Here at gtpdd, we strive to bring you #content that you want, crave, and need. Most of the time, that content centers around football. Sometimes, it focuses on basketball or baseball. Hell, we’ve even brought you a story about the Lady Techsters Softball team that Techsters star Morgan Turkoly called “kinda insulting, kinda nice lol.”
Well, put on your shin guards and get ready for a rousing game of footie! That’s right, we’re talking Lady Techsters Soccer today.
As I laid out in my Softball piece, I’m not as well-rounded of a Tech fan as I would like to be. I want to follow and support all Tech sports endeavors. These pieces are a way for me, a Tech super-fan, to try to put my money where my mouth is. I want to bring coverage of the lesser-covered sports to you, gtpddNation. With that being said, let’s dive into Louisiana Tech Soccer and see how they’re doing so far this year.
The Lady Techsters Soccer team entered the 2018 season having played in four consecutive C-USA postseason tournaments. In order to clinch a berth to the 2018 tournament, the Techsters needed to finish in the top 8 of the conference. On Friday night, the Bulldogs weren’t the only Tech victors. The Techsters shut down Southern Miss, 2-0 (which I’m told is pronounced “nil”, here?) and clinched a fifth straight postseason berth. But how did the Techsters do it? Are they scoring machines? More of a “park the bus” type of team? To be really honest with you, I’m not sure. Let’s look at the stats together and try to find out!
- Record: 12-5-2 (5-3-2 C-USA, 4th place)
- Goals for: 36 (1st)
- Goals per game: 1.895 (4th)
- Goals against: 23 (7th)
- Goals against per game: 1.21 (6th)
- Shots on goal per game: 6.32 (T7th)
- Fouls per game: 7.79 (2nd)
So from what it looks like, the Techsters are a fairly decent scoring team, and an average defending team. Their goals to shots on goal ratio seems to be pretty high, which I could tell you seems a little unsustainable, but I don’t know soccer well enough to know for certain! The Techsters are also a fairly clean team, committing less than 8 fouls per game. Fouling fewer times per game has paid off, as the Techsters have been rewarded with 69 corner kicks, while their opponents have only taken 54. I may not know much, but I know that set pieces can lead to higher scoring, so it’s better to take corners than give them!
Okay, now that we’ve looked at some stats and concluded that I don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s go through the Techsters season and see how they’ve performed. I’m especially interested in how they’ve stacked up against the other teams that will be in the C-USA Tournament later this week.
Out of Conference
The Techsters started out the year strong, with a non conference slate that included victories over Texas State, Incarnate Word, ULM, Missouri State, Western Illinois, Graceland, and Grambling State. They also lost matches to Northwestern State and Mississippi State, two schools I definitely don’t have PTSD from football games lately.
In their 9 Out-of-Conference games, the Techsters put up 21 goals while only allowing 9. They pitched 4 shutouts during that stretch, as well. In the second week of the season, two Techsters earned Conference player of the week awards. Mylene Roy-Ouellet was the CUSA Offensive Player of the Week for netting four goals in two games, while Nomvula Kgoale won Defensive honors for her work at center back, as Tech shut out Incarnate Word and ULM at home.
The Techsters started out the year on a hot streak, but as we all know, the conference slate is what truly matters.
Here’s a look at the Techsters conference slate, with other tournament teams underlined:
There are some pretty big implications we can draw from just these stats. First and foremost, the Techsters were dominant at home. In fact, they’ve won eight straight home matches, and outscored opponents 24-9. They shut out five opponents at home this season! No one comes in to Lady Techsters Soccer Complex™ and comes out with a victory! (except Northwestern State, but whatever).
The problem arises when you realize that although the Techsters dominated at home, they did not get to play all of their games in Ruston. Unfortunately, they had to play half of their conference slate on the road, where they were… well… not great, bob.
On the road this season in conference play, Tech lost or tied every single game. They never won outside the confines of Lady Techsters Soccer Complex™. The games they tied (Marshall and FIU) were against two teams that are not currently going to qualify for the CUSA Tournament, and the games they lost outright (UAB, FAU, and Rice) are to teams that are currently going to qualify for the tournament. Yikes.
There is some other good news, though. Freshman forward Connor Barker was awarded CUSA’s Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts against UTEP and UTSA in early October. She scored a Golden Goal 37 seconds into overtime to keep the home winning streak alive, and then scored two goals against UTSA in a 3-2 victory. Here’s a video of that golden goal, which was Tech’s 6th goal of the season after the 87th minute (there are 90 minutes in soccer games, if you weren’t aware):
Conclusions and Conference Tournament
Overall, it’s safe to say that the Lady Techsters had a very good season. Individually, several Techsters had impressive years. Connor Barker and Mylene Roy-Ouellet each put up 6 goals, which placed them in the top 15 of CUSA scorers. They won 9 of their 10 games at home, and placed themselves firmly in the top 8 of the Conference, punching their ticket to a fifth straight conference tournament.
Unfortunately, the conference tournament is not in Ruston, at Lady Techsters Soccer Complex™. It’s in Norfolk at ODU this season. Tech beat ODU 3-2 earlier in the year, but that was at home. The Techsters have the unlucky fortune of drawing the home team in the opening round of the tournament tomorrow. The Conference title will be decided by a single-elimination, 8 team playoff. Here’s the bracket:
For the Techsters to win the tournament, they’ll have to beat ODU again (but on the road this time); beat either a Rice team that destroyed them 3-0 OR a North Texas team that didn’t lose a single conference game; and then defeat one of two teams they’ve already lost to (UAB and FAU), a team they beat (USM), or a team they haven’t played (MTSU). It seems like a tall order, but maybe the Techsters can find some of their home magic in Norfolk.
Can the Techsters work out their road issues? Can they find a way to win on the road against teams that they’ve previously lost to on the road? I certainly hope so! Tune in to the CUSA Tournament to find out!
The CUSA Tournament starts Wednesday, October 31st. All games will be televised on ESPN+.