Tech’s soccer team lost a hard-fought battle to Louisiana Tech Wednesday as the Bulldogs earned a 3-2 victory in overtime.The Golden Eagles (2-6) trailed 1-0 when sophomores Andrea Meloff and Jacquie Watkins scored back-to-back goals within 4:02 of each other to put them up 2-1 at the half.
“We started off coming out strong,” Meloff said. She contributed a game-high four shots, including one that was blocked to set up Watkins for her first goal of the season. Meloff now leads the team with three goals this year.
Tech soccer Coach Daniel Brizard made a change at keeper at halftime, replacing sophomore Megan Polk with freshman Becca Toler. This proved to be a great call until the 78th minute, when Toler wandered too far out from the goal and Louisiana Tech’s Rachel King took advantage, tying the game at two all.
“It’s just unlucky,” Meloff said. “They got the momentum and took it the whole way.
“After we scored, we took it up as much as we could, but then they scored and it just took them to a new level.”
The match remained tied throughout the remainder of regulation, forcing a ten-minute, sudden-death overtime period.
Louisiana Tech was able to get one shot to the Golden Eagles’ zero in the first overtime, but a save by Toler kept the Golden Eagles alive, forcing a second overtime period.
A strong attack by the Bulldogs eventually overcame the Golden Eagle defense, however, as Louisiana Tech’s Kiva Greshman scored the golden goal in just 37 seconds to seal the game at 3-2.
“We came back and couldn’t put it together in overtime,” Meloff said. It’s a tough loss, but we can only move up from this point.”
The Golden Eagles host Radford in their final out-of-conference game before beginning Ohio Valley Conference play on Oct. 1 at Morehead State.
With 10 days before the Radford match, the Golden Eagles know what they need to improve upon.
“We’ve got to figure out how to put together a whole game,” Meloff said. “If we can figure out how to keep [momentum] the whole game, then we’ll be doing well the rest of the year.”
Wednesday’s game also included a student group contest, with prizes being given away to the loudest and most-spirited student groups in attendance.
“It’s always nice to have a lot of fans,” Meloff said. “I think we play better when we have fans who come out and cheer for us.
“We loved having extra people on the sideline making us laugh.”
The match against Radford is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Tech soccer field. Admission is free to the public. The Golden Eagles’ first home OVC match is Oct. 25 against Southeast Missouri.