Soccer set to take the road against Mississippi State and LA Tech


Photo by: Toni Kilbert

The Nicholls State University Women’s soccer team is preparing for the upcoming matches against Mississippi State University and Louisiana Tech University this weekend.

The Colonels hit the road off the heels of a 2-0 victory against Southern University of Baton Rouge and a 2-2 tie with the University of Southern Mississippi last weekend.

Head coach Dylan Harrison said two tough games were scheduled with the intention of preparing the team for the conference games.

“I always wanted to play a big school,” forward Spencer Valdespino said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere, a great school to play, and it would be a good challenge to see where we are at.”

The match against MSU will be the only match the Colonels will play against a team from the Southeastern Conference.

“In terms of our expectation and commitment to win the game, it doesn’t matter who we play,” Harrison said.

Last Sunday, Valdespino set the career goal record for the Nicholls soccer program. Valdespino netted her 34th career goal at the 58-minute mark.

“I knew about it coming into this week. I’m not going to lie,” Valdespino said, “and to get it on the home turf just feels incredible. That is exactly where I wanted it to be.”

Valdespino credits her teammates for creating the opportunities for her to score. “It’s all about the team. They helped me grow the entire way,” Valdespino said.

After Valdespino scored, Bethany Hollier, a defender and midfielder from Carencro scored her first goal of the year and second of her career en route to the victory.
“Friday we played quite well in the first half and Sunday we played better in the second half,” Harrison said. “We really need to go in and make sure we play well the entire 90 minutes to make us a competitive team throughout the year.”

Two days prior, Nicholls was unable to hold a 2-0 lead at halftime over USM, surrendering two goals within six minutes of each other. The game went to a double overtime and ended in a tie.

In the first half, the Colonels presented a strong attack, outshooting USM 6-2. Jess Coates, midfielder from Australia, assisted Valdespino on both of the Colonels’ goals. Neither team was able to find the back of net during both periods of overtime.

“I think we didn’t do a really good job on weathering that first 15 minutes. We just got a little panicked in the back and even in the midfield and went away from the things that made us successful on the first half,” Harrison said.

The team will head to Starkville, Mississippi where they will face MSU on Friday at 7 p.m., before playing Louisiana Tech in Ruston on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Harrison said the team is going into those games with the expectation of winning and he believes both games will prepare the team for the conference matches.
“In the next few games we need to be hitting our strike to make sure we are ready for the very first conference game,” Harrison said.