LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese soccer (2-2-0, 2-1 SLC) could not find an answer to the second half surge by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-3-1, 1-1-0 SLC) in a 3-0 Southland Conference loss Sunday afternoon.
The Cowgirls drop to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in league play while the Islanders improve to 2-3-1 overall and pick up their first conference win of the season after falling to Lamar 3-0 Friday night.
1st HALF:The Pokes had the ball with the wind at their backs to start Sunday’s contest. The winds at the Lake Charles Power Centre were very strong the entire match. McNeese struggled to find good shot early, however the Cowgirls held possession the majority of the half and stayed on the offensive side of the field.
This resulted in the Pokes getting numerous chances from corner kicks. McNeese was sent to the corner flag seven times in the half. The attempted five shots, three of those on frame. TAMUCC managed three shots and sent all three right at the keeper.
2nd HALF:To begin the second half the Islanders took advantage of the wind early keeping the ball in their offensive third and continuously testing the keeper.
AMCC’s Abby Deakin found the back of the net in the 54th minute to break the silence to take a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later junior goalkeeper Gabrielle (Gabi) Christy went down after colliding with an AMCC striker on a caught corner kick.
Sophomore Kelly Hines checked in for Christy in the 58th minute and was tested early on a header from Larissa Fagundes just a few seconds later. Fagundes flicked the ball just past Hines to extend the AMCC lead to two.
The Islanders would go on to seal the game in the 83rd minute when a ball ricocheted inside the box and found its way into the goal off the foot of a Cowgirl defender for an own goal.
“We didn’t do enough when we had the wind,” said head coach Drew Fitzgerald. “It certainly played a role in the second half when we were up against it and shorthanded. That said, it was really our inability to connect that cost us. Corpus certainly did a better job than us of taking advantage of the wind. We saw a lot of areas for improvement today that go beyond personnel. Yes, getting players back will be great, but we needed to do better with what we had.”
The Cowgirls fought hard and put up six shots of their own in the second half despite playing into the wind with five subs.
McNeese will hit the road for its next four games including three straight conference matches The Cowgirls will travel to Incarnate Word on Friday (March 5) and Abilene Christian on Sunday (March 7). Both games were postponed due to inclement weather two weeks ago.