An unfinished ending

November 10, 2010

by Angela Groce, Co-Sports Editor

It was a short lived dream for the Lady Techster soccer team.

A dream that ended in an instant.

Playing in its first ever Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the No. 4 seeded Louisiana Tech soccer team lost to No. 5 seed Boise State 2-1 in double overtime on Thursday in front of a record crowd of 765 at Lady Techster Soccer Field.

The offensive tradition of the Techsters continued in their assault on the Broncos. The Techsters outshot the Broncos 16-6 and 5-3 in shots on goal.

Head coach Kevin Sherry said his team played a game of missed opportunities and chances to win against the Broncos.

“We couldn’t have created easier opportunities and we just didn’t finish,” Sherry said.

“In this game if you don’t finish opportunities you get punished, and that’s what we did.”

Louisiana Tech would take the first points of the game after an assist from freshman Brittany Harbaugh to freshman Taylor Dennis, who scored in the 22nd minute.

After taking the one-goal lead into halftime, Boise State scored its first goal in the 66th minute to tie the match at 1-1.

With the many missed opportunities, the Techsters found it hard to break the tie with the Broncos. The lack of key leadership was faulted in the inexperience of some of the freshmen starters.

Eventually neither team would conquer the feat of breaking the tie, sending the match into overtime. Tech outshot Boise State 3-0 in the extra period, but none of the shots found the back of the net.

But the last shot would win out to the Broncos in the second overtime when Saxton scored for the Broncos in the 102nd minute giveing them the 2-1 victory over the Techsters.

Many fans thought the shot from Saxton should have been ruled offsides and disallowed. But the referees called the shot legal and gave the Broncos the point needed to garner a first round victory.

“Right now they are all really upset,” Sherry said. “But we did what we expected and we are ahead of the curve. We can win this tournament next year.”

Despite the first round loss the Techsters have success to celebrate. They won their first road WAC game this season and made an appearance in their first ever WAC tournament.

Senior Kiva Gresham said she was sad at the loss but proud at what her teammates had accomplished. “It’s the best we’ve ever done and we can’t do anything about it but walk off the field with our head held high,” Gresham said.

“This program started from the very bottom. It’s been a huge roller coaster ride to the top and I can’t wait to see what this program can do in the future.”

Gresham has certainly left her mark as she leaves top in career assists with 20, tied for first in points with 74 and second in goals with 27. Greshman was also named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic all-District performer.

Following Tech’s defeat, junior defender Scotti Culton earned first team honors on the all-WAC soccer team, while junior forward Rachel King and senior forward Kiva Gresham were named to the second team. It is the first time in school history that Tech soccer has had a student-athlete named all conference.

“To be the first all-WAC honorees in Tech history is a great achievement, as it is always special to be the first in any walk of life,” Sherry said.

The Lady Techsters finished the season with a school record 15-6 and 5-3 in the WAC.

Email comments to acg022@latech.edu.