Photo by: Nicholls Athletics

Colonels soccer keeps playoff hopes alive with thrilling overtime victory

October 23, 2017

Nicholls soccer came into the weekend needing at least one victory to keep chase in the race for the Southland Conference playoffs. The Colonels were unable to get the win in Friday’s match as they fell to the University of Central Arkansas. Sunday’s match, however, was a different story.

In a redemptive manner, the Colonels defeated Northwestern State University in overtime, earning three Conference points and knocking off the team that prevented them from reaching the playoffs last year.

The Colonels (3-6- 1 SLC) currently have 10 Conference points, tying them with the University of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the eighth and final spot. Nicholls controls their own destiny, with a win getting them into the tournament. The team can still make the tournament with a tie resulting on the outcomes of other teams next weekend. The Colonels play Southeastern Louisiana University next Friday.

In Friday’s game versus Central Arkansas, the reigning Southland Conference champions, the Colonels struggled offensively as they lost 2-0. The Colonels kept the game close throughout the first half, as both teams went into halftime scoreless. Central Arkansas took control and found the back of the net in the second half. The Sugar Bears scored in the 58 th minute then followed up with a 78 th minute goal to make to score 2-0.

Nicholls took only four shots in the game, failing in comparison to Central Arkansas’ 13 taken. Four different Colonel players had one shot each. Goalkeeper Roosa Hurmerinta recorded two saves.

Sunday’s match versus Northwestern State was an exciting and rewarding one for the Colonels, wrapping up their senior weekend on a high note. The game was played tight throughout regular time, with both teams ending the 90-minute period scoreless despite multiple chances on goal from both teams. The game ended up going into sudden death overtime, where the first goal scored, called the golden goal, wins the game.

With last year’s tie to Northwestern State that prevented Nicholls from making the playoffs on their mind, the Colonels came out aggressive, taking two quick shots and attacking the goal. A foul and subsequent red card by a Northwestern State player gifted the Colonels a penalty kick opportunity. Fifth-year redshirt senior Kirstie Champagne’s kick rebounded off the keeper and was put into the net on a follow-up shot, winning the game for the Colonels.

Champagne lead the team on the day with five shots and two shots on goal. Hurmerinta recorded 10 saves.

The Colonels will return to action next Friday as they play Southeastern Louisiana in their last game of the regular season. The game will be at the Nicholls Soccer Complex at 4 p.m.

Weekend Statistics (vs. Central Arkansas and vs. Northwestern State):

#3 Helmers, Kristy: one shot, one shot on goal
#5 Laiche, Blaire: one shot, one shot on goal
#8 Atwell, Haylee: one shot, one shot on goal
#10 Curteis, Francesca: two shots, one shot on goal
#12 Werenskiold, Emily: 4 shots, 2 shots on goal
#15 Gardner, Lindsay: 1 shot
#18 Champagne, Kirstie: 5 shots, 2 shots on goal, one goal
#32 Elvestad, Mie: 4 shots, one shot on goal
#44 Hurmerinta, Roosa: 12 saves, 2 goals allowed

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