Women’s soccer plays to draw against Louisiana Tech

The Marshall Thundering Herd women’s soccer team played to a 2-2 draw Sunday against Louisiana Tech at Hoops Family Field.

The draw brought the Herd to 5-8-3 (3-5-1 C-USA) on the year and moved the Lady Techsters to 11-5-2 (4-3-2 C-USA) for the 2018 campaign.

Marshall head coach Kevin Long said though they were not able to come away with a win, he liked what he saw from his team.

“I thought we played really well,” Long said. “We owned the ball. We gave away a ball directly off the corner, and then we gave away the ball and their player just drives one home on a great finish, but we controlled the ball and played much better soccer the entire time.”

The match had a fast-paced start and Louisiana Tech scored in the eighth minute of action with a goal from junior defender Alexandra LeBlanc just seconds after she sent a corner kick into play. The goal was the first of LeBlanc’s college career and gave Louisiana Tech an early 1-0 lead.

Louisiana Tech kept its lead for most of the first half, but Marshall junior midfielder Gabby Powers sent an equalizer into the net off a deflection in the 43rd minute. It was her first goal of the season and tied the game at one going into the half.

The Herd continued to ride the momentum from Powers’ goal early in the second half and scored another goal in the 60th minute when junior forward Farah Abu-Tayeh sent a shot past Louisiana Tech’s senior goalkeeper Courtney Tompkins. It was her sixth goal of the year and gave Marshall a 2-1 lead.

LA Tech responded to Abu-Tayeh’s goal with a sense of urgency, which paid off when senior defender Nomvula Kgoale sent a shot from outside the box past junior goalkeeper Megan Bonelli in the 64th minute. It was Kgoale’s second goal of the year to bring the game to a 2-2 tie.

Both teams put shots on goal in attempts to take the lead, but 90 minutes was not enough to decide this Conference USA matchup and the game went into overtime tied at two.

Neither team budged in overtime and both goalkeepers recorded saves in the first 10-minute period to keep the game tied. A second overtime proved indecisive for either squad to break the stalemate, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

After Marshall’s last home match of the year, Marshall head coach Kevin Long said it is a bittersweet feeling to send off the team’s class of 2019 seniors following the draw.

“We’re going to miss their leadership and we wish them the best as always, but we’ll say goodbye to them after our last game, which hopefully we play at Old Dominion (in the Conference USA Championship Tournament),” Long said.

Marshall is currently 10th in Conference USA standings, three points behind Middle Tennessee and Rice for the final two spots in the conference tournament. The Herd has to beat WKU, needs Rice to beat ninth-place Charlotte, and needs Middle Tennessee to lose its final two games to North Texas and UAB to have a shot of making the conference tournament, which will be played in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Thundering Herd will hit the road to face Western Kentucky Lady Toppers Friday at the WKU Soccer Complex in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Derek Gilbert can be contacted at [email protected]