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Oct 12, 2013 12:32 AM by UL Sports Information

UL Soccer: Cajuns Defense Leads Way In 2-1 Victory Over UALR

LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns soccer team improved to 6-5-2 overall and 3-1-0 in Sun Belt action with a 2-1 victory over UALR at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer Complex on Friday night.

"It was a very good team win," Wieland said after the game. "[UALR] worked their tails off and it wasn't easy. They came hard like we knew they would. They are physical and strong and work very hard. We needed to be sharp and we were."

The Cajuns got goals from Yazmin Montoya and Grace Howell-Harries, and another split performance in nets by Cory DeMarco and Kendall Graham, to pick up their fifth win in the past six games.

"This run is fantastic, but we have to focus on Arkansas State now," Wieland said of winning five of the last six games. "I told the girls today we worry about UALR, and after that we worry about Arkansas State. I don't care about streaks, I care about taking it one game at a time. It's an old saying but it's true."

Montoya opened the scoring in the 20th minute on a free kick.

UALR was issued a foul just outside the 18-yard box, directly in front of the net, leading to the free kick. Montoya sent the shot straight on target and UALR keeper Kylie Wilson got both hands on the ball but could not redirect it away, and the ball went just inside the upper right corner of the net.

For Montoya it was her sixth goal of the season, bringing her to 17 points. She is now in a five-way tie for eighth most in a season. She is also in sole possession of fourth place in points for a season, behind fellow freshman Annika Schmidt in both categories.

The Cajuns added to the lead in the 75th minute when Grace Howell-Harries scored the second goal of her career and season. The junior captain picked up a the ball from a clearing attempt of a corner kick play and beat Wilson from just inside the 18.

She now has four points on the season and has played in every single minute of action.

UALR didn't give up after a two-goal deficit, adding a goal of their own just five minutes later. Alyson Rohane scored her third goal of the season, beating Graham the Cajuns second-half keeper.

Rohan received a pass from Mikayla Uyokpeyi around the top of the box and fired it by a stretched-out and diving Graham to make it 2-1.

The Cajuns would hold on for the final ten minutes, despite many scoring chances from UALR.

The Louisiana back line held the Trojans to just three-shots on net, clearing the ball from deep in the box many times.

UALR had a very strong opportunity in the final minute when the Cajuns were whistled for a foul just one yard off the goal line and a yard out of the box, basically giving the Trojans a corner kick at the edge of the box.

The Cajuns defense did not allow a shot, and would clear the ball with little enough time on the clock to not have to worry.

"Our defense was very strong," Wieland said of the final minutes of the game. "We have been working a lot on keeping our shape [on defense] and getting good clears. In the earlier games we were clearing balls low and in the middle, which isn't good. They have been working on it and are doing a great job."

DeMarco was the winning keeper in the game, coming out with a 1-0 lead that was not relinquished, improving to 6-2-0. She is now tied for sixth all-time with six wins in a season, with Amanda Moorefield (2011) and Liza Preseault (2002).

Louisiana will remain home for a Sunday matinee against Arkansas State. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer Complex, and it will be Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the complex.

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