This past Sunday the Lady Tigers soccer team opened its season against ULM. The lady warhawks won 1-0 in a game where both teams looked like they where playing their first game of the season.
The game began with a nervous energy. Throughout the first half neither team was able to keep possession of the ball or create many goal-scoring chances.
The sloppy play led to Grambling’s best chances of the game. On multiply occasions ULM’s poor passing led to turnovers that gave GSU the opportunity to pressure on ULM’ goalie, Karlin Aloisio, who looked shaky in goal. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers they were unable to capitalize on ULM’s mistakes and the first half ended 0-0 despite Grambling having a 4-1 shot advantage.
If the Lady Warhawks started the game with any nerves they had completely faded by second half. The Lady Warhawks played much crispier and enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half. The increased possession allowed ULM to push forward and apply pressure to the Grambling goal.
Grambling’s defensive back four and goalkeeper Nahomie Lagardere remained solid under increasing pressure from ULM. Lagardere was strong in goal, dealing with crosses, claiming balls in the air and generally controlling her box.
Despite the work of Lagardere and the team’s defensive effort, the sustained pressure from the Lady Warhawks finally produced a breakthrough. After a series of well-worked passes that broke down GSU’s defense, Taylor Epperson was able to poke the ball into the back of the net in the 79th minute.
During the second half the Lady Tigers found it hard to maintain any possession or create much of anything going forward. The Lady Tigers best chance came in the 83rd minute.
With a chance to equalize Grambling got a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box. Captain Courtney Blount hit a solid shrike that swerved and dipped but was handled well by goalkeeper Alex Holland, who was a second half sub. The rest of the game was uneventful and after the 90 minutes ULM had won be the slimmest of margins.
ULM was better in the second half and deserved the result but the Lady Tigers showed themselves well and had opportunities to get the result.
Despite the loss coach T. O. Totty remained positive. Totty said,”This season will be a work in progress. A soccer season is a marathon not a sprint.”
The Lady Tiger next game is Sept. 9 at home against the University of North Texas.