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Soccer: 2-0 Win Against Lady Demons Gives Cajuns Two Over The Weekend
LAFAYETTE – Thanks to two second half goals from seniors Denice Emokpae and Taylor Kennedy along with sophomore Mackenzie Lee's second clean sheet of the weekend, the Louisiana's women's soccer team got their second win of the weekend beating the Northwestern State Lady Demons 2-0 here at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Complex.
Louisiana's win improves their record to 2-3-0 while the loss drops Northwestern State's record to 2-3-0.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Continuing a tone that the Cajuns set in their previous game against Southeastern Louisiana, Louisiana came out the gate aggressive and looking to attack.
Within the first three minute Emokpae ripped a shot that was blocked and she followed that up with a shot that went left in the sixth minute. That quick start was only a sign of things to come for the Cajuns.
In the 10th minute senior Ashleigh Cade forced the first save of the game by the Lady Demon's Alex Latham on a hard shot from right outside the box.
But the Cajuns weren't done and neither was Emokpae, who was on a mission all night.
In a three-minute period Emokpae recorded three shots, two of which were on goal. The first was in the 22nd minute, the second came quickly in the 23rd minute and the third, which was the only one not to find the net, came in the 24th minute.
While the Cajuns were aggressive on offense, the possession they earned and kept in the final third, translated to zero opportunities for the Lady Demons in the first 30 minutes of the game.
It wasn't until the 33rd minute, did the Lady Demons finally record a shot and it was blocked but the Cajuns defense.
When the half was done, the Cajuns had eight shots, four of which were on goal. While Northwestern State could only muster two shots and those didn't come until the final 10 minutes of the half.
With all that work, the Cajuns had yet to find pay dirt and the score was tied 0-0 at the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): As the second half began, the Cajuns were looking to collect on their hard work that they had put in throughout the first half.
They didn't have to wait long to taste the sweet flavor of a beautiful goal.
In the 50th minute, with the Cajuns asking all the questions, Cade took possession and forced the play into the center of the box.
From there she played a smart ball to the outside to freshman Ally Busalacchi who took it off the right wing, picked her head up and sent a perfect cross to the far post, where Emokpae was waiting.
Emokpae, having come close so many times in the first half, didn't waste the chance and calmly slotted the ball in the bottom right corner to give the Cajuns the 1-0 lead early in the second half.
The goal was her first scored since her freshman season in 2014, when she scored two against Alcorn State on Sep. 21
Louisiana didn't sit on their morals, nor were they finished putting the pressure on.
And in the 54th minute, with Cade having a throw in from the 30-yard maker on the right side, the Cajuns added to their lead.
Cade's throw was played by a Lady Demon defender who headed the ball directly into the ground, and waiting for the bounce ready to play the volley was Kennedy.
With her eyes lighting up, she didn't hesitate to take the shot which she slammed into the top right corner with authority giving the Cajuns a 2-0 lead that they had no intentions of giving back.
The goal was Kennedy's first since she scored on Aug. 30, 2015 against Southern Miss.
At that point, the Lady Demons sensed time was running out and began to pressure the Cajuns just a bit more. But the Cajuns were ready for it and didn't let their hard work or concentration waver at any time.
Through the remainder of the match the Cajuns defense was solid, while Lee earned her clean sheet, facing a shot in the 74th minute that she easily saved.
The Cajuns made sure that Lee's hard work was rewarded with possession in the Lady Demon final third and in the 78th minute senior Kimberly Grasso took a throw in that, because of her perfect position, was headed, with great power behind it, right at Latham who was forced to make a great save.
Emokpae added one more shot on goal for good measure in the 79th minute, and with that momentum Lee took care of the rest.
Lee recorded saves in the 80th minute, 85th minute and 89th minute to put the final touches on the Cajuns victory, and their best weekend so far in the 2017 season.
NOTEWORTHY: Making her second start of both the season and weekend, Lee not only recorded her second win of the season but she recorded her second clean sheet as well. In this match, she recorded five saves while facing 11 shots; Emokpae's goal was her first of the season and she lead the team with seven shots, four of which were on goal; Kennedy's goal, was her only shot on the night but she made it count; Cade had two shots, both of which worked the keeper to add to her first assist of the season; Freshman Una Einarsdottir had two shots both of which were on goal; Busalacchi's assist was the first of her career.
The Cajuns, for the fourth straight game, outshot their opponents with Louisiana recording 16(10 on goal) to Northwestern State's 11(five on goal); This was the first time the Cajuns had back-to-back clean sheets in the same weekend, the last being on the weekend of Sep. 4-6, 2015 against both McNeese State and Northwestern State. Both were 1-0 wins for the Cajuns.
UP NEXT: The Cajuns return to action next weekend, first they make the trip to Sam Houston State on Sep. 8 at 6:30 p.m., followed by a return to Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Complex to host Nicholls on Sep. 10 that'll start at 6 p.m.
The Sam Houston State game will have live stats provided courtesy of the Sam Houston State website, while the Nicholls home match will have live stats available on RaginCajuns.com. And the match will be streamed for free on the Ragin' Cajuns Digital Network which can be found at RaginCajuns.com.
Follow @RaginCajunsSOC on twitter for links to live stats and streaming along with updates and releases having to do with everything Cajuns soccer.
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