LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Soccer team benefited from an own goal in a wild final minute and claimed a 1-0 victory over Prairie View in the season-opener for both teams on Friday at the Ragin’ Cajuns Track/Soccer Facility.
Libby Harper became the second Ragin’ Cajuns goalkeeper in as many seasons to pitch a shutout in her debut as Louisiana (1-0-0) improved to 4-0-0 all-time against Prairie View (0-1-0) and 17-0-1 all-time against schools from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Harper, who played two seasons at Mid-American Conference member Akron and was the 2019 MAC Freshman of the Year, was challenged by a pair of shots in the 88th minute while collecting her lone save of the match on an attempt by Sonia Fuentes.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who controlled the ball for over 60 percent of the match and over 55 percent on the Panthers’ side of the field, got the game-winner at the 89:30 mark after a ball sent deep into the Prairie View box by Alex Augustyn was controlled by teammate Alyssa Abbott before deflecting off a pair of defenders and past goalkeeper Quinn Josiah on the lower left side.
Both teams’ defenses kept the other at bay for the first half with the teams combining for two shots. Louisiana’s Karleen Bedre missed high on shot attempt from just outside the 18-yard box in the 16th minute before Bety Hernandez-Ortega missed wide on Prairie View’s first shot attempt in the 32nd minute.
Louisiana missed on a pair of golden opportunities late in the 65th minute when Abbott’s blast from inside the box ricocheted off the cross bar before a follow-up attempt by freshman Alex Folchert glanced off the top of the crossbar and resulting into a Prairie View goal kick.
Louisiana held a 7-6 advantage in shots with Folchert and Hailey Hoffmann attempting two each. Bedre, Abbott and freshman Ruthny Mathurin, a member of the Haitian National Team, each attempted one shot for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Folchert recording a shot on-goal in the 56th minute.
Josiah, who kept Louisiana at bay from her goalkeeper position, was credited with one save while disrupting several Ragin’ Cajun crossing attempts into the box. Fuentes attempted two of the Panthers’ six shot attempts while Hernandez-Ortega, Savannah Powell, Samantha Moran and Nia Rampersad each collected a shot attempt.
Louisiana will hit the road for the first time during the 2021 season when it travels to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the match being available on SEC Network Plus.
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