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Soccer: Louisiana Falls 2-1 To South Alabama
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana's women's soccer team dropped a tough Sun Belt Conference match against South Alabama, 2-1 here on senior night at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility.
Despite senior Ashleigh Cade scoring early in the seventh minute, the Cajuns couldn't hold the lead and two first half goals from the Jaguars put the Cajuns in a 2-1 hole they couldn't recover from.
The loss drops the Cajuns record to 5-9-2 (2-5-2 SBC) while the win improves South Alabama's record to 9-5-1 (7-1-0 SBC).
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): The Cajuns came out fast and they were rewarded with a quick goal inside of 10 minutes. A turnover in the midfield was cleaned up by senior Kimberly Grasso who quickly turned up field and found Cade.
Cade took a quick look and ripped a shot on the right side from about 20 yards out the flew past the Jaguar goalkeeper, Justice Stanford, and into the bottom right of the net.
South Alabama answered the Cajuns goal with a goal of their own in the 24th minute on a header from Chelsea Followwell to even the score at 1-1. Roughly 10 minutes later, in the 34th minute, South Alabama got the go ahead goal off a corner that bounced off the head of one Jaguar and then off the head of Rio Hardy who scored her conference leading 10th goal of the season to put South Alabama up 2-1.
Louisiana had a solid chance near the end of the half when sophomore Erika Sierra headed a ball towards the near post deep in the Jaguar final third, but South Alabama cleared the line to keep the Cajuns out and the score at 2-1.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Cajuns sophomore goalkeeper Victoria Ryan got the second half off started with a save in the 54th minute on a shot from South Alabama.
From there South Alabama went on a tear, but the Cajuns defense held strong keeping the next four Jaguars' shots, all in five minutes from the 56th minute to the 61st minute, from getting on frame making sure the score remained at 2-1.
Louisiana had one last great chance late in the second half, when a South Alabama foul gave the Cajuns a free kick near the corner spot on the left side. Cade stepped up to take the kick and sent a great ball that fell to the far post.
Sierra was there to receive the kick, and with Stanford beat, had a chance to tie the match. But the Jaguars had two defenders on the line and they cleared Sierra's shot off the line before it had a chance to break the goal line.
Ryan ended the match with two back-to-back saves, but there wasn't enough time for the Cajuns to make the comeback and the match came to an end with South Alabama coming away with the win 2-1.
CAJUNS POSTSEASON PICTURE: The loss drops the Cajuns to 10th in the postseason picture, with the top eight making it to the tournament, but they aren't out. Their eight points places them in position where a win on Sunday against Troy and favorable results from the schools above them will place the Cajuns in the conference tournament.
There's several different scenarios that can play out, but a Georgia Southern win on Sunday against ULM, coupled with a loss from Appalachian State when factored in with a possible Cajuns win against Troy would be enough to punch Louisiana's ticket to the postseason.
NOTEWORTHY: Ryan made the fourth start of her career, the first since Sept. 10 against Nicholls, and she recorded six saves, including four in the second half; Cade's goal was her third of the season and the ninth of her career; Grasso's assist was her fourth of the season and that ties her with Cade for the team lead in assists.
CAJUNS SENIORS HONORED: Before the match began the Cajuns honored their seven seniors, they included Cade, Grasso, Taylor Kennedy, Cassandra Reyes, Haley Boroch, Denice Emokpae and Whitney Taggart. It's not the final time these seven will play at home as they'll get one more shot on Sunday.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: The Cajuns wrap up the regular season with a big match against Troy on Sunday, Oct. 22 with the match slated to start at 1 p.m. Make sure to follow @RaginCajunsSOC on twitter for match updates and any changes to the schedule.
The match will be streamed live on Ragin' Cajuns Digital Network for free, and live stats will be available as well. Links to both will be provided on twitter on the day of the match.
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