Box Score html NACOGDOCHES, Tex. - The Stephen F. Austin soccer team scored a goal in the 83rd minute to claim a late 1-0 win over the visiting Rice Owls soccer team Friday night on the road in Nacogdoches, Tex.
The teams were scoreless for the first 82 minutes of the contest until SFA broke the deadlock with just seven minutes remaining in regulation. Lady Jack forward Chelsea Raymond fielded a pass from teammate Kylie Louw before scoring her team-leading sixth goal of the season. SFA hung-on for the final minutes to claim its first win soccer win over Rice in six career meetings.
The Owls had set the tempo early in the match Rice had taken five of the game's first six shots. At the half the Blue & Gray held a 5-4 advantage in shots and a 3-1 margin in corner kicks. That was both good news and bad news for Rice head coach Nicky Adams. The head coach likes to see the hard work to create offensive chances, but she would like to see the ball in the back of the net to go along with all the effort it takes to get there in the first place.
"We did a good job of playing in transition and creating some great attacking opportunities," said coach Adams. "Early-on we were able to maintain possession of the ball and we were getting forward. It's frustrating, because we're not capitalizing on the opportunities that we create for ourselves. It doesn't matter how long you maintain possession of the ball, you're not going to win if you don't score."
SFA battled back with the lead in shots and corner kicks in the second stanza, but the Owls still had some solid offensive chances. In the 53rd minute freshman Holly Hargreaves broke free from the Jacks' defenders but sent a shot over the top of the crossbar. In the 73rd minute sophomore Gabriela Iribarne, who was making her first appearance for the team after missing four games while playing with the Argentinean under-20 national team at the U-20 World Cup in Japan, had a hard shot attempt blocked by an SFA defender. In the 80th minute sophomore midfieler Quinney Truong's shot was just wide of the left post.
"I thought in the second half SFA did a good job of putting more pressure on us," Adams explained. "We made one critical error that cost us the game, but I thought our not putting-away our offensive opportunities played a bigger part. We're not finishing chances like we should, specially the early ones. If you don't take care of your early chances teams are then going to be just that much more confident as the game continues. When your opponent is more confident they can change the game late. That's what I hope we learned from tonight."
The Rice freshman duo of Hargreaves and Lauren Hughes shared the team lead with three shots each. The Owls are now 2-3-1 on the season. The Lady Jacks improved to 5-2-0 overall.
The first half of the Owls' weekend road swing has been completed, but there is still a tremendous challenge coming up next. The Blue & Gray play at national power Oklahoma State on Sunday (Sept. 9). OSU is the No. 3 ranked team in the nation that quickly jumped out to a 6-1-0 record in the early season. The start time for the match is 12 noon in Stillwater, Okla.