Texas State soccer secured its first victory of the season after two late goals against Louisiana Lafayette, bringing its season record to 1-4-1.
The first half was an even contest, with most chances for both sides coming from counters and quick breakaways down the wings. Texas State held possession in the early stages of the first half, with Louisiana getting a few chances on the break.
Louisiana then began to hold the ball as the Bobcats settled into a defensive, counter-based style of play. A Texas State breakaway down the right-wing led to a shot deflected by Louisiana junior goalkeeper Jordan Higgins, then tapped in by Texas State junior midfielder/forward Ally Kewish, putting Texas State up 1-0 in the 41st minute.
“We just needed to shut down their wide players, just close them down and keep them lumped to one side,” Kewish said. “We can do that, but it was our mentality that was what made it happen, essentially.”
Louisiana looked to strike back quickly and was almost successful on a late first-half corner, which saw the ball creep into the net. An offensive foul by Louisiana freshman midfielder Alyssa Abbott ruled out the goal.
The half ended with another unsuccessful attempt from a corner by Louisiana sophomore forward Karleen Bedre, blocked by Texas State freshman goalkeeper Beth Agee.
The rigidity of the backline was something Texas State Head Coach Kat Conner drilled into her team as it prepared for the game.
“We’ve been watching game film and seeing how they love to knock it around and get you out of your space,” Conner said. “We really were trying to get our players disciplined to understand that they’re trying to get you stressed out, they’re trying to get separated from your people, and [to not do that].”
The second half started in Texas State’s favor, as Louisiana could not get going offensively. But Texas State could not capitalize on its extended period of possession, as all attempts were stuffed out by a resilient Louisiana defense.
Louisiana began to get settled, inching closer to scoring. A low cross from the right-wing found Louisiana freshman midfielder Caitlyn Ferguson, who slotted in the chance and tied the game in the 75th minute.
Momentum was in Louisiana’s corner after the tying goal. After two consecutive Louisiana corners, Louisiana senior midfielder Una Einarsdottir curled a shot past Agee, putting her team up 2-1 only a minute after the game was tied.
In the 84th minute, Texas State sophomore forward Kiara Gonzales found herself with space at the edge of the box and placed the ball under the crossbar and over Higgins’ grasp, tying the game with five minutes left.
“When Kiara [Gonzales] tied it, we all had each other’s back from that point,” freshman midfielder Emma Jones said. “We kept fighting together. We never gave up.”
The comeback continued as Texas State flooded the Louisiana defense with runs and low crosses from the wings.
Seemingly headed into another overtime, the Bobcats pressed until a lofted cross from the right-wing found Jones in the box, who headed past the keeper and into the net. Texas State went up 3-2 with three minutes left, ultimately sealing the deal for the Bobcats.
“[Winning is] a missed feeling,” Gonzales said. “It’s a feeling; it’s not gonna stop, so we’re just gonna keep pushing for these wins.”
Next up, Texas State will play Little Rock, at 7 p.m., Sept. 25, in Arkansas.