Sep 2, 2013 10:10 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Freshman Annika Schmidt scored goals in the 27th, 60th and 63rd minutes, en route to her first career hat-trick and a 5-0 victory for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns soccer team over Northwestern State at the Cajuns Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm very proud of the team effort," head coach Scot Wieland said. "They have been showing signs of this caliber since we started preseason. I tried to tell the team that yesterday because I knew they were disappointed after Friday."
Schmidt's hat-trick was just the second all-time at Louisiana, last done on October 31, 2008 by Callie Oliver.
"I feel really good," Schmidt said after the game. "It was a really good game from the whole team and I'm really glad. I had really good passes from my teammates and they really helped me score the goals."
The Cajuns also got goals from freshman Carly Ellender in the 44th minute and sophomore Ashley Gussoni in the 76th minute, both their first career goals.
Sophomore goalkeeper Cory DeMarco got the nod to start between the pipes for Louisiana, making five saves and registering her first career clean sheet in her first career start.
Schmidt got the scoring started for the Cajuns, after a nice give and go play with Shelby Isley. Schmidt passed to Isley and received the ball back after cutting through a few defenders for a clean shot.
Isley now has 29 career points and is tied with Stephanie Lynch for fifth all-time at Louisiana.
Ellender added to the lead at the end of the first half, heading the ball past the Lady Demon's keeper and into the net. MacKenzie Higgins sent a crossing pass close to the goal and Ellender headed it home, it was her first career assist and point.
Schmidt scored her second and third goals in quick succession, netting the second in the 60th minute on a one-timer from Yazmin Montoya. It was Montoya's second assist of the season.
Schmidt completed the hat trick just three minutes later when she out raced a defender for a shot.
"[Schmidt] has gotten more and more comfortable," Wieland said of Schmidt's play. "It has taken her some time because she had to adjust to the physical part of the college game, but now she's playing simple, getting the ball at her feet and getting space. She can finish and that's why she's up there."
Gussoni rounded out the scoring 13 minutes later, knocking home a rebound on her own shot. The initial shot was off a one-touch pass from Grace Howell-Harries, but the shot was blocked by a defender and found it's way back to Gussoni.
DeMarco enjoyed an uneventful first half with no shots on goal, but needed to come up big in the second half making five saves, as Northwestern outshot the Cajuns 11-10 in the final 45 minutes. She is now 1-0-0 on the season with a 1.03 goals against average in 175 minutes played.
"We have played great second halves and overtimes this season, but we needed to play a whole game," Wieland added. "Today they played a 90-minute game like I knew they were capable. They stuck to the game plan and I am proud of them. They got to feel the true excitement from there work."
The Cajuns will return to the pitch for their final game of this five-game homestand, when Louisiana Tech comes to town for a 7:00 p.m. game on Friday, September 6 at the Cajuns Soccer Complex. The Cajuns will then take to the road for a game against Nicholls State on Sunday the 8th, before returning home for two more games on the 13th (Prairie View A&M) and 15th (Mississippi Valley State).
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