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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State defeats Louisiana-Lafayette 2-1 in opening round of Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State junior defender Anna Dunch (14) dribbles the ball down the sideline during the game against Louisiana-Lafayette, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, at Bobcat Soccer Complex.

Texas State soccer (9-6-4, 4-3-4 Sun Belt Conference) defeated the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (7-9-2, 4-5 Sun Belt Conference) 2-1 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Monday night at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex in Foley, Alabama.

The Bobcats entered the contest as the eighth seed, while the Ragin’ Cajuns were the ninth seed. Monday’s victory is Texas State’s first conference tournament win since the 2018 season. It is also the first time Texas State has scored two goals in the tournament since 2013.

To open the game, the Ragin’ Cajuns established a 4-4-2 formation, while Texas State brought in attacking pressure with a 4-3-3 formation.

In the 29th minute, Louisiana-Lafayette junior defender Lauren Bennett gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead due to an accidental deflection after Texas State senior forward Olivia Wright sent the ball into the box.

By the end of the first half, the Ragin’ Cajuns accumulated seven shots with five on goal, though none were able to break the Bobcat defense. Texas State junior defender Lucy Hart dominated the left and the right side of the pitch and kept defenders off the goal line throughout the game.

In the second half, the Bobcats increased their lead to 2-0 after a high kick into the middle from a Ragin’ Cajun defender, which sophomore forward Mady Soumare located and sent straight into the net in the 71st minute.

The Ragin’ Cajuns retaliated against the Bobcat defense to the best of their ability. In the 87th minute, Louisiana-Lafayette junior midfielder Hailly Waterhouse found the bottom right corner of the goal, bringing the final score to 2-1.

The win marks career number six for Texas State freshman goalkeeper Caitlyn Draper. Draper had seven saves in the game, bringing her total to 61 on the season. She is one save shy of tying Amanda Bryd for the third most by a Texas State freshman goalkeeper.

Monday’s victory also marks Steve Holeman’s first career postseason win as head coach of Texas State.

“I’m proud of the team and their effort tonight. Nice to get a win in the conference tournament and excited to advance,” Holeman said. “We did some really good things today and will need to be at our best for Wednesday.”

Texas State will move on to play number one overall seed South Alabama (15-0-3, 8-0-2 Sun Belt Conference) in the next round of the tournament.

Kickoff between Texas State and South Alabama is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex in Foley, Alabama. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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