Spitzer’s late goal helps Northwestern State earn tie at McNeese

LAKE CHARLES—Taylor Spitzer’s goal in the 82nd minute helped the Northwestern State women’s soccer team salvage a 1-1 tie on the road against McNeese in Sunday afternoon’s Southland Conference game.

NSU (5-3-3 overall, 2-2-2 SLC) scored in the 82nd minute on a Spitzer goal on a cross from Gracie Armstrong. On the cross, Armstrong brought it near the end line on the edge of the box and crossed to Spitzer, who lifted a shot to the top right corner of the goal to tie the score after McNeese had scored six minutes prior.

“This is a tough one as we controlled the game from start to finish and switched off for one moment and it cost us,” NSU women’s soccer head coach Stuart Gore said. “But we battled back and scored a good goal thanks to great work from Gracie and Taylor finished under pressure.”

Spitzer’s third goal of the season ties Natalee Henry for the second-most on the team and was one of 15 shot attempts for the Lady Demons, as they out-shot their opponent once again 15-4.

Armstrong’s assist was her third on the season, which is second on the team to the four dished out by Jalen Donaldson.

The game was scoreless through the first 75 minutes before McNeese (4-5-2, 2-2-2) broke through on a goal by Matilde Tesgaard. The ball was headed and deflected in by Tesgaard. The assists were by Kiana Kukaua and Carrie Kotoucek.

NSU controlled much of the game, as evidenced by the shots advantage of 15-4, including 12-3 in shots on goal. There was only one shot in the first 15 minutes of action in a defensive-minded game. That attempt was an Olivia Draguicevich shot, which was saved by Briana O’Dell, one of her season-high 10 stops in the game.

The defense that held McNeese to just four shot attempts was led by Nicole Henry, who played in her 87th career match, which gave her the school record in that department, surpassing the 86 appeared in by Natalie Waguespack.

McNeese leading scorer Magalie Dépôt had the lone shot for the Cowgirls in the first half, which was stopped by NSU goalkeeper Chloe DeShazer, one of her two saves in the afternoon.

One or fewer goals have been surrendered by NSU in 10 of the 11 games on the season and the unit has allowed five or fewer shots by opponents in six of the past seven contests.

From the back line, Jayme Haynes led the game with four shots, three of which were on frame. Armstrong chipped in with three shots taken.

Four players recorded one shot apiece for the Cowgirls, who are now unbeaten in their last three games and now head on the road to play Lamar and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who are the top teams in the conference, along with Texas A&M-Commerce.

NSU concludes its short two-game stretch on the road with a trip to league-leading Lamar on Friday before heading home for two, beginning with a visit from Nicholls on Oct. 9.

PHOTO: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services