CONWAY, Ark. – After falling behind very early in the contest, the Nicholls State University women's soccer team scored two answered goals in the second half to defeat the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears 2-1 Sunday afternoon in Conway, securing the program's first-ever double-digit winning season in school history.
The 2013 Colonels (10-3-1, 4-3 SLC) have also laid claim to the first ever winning season in program history with five matches left to play in earning their first victory over Central Arkansas (6-6-2, 3-3) since they joined the league back in 2006. The win also snaps the team's three-match losing streak, placing the team right back into the mix at the top of the table in the league.
Much like the narrative of the last few matches, Nicholls gave up the first goal early and would have to work from a deficit, but the Colonel defense really clamped down afterword as they outshot the Sugar Bears 19-11 and had seven shots on target to UCA's four. It was the fourth comeback win for the team this season.
For the first time since her opening match hat trick, Jess Coates finally found the back of the net in the 52nd minute of action to knot the match at 1-1. Melissa Pestalozzi earned the assist for her fifth of the season, and now sits two assists shy of tying the single-season mark of seven.
But the eventual game winner came from the spark plug off of the bench in Lauren O'Brien, who scored off of a deflection in the 82nd minute to put the Colonels up 2-1 as the team held on for the win. It was O'Brien's fifth goal of the season and second game winner in the last five for the junior from Morgan City, with the last coming against Abilene Christian.
Taylor Mosley (4-1) earned the start and had three saves and just one goal allowed in the win, while UCA used two goalies on the day, with Lyndzey Goff taking the loss after giving up both goals in the final 45 minutes of action.
UCA's Adriana Lucar scored the game's opening goal in the seventh minute, striking on her only shot of the match. No UCA player had more than two total shots in the match, while four Nicholls players had two or more, including Spencer Valdespino's game-high seven and three shots on goal.
Another telling sign of the Colonel attack was the stark contrast in corner kicks, as Nicholls took 10 to UCA's 2. Nicholls has seven in the first half and three in the second.
The Colonels will be back in action again on the road, taking on the Northwestern State Lady Demons and Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks next weekend.