Louisiana Tech 3, Eastern Illinois 1
The Louisiana Tech soccer team is already starting to build the reputation of comeback kids.
The team was down a goal at halftime but then exploded for three second half scores to defeat Eastern Illinois, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field.
It marked the third comeback for LA Tech (4-0-1) in just five matches this season and wrapped up a great effort at the EIU Tournament.
“For some reason we are starting games very slow and with little intensity,” said head coach Kevin Sherry. “We are giving our players opportunities, but they are not taking advantage of their opportunities.
“We made adjustments to the team shape and shifted some personnel around and we once again were able to control the second half. Perhaps the key change was putting Jenny Bitzer up into the forward line from her defensive role.”
The contest was evenly matched to start as each team traded shots in the early going. Both squads had five shot attempts apiece up until Eastern Illinois’ (0-4) sixth attempt connected off a miss clearance by the Lady Techsters. EIU’s Chris Reed hammered it home in the 43rd minute for the 1-0 advantage going into halftime.
In the second half with Bitzer up top, the sophomore was able to create havoc and take on defenders with her offensive dribbling.
It was in the 62nd minute when Brittany Beddow launched a shot from 25 yards out from the center that got past the keeper for the equalizer. The score was her team-leading fourth of the season and already surpasses her goal total from a year ago.
Four minutes later, striker Kathryn Sloan got her second wind and came up with the game winner on a shot into the deep right corner. The assist was credited to Annabel Prior.
Sealing the victory was Bitzer who notched her first career goal in the 88th minute with a strong dribble to the left side, beating the keeper.
“We need to address our first half slumps because we won’t always be able to recover,” said Sherry. “Overall, it was great to get two wins in the tournament and a big congratulation goes out to the team for this achievement.”
LA Tech ended up with an 18-4 shot advantage in the second half and 14 total shots that were on goal.
The Techsters will now get some much needed rest before getting back on the pitch on Friday, September 5 at in-state foe Southern. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.