ATLANTA – For the second time this season sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Lee recorded eight saves to help lead Louisiana's women's soccer team to a big road point today at Georgia State, 0-0, for their second draw in 2017 Sun Belt Conference play.
Louisiana's record moves to 5-5-2 (2-1-2 SBC), and it's their second draw they've had on the road this season. While Georgia State's record now sits at 3-7-2 (1-3-1 SBC) and it's the second time in the past two meetings that the Panthers and Cajuns have finished in a draw.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Louisiana was looking to bounce back from their home loss on Friday and they came out, like they have all season, by looking to put immediate pressure on their opponent.
But first they needed Lee to make a big play, and within the first 20 seconds of kickoff the Panthers tested Lee who was up to the challenge making her first save of the match right off the bat.
In the ninth minute senior Kimberly Grasso took a shot that went just wide of goal, but she wasn't alone in putting pressure on the Panthers. Shortly after that in the 11th minute senior Denice Emokpae sent one just over the cross bar to give the Cajuns two quick shots.
The Cajuns got their first shot on goal in the 17th minute when senior Ashleigh Cade rocketed one at the Panthers keeper, but Brie Haynes made the save for GSU and the score remained 0-0.
Senior Whitney Taggart, who's header has become a threat for the Cajuns, sent two headers at goal in the 26th minute. Both were saves but it was obvious the Cajuns were asking the questions looking to take the lead.
Near the end of the half, the Panthers flipped the script and they started to put pressure on the Cajuns, but the Louisiana back line were up to the task. The Panthers took four shots in the final ten minutes of the half but none of them got through to Lee as the Cajuns defense held their ground against the late half onslaught.
As the whistle blew the first half came to an end and neither team could take the first goal as the half ended with the score sitting at 0-0.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Much like the first half Lee had to step up and she faced two quick shots the first in the 47th minute and the second coming a minute later in the 48th minute. Lee made both saves easily to get her into the second half early.
Both teams settled into what they were attempting to accomplish as the second half rolled along, and Louisiana got its first shot of the half, which went just wide, in the 60th minute from junior Alexis Miller.
But the Cajuns kept looking for the first goal and in the 70th minute senior Cassandra Reyes sent one from just over 20 yards that scooted on goal, but Haynes made the save keeping the Cajuns off the board.
It was near the end of the half where Lee began to shine.
In the 78th minute Lee made her first of four straight saves, the next coming in the 82nd minute. Lee then made back-to-back saves in less than a minute starting in 84th minute and she stayed on her toes to make her next save in the 85th minute.
The four saves were clutch and key for the Cajuns to keep the score where it was and Lee had made sure that the match would finish regulation still scoreless and overtime was next for the Panthers and Cajuns.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Overtime): Again, the period started with Lee making the plays, as she made a save in the 95th minute to keep the Panthers from getting the golden goal and ending the match.
In the 97th minute Cade tested Haynes with a shot that she stopped, and in the 100th minute Cade again sent one towards goal but it soared over the cross bar as the first overtime period came to an end.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Overtime): The Panthers came out aggressive looking to not let points slip away at home, but the Cajuns back line locked down the defending third and Lee faced zero shots on frame for the entire period.
Georgia State did record several shots, but they were all blocked or forced wide and high to keep the Panthers off the board. When the final whistle blew, the Cajuns had earned themselves a hard fought and well-earned point on the road, to finish up the weekend on a positive note.
NOTEWORTHY: Lee's eight saves ties her career high, a feat she accomplished on Sept. 8 of this season at Sam Houston State and it puts her record at 5-2-2; Cade lead the way with six shots, two of which were on goal; Taggart again was a force in the box with two shots on goal, both headers; Cade, Taggart, sophomore Celine Rumpf, senior Erika Sierra and freshman Ally Busalacchi all put in a full day's work finishing with 110 minutes.
It's the first time the Cajuns have had a scoreless draw in a conference match since drawing Troy at home on Oct. 27, 2013 and it's the first time the Ragin' Cajuns have drawn in conference on the road since they drew at Denver on Sept. 28, 2007; It's the first time since 2012 that the Cajuns have had two conference matches end in draws.
UP NEXT: The Cajuns hit the road for the final time this weekend with a Thursday matchup against ULM on Oct. 5 starting at 4 p.m. followed by a Sunday visit to Texas State on Oct. 8 with that match starting at 1 p.m.
Follow @RaginCajunsSOC on twitter for updates and any changes to match start times along with links to live stats and any streaming services available.