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Lady Techsters’ run ends in C-USA Tournament Semifinals

November 9, 2017

Roderic Lloyd

Staff Reporter | rsl010@latech.edu

 

No.4 Louisiana Tech’s nine-game streak ended in their Conference USA Tournament semifinal against the No.8 Charlotte 49ers, as they suffered only their third loss of the season 1-0 at FAU Soccer Stadium.

 

 

In the 60th minute the free kick by 49er forward Martha Thomas clanked off the inside post and went into the net, which ended up being the only goal scored in the contest, and ultimately ended the Lady Techsters’ season.

 

 

Much of the first half was dominated by the 49ers as the Lady Techsters (14-3-5) defense had to withstand four corner kicks in the first nine minutes of the contest. Charlotte had two potential game-changing opportunities inside the box in the first half, but junior goalkeeper Courtney Tompkins was up for the challenge.

 

 

Tompkins came up with two timely saves on shots from close range early in the match.  Then at the midway point of the first period, she came off her line and owned her one on one opportunity against the two-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, Thomas, who had split the center backs.

 

 

“The first half was one of the worst we have played all season,” head coach Kevin Sherry said. “Thanks to Courtney in goal, we managed to survive. The second half was much better from a commitment level and we were right in the game. Sadly, the ball didn’t break for us and we lost to a great piece of skill from a free kick. It was a great season; one we should feel very proud about.”

 

 

Charlotte (11-8-1) was not just any typical bottom seed in a tournament. The Lady Techsters only defeated them for the first time in program history earlier this season. The 49ers are the defending tournament champions and carried momentum over on the heels of their upset of top-seed Rice in the quarterfinals.

 

 

The Lady Techsters fared much better in the second half, controlling much of the action and trying to attack the Charlotte back line, but still could not manage to get on the scoreboard.

 

 

A takedown from behind in the 60th minute gave Charlotte a scoring opportunity that they took advantage of. From 30 yards out, Thomas kicked a free kick just beyond the outstretched arms of a diving Tompkins to give the 49ers the lead.

 

 

Tech was outshot by Charlotte 13-11 in the contest, who also had a 5-2 corner kick advantage.

 

 

Senior Nomvula Kgoale led the Lady Techsters with five shots, playing the entirety of the contest. Tompkins registered six saves in net.

 

 

The Lady Techsters’ season ends as one of the best teams statistically in Tech women’s soccer young history, with only more to build going forth.

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