The road to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships has been an up and down stretch for the Grambling State University Lady Tigers Soccer team.
Two of the last three games the women have played have been decided in overtime yet the team has been victorious in two of the three.
On Friday Kendall Smith scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick leading Southern University to a 1-0 victory over the hosting Tigers before 60 fans. It was the first time the Jaguars have defeated the Tigers since the program began SWAC play in 2003.
Grambling (5-2 conference, 8-10 overall) was carded a total of six times in the game, two of which led to the ejection of sophomore Solange Robinson.
“It makes you sad for the girls,” said Cesar Martinez, who’s in his second year as head coach.
“They work hard but if the referee isn’t doing his job right it just makes you sad for the girls.”
The Lady Tigers, which are currently first in the SWAC West having outscored conference opponents 18-3 this season did not get the opportunities the team has become accustomed to.
“We were able to control the game.” Martinez said “We just didn’t take a lot of shots like we (usually) do.”
The Jaguars (3-5, 3-8) were carded four times on the day. They are currently third in the SWAC West and have won three consecutive games after beginning the season 0-8. They are scheduled to play Alcorn State on Oct 28 at a time to be determined in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers were able to exact revenge two days later against Jackson State when sophomore forward Isabelle Amichia scored the go-ahead goal in the 115th minute of the second overtime on a corner kick to lead Grambling to a 2-1 victory over the Jackson State Tigers before 35 fans at Grambling State University.
Sophomore midfielder Vanessa Pacheco scored the first goal of the game on an assist from forward Tiffany Brisco, also a sophomore, while junior midfielder Viola Howard scored the lone goal for Jackson State (4-2-1, 8-4-2) who is currently third in the SWAC East.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for Jackson State who is scheduled to host Mississippi Valley State Oct 28 at a time to be determined.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sherrice Fox, who has 19 saves on the season, had four saves for the Tigers who have won six of their last 10 games. They are scheduled to play at Prairie View A&M at 4p.m. on Oct 28.
The SWAC Championships, which will be hosted by Grambling, are scheduled to begin on Nov 2.