THIBODAUX, La. – After playing to a scoreless draw in the first half, the Nicholls State University women’s soccer team and University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals combined to score six goals in the second half, but unfortunately the Cardinals scored two within minutes of each other after the Colonels tied the match at two and fell to UIW 4-2 to drop its first match of the season.
After setting numerous records since the start of the season, the Colonels suffer their first loss of the season and fall to 9-1-1 on the season and 3-1 in Southland Conference play. Although Nicholls’ program record winning streak ends at eight, the squad is still off to the best start in team history and has more league wins so far than any other Nicholls team in history.
For just the second time this season, the Colonels gave up multiple goals to an opponent as UIW (7-3, 1-2) went on to outshoot the Colonels 26-13 over the course of the day, with the Cardinals earning 11 shots on goal to Nicholls’ six.
Sophomore forward Spencer Valdespino led all players with seven shots on the day, scoring her tenth goal of the season and earning her third assist of the season on the day, with Miranda O’Neil scoring Nicholls’ only goal of the second half for her fourth goal of the season.
Amanda Boylson (5-1-1) had some brilliant saves in the first half, and ended the match with seven saves during the day in taking the loss. Cardinal goalie Heather Kowalik stopped four shots and had two goals allowed for UIW.
The two teams played to a scoreless draw in the first half, and an already tense match got even tighter in the opening minutes of the second half as a Nicholls foul in the box gave UIW a penalty kick which Sarah Flores converted to go up 1-0.
Fortunately, the Colonels wasted little time to make its comeback, as Valdespino got behind the defense around the right side of the box and fired a shot that originally looked saved but bounced off of Kowalik’s hands and into the net to tie the match at one.
Things got even crazier as in the 58th minute, UIW’s Amanda Watkins scored off of a deflection to make it 2-1 UIW. No less than 30 seconds later, O’Neil fired a shot from 16 yards away to the top shelf of the far post to tie the match at 2-2.
Unfortunately, the excitement turned to anguish as in the 72nd minute, UIW got a header from Heather McKinney and chipped shot over Boylson’s head within seconds of each other to go up 4-2 and seal the win for the Cardinals.
The Colonels will be back in action on Friday, hosting the Lamar Cardinals at 4 p.m. at the Nicholls Soccer Complex in Thibodaux.