HOUSTON, Texas – The Nicholls State University women’s soccer team closed out a five-match Southland Conference road trip on Friday night with a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Houston Baptist Huskies, as sophomore forward Spencer Valdespino’s goal in the ninth minute sealed the victory for the Colonels and put the Spring Hill, Fla., as the all-time single-season leader with her 13th score of the year.
With the win the Colonels improve to 11-5-1 on the season and 5-5 in conference play, while the Huskies fall to 4-11-1 and 3-6 in league play. Nicholls also improves its road record to a best-ever 6-3 in its final game away from Thibodaux, keeping the team in the hunt for a tournament berth.
Two weeks after setting the program record for points in a season, and just five days removed from tying the goals mark to snap Stephen F. Austin’s shutout streak, Valdespino needed just her second shot of the match to find the back of the net, as a misplayed ball in the box allowed the sophomore to fire a shot to the top-shelf in the left corner for her fifth game-winner of the year and seventh of her career to put her No. 1 in that category as well.
Although the Colonels earned the win, it wasn’t without its share of tense moments for the squad as the Huskies played valiantly as the home side was looking for its first win on their own soil. HBU and Nicholls finished tied in shots with 16 each, but the Huskies had more shots on target in 11 to Nicholls’ four. Valdespino led all players with six shots and had two on target while Kristy Tatom and Sarah Tani each had 1.
With so many attempts, Nicholls goalie Amanda Boylson was untouchable as she also tied a mark of her own in the process, earning her sixth win of the season and her second shutout of the year with career-high 11 saves. The sixth win ties Boylson with Nicholls great Molly Mersereau for wins in a single-season.
HBU was relentless on the attack, producing 11 corner kicks to Nicholls’ three, as eight different Huskies took shots on the night. Husky goalkeeper Patty Walrath (4-4) made three saves during the match as all of them came in the first half.
The Colonels return home to close out the regular season at home against Southeastern Louisiana and Sam Houston State. The weekend is Nicholls’ Family Weekend, as the team will honor its senior class on Friday against the Lady Lions.