LAFAYETTE – Ruthny Mathurin scored an equalizing goal in the second half before assisting on Lafayette native Jacie Crochet’s game-winner in the 74th minute to help the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Women’s Soccer team rally to a 2-1 victory over Florida International in the season-opener for both teams on Thursday at the Home Bank Track/Soccer Facility.
The win for Louisiana (1-0-0), which was delayed 30 minutes due to thunderstorms in the Lafayette area, marked the first on the Ragin’ Cajuns sidelines for head coach Chris McBride who spent the previous five seasons at in-state opponent Southeastern Louisiana.
After FIU (0-1-0) built a 1-0 lead at the half on Noemi Paquin’s goal in the 14th minute, the Ragin’ Cajuns applied pressure up top and tied the match at 1-1 when Tatum Beck stole the ball from Panther goalie Ithaisa Vinoly and found Mathurin for an open-net goal in the 65th minute.
Mathurin nearly broke the deadlock just over a minute later when her left-footed blast from just inside the 18-yard box sailed over the crossbar. The sophomore and Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection would bounce back a few minutes later when she started a drive down the right side of the field, found freshman Sisley Stephens who got the ball to Crochet – a former Lafayette High product and transfer from LSU-Eunice – for the game-winner.
Libby Harper picked up the win in goal for Louisiana after facing seven shots and recording a save. Lucy Ortiz, Anna Grassinger, Hailey Hoffmann and Hailly Waterhouse each played the full 90 minutes for Louisiana in the opener with Mathurin, Waterhouse and Beck each taking a team-high two shots.
Paquin took three of FIU’s seven shots in the match with Delinda Sehlin adding a pair of attempts. Vinoly suffered the loss for the Panthers and recorded a save.
Louisiana will return to action on Sunday when it entertains Stephen F. Austin (0-1-0) in a 1 p.m. contest. Admission to all Louisiana home soccer matches is free.
The match will be streamed live on ESPN+ with live stats available at CajunStats.com.
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