THIBODAUX, La. – After giving up a goal in the first five minutes of the match, the Nicholls State University women’s soccer team fought through a solid Abilene Christian team on Friday afternoon in Thibodaux and defeated the Wildcats 3-1 behind goals from Kristy Tatom, Lauren O’Brien and Amber Moore.
With the win, the Colonels (9-0-1, 3-0 Southland) extend its program record winning streak to eight straight and has now won more conference games than any Nicholls soccer team in history. Abilene Christian falls to 8-1-1 on the year and 2-1 in Southland play before heading to play Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
In a tightly contested match, the two teams fought through a draw in the first half before the Colonels broke through and scored its final two goals of the match in the second half to pull away from ACU and earn the win. There were only 16 shots taken between the two on the day, with Nicholls having 10 with four on goal, while the Wildcats took just six with two on goal.
Senior midfielder Annie Newell was a big force throughout earning assists on the goals by Tatom and Moore, while Melissa Pestalozzi assisted on O’Brien’s goal.
It was a sporadic night if you happened to be a goalie, but Colonel net-minder Amanda Boylson (5-0-1) allowed just one goal and had one save in the second half to come within one game of tying the school record for goalie wins in a season. ACU’s Sydney Newton (4-1-1) took the loss and had one save among the three goals allowed.
By many indications, the Colonels got off to a rough start in the first few minutes of the game and trailed for just the third time this season after Wildcat leading scorer Andrea Carpenter scored her eighth goal of the season in the second minute to put Abilene Christian up 1-0.
Already pressing, Nicholls didn’t wait long to respond as Newell found Tatom on the right side who fired it past the keeper to knot the game at one for her second score of the season in the seventh minute of the half.
As the game headed into halftime, senior defender Meghan Lanteigne fell to the turf after a free kick by ACU and would not return to the game due to injury.
With very little time due to the duration of the injury timeout, the two teams went right into the second half. In the 60th minute, Pestalozzi found O’Brien who fought through a couple ACU defenders and goalie Newton and scored on a wide open net from the left side of the box to put Nicholls up 2-1. It was junior from Morgan City’s fourth goal of the season.
Almost ten minutes later, Nicholls earned a corner kick opportunity from the right side of the field. Newell placed the ball well into the box and found defender Amber Moore who headed in the goal and sealed the win for the Colonels putting the team up 3-1.
Nicholls returns to action on Sunday, hosting the Incarnate Word Cardinals at 1 p.m. at the Nicholls Soccer Complex in Thibodaux.