Crusaders crash Lady Pilots debut with 3-1 win
August 26, 2005
Shreveport, LA---At 5:00pm Friday afternoon the campus of Louisiana State University in Shreveport was introduced to their newest members of the LSUS Athletics Department; the Lady Pilots soccer team. As they marched single file to mid-field before taking their positions on their newly renovated home turf, which has temporarily been named “The Swamp”, they caught their first glimpse of a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opponent in the William Carey College Crusaders. After the blow of a whistle, history was made as the clock started on the first official collegiate soccer game at LSUS.
It was the Crusaders who had the first possession but it was the Lady Pilots Calandre Singh who had the first scoring chance of the game. Singh raced after a loose ball and evaded two Crusader defenders and managed to skip the ball past goal keeper Courtnie Prather, which brought 250 Lady Pilot fans to their feet before the ball rattled off the right post and was cleared out of bounds just 3:30 into the first half.
LSUS looked as if they had the momentum as they kept the ball on the Crusaders for a three minute spurt before Danielle Princiotta gained possession and carried the ball over mid-field and booted a high arcing shot over the head of the Lady Pilots goal keeper Aaron Wallace at the 33:03 mark to open the scoring, and collect the first ever goal in LSUS women’s soccer history.
The Lady Pilots threatened to score at the 27:00 mark as Brenna Bussart was alone in front but was turned away by Prather who made her first of five saves on the night. Singh looked as if she had a chance as LSUS had a 2-1 chance deep in the opponents end but fanned on a pass attempt to an open Brussart to let the Crusaders off the hook.
The Crusaders gained possession with 4:39 remaining after the ball was cleared by Lady Pilot defender Shaderia Evans which led to a corner kick for Amy Ashworth. Ashworth booted a high curling shot to the far side of the goal which was headed in by Janna Clements in impressive fashion to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Just 2:30 seconds into the second half, Singh had her second scoring chance of the night but was turned away by the left hand of a stretched out Prather who caught just enough of the shot as the ball slowly dribbled to the goal line before being cleared by a Crusader defender.
Bussart however managed to find the back of the net for the first goal in Lady Pilot history at the 39:14 mark of the second half rebounding her own shot that escaped the hands of Prather and then took advantage of a wide open net to cut the score to 2-1.
LSUS continued to pressure the Crusader defense but could not even the score despite many creating many quality scoring chances. The Crusaders looked as if they were going to pull away as Shannon Steffen raced past the LSUS defense after a free ball but was denied by a sprawling Wallace with the best save of the night to keep the Lady Pilots within 1 goal.
Katrina Blackwell battled through three Crusader defenders for an open shot from the top pf the box which sailed just high over the crossbar for what turned out to be the last chance for LSUS to tie the game with 2:00 remaining in regulation.
The Crusaders took advantage of the Lady Pilots pressure to tie the game by clearing the ball to half which led to an outstanding strike off the foot of Steffen which found the back of the net with just :49 remaining to put the game out of reach and spoil any chance of a Lady Pilot home debut victory.
Crusader head coach Danny Owens was very pleased with his team’s effort and credited the victory to his teams ability to respond to the Lady Pilots pressure and capitalize on the scoring chances they created. “When we had a chance to score, we finished. That, and our ability to stay clean on the defensive end was the difference in the game. Their speed up front caused us some trouble and they took it to us with their pressure, but with a defensive adjustment we hung in there and managed to come up with a big win,” concluded Owens on the Crusaders first win of the season.
The inability to capitalize on scoring chances a two mistakes on defense stood out as the difference in the game to Lady Pilot head coach Jed Jones. “When you get the scoring chances we did, you have to be able to capitalize. We failed to put any pressure on the ball on the first goal and watched a corner kick sail over our head instead of attacking the ball which led to the game winning goal,” concluded Jones after Friday’s contest.
Despite being held off the score sheet, Calandre Singh may have been the most dominant performer on the field throughout the course of the game and concluded that “we missed our chances early. We tried so hard to make a big impact out here in our first game. We thought as if we were in control the whole game but just didn’t finish our shots when we had opportunities and they did. I am excited about how we played and we will give our all again as soon as we get the chance.”
LSUS athletic director Doug Robinson boasted “I am very proud of the effort our girls put in tonight. They created some excellent scoring opportunities, played solid defense, and put on an all-around excellent performance in front of a very supportive LSUS crowd.”
The Lady Pilots will be in action again Sunday afternoon as they will travel to Natchitoches to take on their first of four scheduled NCAA Division I opponents in the Northwestern State University Demons. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00pm. LSUS will return home to The Swamp September 2 when they will play host to Louisiana College with game time scheduled for 3:00pm.
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