LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The short-handed McNeese Cowgirls (2-1, 2-0 SLC) topped Houston Baptist (0-4-1, 0-3 SLC) in Southland Conference women’s soccer action Friday afternoon in a 3-1 victory behind goals from Anna Watson, Olivia Broussard, and Magalie Depot.
With the win the Pokes advance to 2-1 overall, and 2-0 in league play, while the Huskies fall to 0-4-1 overall, and 0-3 in SLC play. As of Friday afternoon, McNeese and Northwestern State tied atop the league standings at 2-0.
The Cowgirls have struggled trying to remain healthy to have numbers for this year’s Spring season. McNeese was down ten players today due to injuries and were left with five on its bench.
”We’re really proud of our team to find a way to win without a lot of starters,” said head coach Drew Fitzgerald. “We played every single field player that we had available on the bench, and I think our lack of players showed at the end of both halves and HBU took over the game when we didn’t have the legs to do it.”
1st HALF:The Cowgirls got off to an early lead when Anna Watson found the back of the net in the fourth minute of the contest. Watson was drawn into the attacking third, away from her left back position, where she beat a few defenders outside and chipped the HBU goalkeeper to take an early 1-0 lead. The senior from Spring, TX played hard for 84 minutes and remained involved while on the sideline.
”Anna has really stepped up to the plate to lead this team,” said Fitzgerald. “She had one goal and two assist which is an amazing day for anybody and made it clear why we rely on her to get things done.”
2nd HALF:Houston Baptist looked stronger in the second half and was able to connect passes through the middle of the understaffed Cowgirls.
The Husky offense was stopped in the 59th minute when Watson was sent to the flag for a corner kick. Watson’s kick found the head of Morgan Schooley and was finished by Olivia Broussard.
Five minutes later, Watson made another impact when she sent a deep through ball to transfer forward Magalie Depot who beat her defender and sent it pass the keeper in a one on one just inside the box.
Houston Baptists’ Ryan Ford stopped the shutout with a late goal in the 78th minute when she intercepted a bad pass across the back line and made it 3-1.