lead until the 32nd minute when Morgan Cross was fouled inside the 18-yard box. Brenna McPartlan answered with an equalizer on the ensuing penalty kick to knot the match at 1-1.
The Jaguars took the lead for good in the final seconds of the first half as Tilly Wilkes sent in a ball deep into the box that Ana Helmert collected and scored past Lauryn Starwood for a 2-1 advantage.
South Alabama extended its lead to 3-1 in the 54th minute when Helmert sent in a cross from the right side that Matilda Ovenberger converted with a ball into the left corner of the goal. Gracie Wilson added a final goal for the Jaguars in the 71st minute when collected a rebound off a Louisiana defender and scored past Starwood into the right corner of the goal.
Starwood stopped a pair of shots for Louisiana with Luckhardt recording four saves in her first career start for the Jaguars.
Seniors Julianne DeBlieux and Una Einarsdottir each took a pair of shots to lead Louisiana with Katelyn StampsIzzy Wheeler and Karleen Bedre each recording shots on-goal.
Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsSOC), Instagram (@RaginCajuns_SOC) and Facebook (Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Soccer) or check RaginCajuns.com for Louisiana soccer updates.