LAFAYETE, La. – Mere days after having to reschedule and move its game to the opposing team's venue, the Nicholls State University women's soccer team got two goals from Spencer Valdespino, including the game winner with nine seconds left, to defeat the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 2-1 Monday night at the Cajuns Soccer Complex.
With the win, the 2013 Nicholls (5-0-1) squad can now lay claim to the best start ever in the program's 14 year history heading into its final non conference game on Friday afternoon, as it was also the first ever win for the team in Lafayette. The Colonels have won their last four in a row, and have only given up one goal in five of the six contests in moving to 3-0 in road contests.
Sophomore forward Spencer Valdespino has been on a tear, as after not scoring in each of the first two contests, the Spring Hill, Fla., native has scored in each of the last four, including putting Nicholls' two goals in the back of the net on Monday. In the process, she has tied her entire goal output from 2012 and is now tied for fifth all-time at Nicholls with 10 winners barely into her second season.
Nicholls was in a dogfight with Louisiana-Lafayette (1-4-2) from the opening whistle, as the extra day of rest may have helped the Cajuns after a tough match against Louisiana Tech on Friday. ULL eventually outshot the Colonels 19-15 during the course of the match, but after outshooting Nicholls 10-4 in the first period, the visiting Colonels roared back to fire off 11 shots in the second to ULL's nine.
Taylor Mosley played valiantly in the starting role on Monday night, allowing just one goal with seven saves. However, Mosley left the game after an injury with less than three minutes remaining as the game was still tied, giving way to Amanda Boylson (2-0-1) who finished the match and earned the win in the closing minutes.
Valdespino wasted little time putting Nicholls on the board, firing a shot from just outside of the box to the top left corner to put the Colonels up 1-0 at the 8:48 mark. The team held on to its lead for much of the period, until ULL's Kassidy Zeringue knocked in a header off of a cross to knot the game at 1-1.
Much of the tense second period was owned by the Colonels as they were able to get some opportunities at the lead with six corner kicks in the second period. The Cajuns switched goalies at halftime from starter Cory DeMarco to Kendall Graham in an effort to show a different look, but although the replacement had four stops she was unable to stop Valdespino who fired a shot from almost the exact same spot after receiving a pass from Sarah Tani with nine ticks left on the clock to put Nicholls up for good and leave with the win.
The Colonels will be back in action on Friday, hosting the Alcorn State Lady Braves at the Nicholls Soccer Complex at 4 p.m. in Thibodaux.