Following the big road shutout victory against Jackson State, the Northwestern State soccer team returns home for the final two non-conference matches of the season, starting Friday at 7 p.m. against Texas State.
Admission to the contest is free thanks to the sponsorship of the Louisiana Army National Guard.
“It will be a great test for us to keep the mentality and keep our focus and continue to learn and grow as a team,” co-head coach Jess Jobe said. “We hope the win against Jackson State could be a catalyst for us to be able to put a couple wins together.
“It would be great timing for us going into conference play. We’re looking forward to being back home in front of our home crowd.”
NSU (1-5) is coming off a weekend in which it only allowed one goal in a split last weekend against UL Monroe and Jackson State.
Freshman Olivia Draguicevich scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win at Jackson State last Sunday, and leads the team with two goals. The other came at Baylor on Aug. 25. Sophomores Kiara Padilla and Jalen Donaldson also have goals for the Lady Demons this season.
The Lady Demons have had the shot advantage in each of the past four contests, including decisively in three of them.
The defense has limited chances by the opponents recently, only surrendering 17 shots in its last four matches, and nearly half of those (eight) came in one game against Louisiana Tech.
At goalkeeper, sophomore Acelya Aydogmus started the first four matches and senior Kayla Bomben played the last two, a pair of 1-0 games.
“To have someone who is constantly pushing me has made me a better goalkeeper,” Bomben said. “I respect her so much and she is so good for me and we are good for each other.”
TSU (4-1-1) comes in off a 1-1 tie at New Mexico State. The Bobcats won their first four games, surrendering only one goal in the process. Their first three contests were all won 1-0, including against Southland foe Incarnate Word. Overall, they have allowed just four goals in six matches.
Of TSU’s seven goals scored, Kaylee Davis has three of them, including scoring both goals in an overtime win against Houston Baptist Sept. 1. She also has taken 26 shots, which is far and away the most on the squad.
The Bobcats have used two goalkeepers, but have started Heather Martin all six games. The senior has 18 saves on the season and has a goals against average of 0.65.
“We want to grow and sort out a few things systematically and be on the same page,” Jobe said. “We want to make sure our identity is well established. We just want to get better. We want to give our best effort Friday, and if we do that, I think we’ll be happy and have opportunities to win the game.”
NSU concludes the weekend at home Sunday against in-state foe UL Lafayette, which is the non-conference finale. The Lady Demons begin conference play with a trip to rival Stephen F. Austin Sept. 20.
Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services