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Soccer: Cajuns Drop Home Opener 2-0 To McNeese - Ole Miss Match Cancelled

LAFAYETTE – Under cloudy skies and Hurricane Harvey's presence the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's soccer team lost their home opener to the McNeese Cowgirls 2-0 in a game originally scheduled to be held in Lake Charles, but due to the weather was moved to Lafayette and played here at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Complex.
           
The loss is the Cajuns third defeat of the season and it drops their record to 0-3-0, while the win is the Cowgirls second straight and it raises their record to 2-1-0.

HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): The first half was a hard-fought affair for both teams.  It included end-to-end action with both teams working hard. 
           
Louisiana got on the sheet first with a shot from senior Ashleigh Cade in the 16th minute.  That shot was followed up rather shortly by senior Denice Emokpae ripping one just right of goal, showing the Cajuns had come out to play.
           
McNeese's Savannah LaRicci gave the Cowgirls their first real chance when she chipped one off the tip of her foot, in the 20th minute, that slammed under the crossbar and came right down into sophomore Victoria Mendes' arms.
           
Things continued to bounce back and forth for the two teams, and freshman Una Einarsdottir took a corner in the 23rd minute, that saw senior Whitney Taggart head towards goal.  Taggart was a force in front of goal during the first half, creating several chances when she was given the opportunity.
           
Einarsdottir took yet another corner in the 24th minute that lead to the Cajuns best chance on goal, when freshman Grace Champagne held the line long enough to squeeze past the defense. 
           
She lunged for the ball and the tip of her foot gave just a slight touch that allowed the ball to get on goal, but Cowgirl goalkeeper Emma Roccaforte recovered just in time to make the save denying the Cajuns in their best chance of the half.
           
Physical play continued through the remainder of the half, but the score stayed scoreless as the match headed into halftime.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): As the second half begun both teams were looking to get an edge, and it was the Cajuns that got the first chance with Einarsdottir's corner in the 51st minute.
           
But the Cowgirls would strike first when in the 56th minute Havana Johnson scored off a throw in from Gabi D'Alesandro.  D'Alesandro's throw came from midfield and Johnson worked her way down the left wing and ripped the ball from inside the box that went high left into net.
           
From there the Cajuns didn't give up and less than five minutes later, Einarsdottir ripped a shot that nailed the post in the 60th minute. 
           
In the 67th minute, with Louisiana still attempting to keep their work rate up, the Cowgirls struck again when Johnson took another midfield throw in from Nola Prickett.  Johnson then worked her way to goal and ripped her second goal of the game into the top right corner.
           
Louisiana didn't give up and maintained their pressure through the game, with Einarsdottir continuing her hard-fought game adding four shots to the Cajuns total in the final 13 minutes of the game. 
           
Those shots included two on goal, the first coming in the 83rd minute and the final coming in the 88th minute.  Einarsdottir's final 13 minutes were an example of the finish the Cajuns had, never giving up and making sure to make Roccaforte earn her win.

NOTEWORTHY: Mendes was the first Cajuns keeper to play a full 90 minutes this season, and she recorded three saves while facing five shots; Einarsdottir lead the day for the Cajuns and the young freshman recorded five shots with two that went on goal and she's recorded eight shots in the past two games combined.
           
Cade added one shot on goal along with Champagne finishing her third straight game with at least one shot on goal; The Cajuns finished with 13 shots in the game with four that stayed on frame; Both teams were tied with nine fouls each, four in the first half and five in the second half.

UP NEXT: With Louisiana's match against Ole Miss, originally scheduled for Aug. 27 cancelled, the Cajuns will have to wait till next Friday, Sep. 1 to return to action.  On that day, they make the trip to Southeastern Louisiana for a match that'll start at 7 p.m. 
           
They then finish the weekend off at home, hosting the Northwestern State Lady Devils on Aug. 3 with a 6 p.m. start at Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Complex.
           
Follow @RagincajunsSOC on twitter to stay up to date with what's going on with the Cajuns and for links to live streaming and stats. 



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