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Soccer: Cajuns Get Last Second Goal To Tie Little Rock 1-1
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Showing a flair for the dramatic and with two seconds left on the game clock, senior Haley Boroch sent the equalizing goal into the left corner and after two overtime periods the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and Little Rock Trojans finished tied up at 1-1 allowing the Cajuns to escape with a huge road point here at the Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex.
The draw means the Cajuns end their first weekend of Sun Belt Conference play undefeated as their record moves to 4-4-1 (1-0-1 SBC). While the Trojans' record adjusts to 4-4-1 (0-0-1 SBC).
For the first time since 2004 the Cajuns have gone unbeaten after their first two conference matches. In that season the Cajuns drew South Alabama 1-1, on Oct. 1 and they got a win, 2-0, in their next conference match at home against Florida International on Oct. 10.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Coming off an exciting win on Friday, Sept. 15 at Arkansas State, the Cajuns came out against the Trojans looking to make a statement that they weren't suffering from a victory hangover.
Within the first four minutes the Cajuns already ripped a shot, one by Boroch in the fourth minute, that was blocked but it was evident from the start that the Cajuns had come to play.
Boroch's aggressive start was followed up by senior Rebecca Foley's shot in the seventh minute that went just wide, and Boroch was again busy in the 11th minute with a header that soared just wide of net.
Senior Ashiegh Cade put Trojans keeper Megan Swanson to work in the 12th minute with the Cajuns first shot on goal. While Cajuns sophomore Mackenzie Lee made her first save of the game in the 16th minute as the Trojans got their first shot on goal shortly after the Cajuns barrage of shots.
As the half rolled along the two teams settled in and things quieted down, but Lee was ready for whatever the Trojans sent her way. And in the 25th minute Lee recorded her second save of the match on a Trojans attempt at goal.
The clock rolled past 30 minutes and the Cajuns kept the pressure on, with Foley ripping a shot that went high in the 31st minute followed by freshman Ally Busalacchi (33rd minute) attempting a shot that resulted again with the ball soaring over the bar.
Unfortunately for the Cajuns, the Trojans struck first when in the 36th minute Arola Aparicio Gili worked her way through the Cajuns defense and with one shot put Little Rock on top 1-0 late in the first half.
Although the Trojans scored first, the Cajuns didn't let it bother them, and they maintained their aggressive play hunting for the equalizer.
Senior Kimberly Grasso took a shot in the 37th minute and the 44th minute while her teammate, sophomore Kaylie Powell, put one more shot on goal in the 41st minute to make sure the half ended the way it had started. With the Cajuns on the attack.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Confidently the Cajuns came out of the break knowing they were still in the game, and that if they kept pushing the tempo a goal would come.
Busalacchi started the Cajuns' second half off with a shot on goal in the 58th minute and the Cajuns were off and running.
Entering the 69th minute the Cajuns went on a tear, when Grasso took a shot on goal (69th minute), cleaned up by Cade who, just seconds after Grasso, sent it at goal, followed by senior Whitney Taggart sending a shot just wide in the 71st minute.
Louisiana wasn't done, and freshman Una Einarsdottir forced yet another Trojans save in the 72nd minute to cap off a quick paced and hard worked four minutes of action for the Cajuns.
But the always ready Lee, saw the Trojans hit back on the counter and a quick shot in the 73rd minute by Little Rock forced Lee to make another save, one she made easily.
With time winding down, the Cajuns pushed their line up and that meant that Lee would need to be on her game to keep the Cajuns only down by one goal.
Lee was up to the challenge and she was tested back-to-back in the 78th minute, when the Trojans ripped two shots within seconds of each other looking to seal the game. But Lee, locked up the goal and didn't let either shot get by her, giving the Cajuns one last chance to tie it up in the final 10 minutes.
As the clock was winding down, getting closer to the end, Louisiana knew that if there was anytime on the clock, then there was a chance to extend the match.
With less than a minute left Cade lined up a corner kick after senior Denice Emokpae forced the Trojans keeper to make a save that bounced out of bounds. Cade looked at the crowded box and sent a great ball that floated into a scramble of Cajuns and Trojans.
It was Boroch who was Johnny-on-the-spot, and with only two seconds left on the clock she fished the ball out of the scramble and sent it into the bottom left corner.
An explosion from the Cajuns bench meant the equalizing goal was pushing the match to overtime, and for Boroch a lifetime memory had been made.
HOW IT HAPPANED (First Overtime): Both teams were exhausted and the Cajuns were riding an emotional high as the first overtime began.
Right off the bat Lee was tested, and again she was ready making a save on a Trojans header in the 94th minute.
The Cajuns had a shot on goal of their own in the 98th minute when Cade sent one at goal making sure the Trojans keeper stayed on her toes. From there the first 10-minute period came to an end and the score remained tied at 1-1.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Overtime): While neither team got a shot on goal in the second overtime period, Taggart rose up and sent a header that was blocked in the 104th minute. Her header was cleaned up by the day's hero, Boroch, as she sent the shot just wide of net seconds later.
As the final whistle blew, after back-to-back overtime matches, the Cajuns were exhausted. But their hard work and dedication to never giving up meant that they were leaving Little Rock with a big-time conference road point.
And with the first weekend of conference play coming to an end, the Cajuns have shown the league that when they play the Cajuns it's not over till it's over.
NOTEWORTHY: Boroch's late equalizer was her third of the season and it ties her season high for goals scored; Lee had a busy day, making six saves while facing seven shots; Grasso coming off the bench, saw 87 minutes of action and she had five shots one of which went on goal; All three of Cade's shots were on goal; Powell, Cade and sophomore Erika Sierra all played the full 110 minutes.
It's the first time the Cajuns have played two overtime matches on the same weekend since the weekend of Aug. 26-28, 2011; Much like this weekend the Cajuns drew the double overtime match, 1-1 at Southeastern Louisiana on Aug. 26, and they won the next match in the first overtime 3-2, on Aug. 28 vs. Southern Miss.; The last time the Cajuns beat Arkansas State and drew Little Rock in the same weekend was during the weekend of Oct. 9-11, 2015 they beat the Red Wolves, 1-0 on Oct. 9, followed by a 1-1 draw at Little Rock, on Oct. 11.
UP NEXT: Louisiana's next match will be a return to Lafayette as they open home conference play hosting Georgia Southern on Sunday, Sept. 24 with that match starting at 1 p.m. Follow @RaginCajunsSOC for updates and links to both live stats and free streaming of the match on the Ragin Cajuns Digital Network.
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