THIBODAUX, La. – After spending the past three weeks on the road the Nicholls State University women’s soccer team returned home on Friday and honored its eight-member senior class, and came within nine minutes of pulling off the upset of rival Southeastern Louisiana Friday afternoon, but a late goal by the Lady Lions and two overtimes later the two teams ended the day with a 1-1 draw at the Nicholls Soccer Complex.
The draw for the Colonels (11-5-2, 5-5-1 SLC) is the first tie the team has earned in 23 meetings against Southeastern (13-3-2, 8-2-1), snapping its 22-match losing skid against the third-ranked team in the Southland coming into the weekend.
In what ended up being a tense back-and-forth match throughout, the two squads combined for 36 shots, 14 corner kicks and 25 fouls in the match. Each team had multiple opportunities to net the game-winner, but neither could find the back of the net in the final two overtimes in what amounted to the fourth overtime game for Nicholls and sixth for SLU and third in a row.
Earning the goal for the Colonels was Spencer Valdespino who scored for the third consecutive match, pushing her league-leading total to 14 winners this season. Senior Melissa Pestalozzi earned her team-high tying fifth assists on the play, as Valdespino scored in the 22nd minute to give Nicholls the lead with a shot to the near post.
Nicholls goalie Amanda Boylson (6-3-2) had another standout performance in goal for the team as she stopped 10 shots, earning five saves in the first period and four in the second. Her counterpart in Hope Sabadash, who is in the top five in save percentage stopped only three shots in playing the entire contest.
Staring down the win and coming as close as they could, in the 81st minute, SLU’s Brianna Singh tipped a shot to the top far post over the head of Boylson to knot the match at one with less than nine minutes left in the contest.
The Colonels came out in both overtimes as the aggressors, as they went on to outshoot the Lady Lions 6-4 in overtime, but they still finished the match behind SLU in shots, 20-16.
Valdespino led all players with nine shots on the day with two shots on target, while Southeastern Louisiana had eight different players take at least one shot with Casey Peacock taking a team-high six for the Lady Lions.
The Colonels will close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon, hosting the Sam Houston State Bearkats at 1 p.m. at the Nicholls Soccer Complex.