It was well worth the wait.
Olivia Draguicevich’s goal in final minute of double overtime gave the Northwestern State soccer team a 2-1 victory against UL Lafayette Sunday at the Lady Demon Soccer Complex to mark the third consecutive victory as it heads into conference play.
NSU (3-5) has won three consecutive matches, with the last two against stiff competition from the Sun Belt. Including the exhibition against Little Rock, the Lady Demons have gone 3-1 against the Sun Belt this season.
The goal came in the final 40 seconds of the second overtime, when freshman Olivia Mattsson sent the ball in, where it was tipped by fellow freshman Ti Krumme and finished off by Draguicevich. Krumme began the overtime, and it was her first minutes of the year.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way they responded to some feedback at halftime,” co-head coach Jess Jobe said. “The players deserve a lot of credit for how hard they worked. We couldn’t be happier with where we are right now and the potential we see going forward.”
It is the second consecutive season in which NSU had a double overtime victory, after Kylee Dominy booted home a free kick on Senior Day against Nicholls last season to put the Lady Demons into the playoffs.
ULL (4-3-1) saw its four-match winning streak come to the end.
It is the first time NSU has won after trailing at the end of the first half since Sept. 29, 2017, against Incarnate Word.
NSU had a couple early chances in the contest, by sophomore Kalee Williams and two by Sam Hanking, but it remained scoreless.
The first goal took place in the 35th minute, as ULL’s Telly Vunipola kicked it from the left of the box and it curved into the back of the net to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 1-0 lead. It remained 1-0 at halftime.
In the 58th minute, the Lady Demons responded. Mattsson passed the ball into Draguicevich, who had broken loose in front of the net, and she sent it to the back of the net, and tied the match up.
That remained the score at the end of regulation.
ULL came out strong in overtime, controlling the first overtime session. However, senior goalkeeper Kayla Bomben, who played the second half and both overtimes, made three great saves to keep the Lady Demons tied.
It looked like it would end in a tie, but late in the second overtime, the freshmen trio sent the Lady Demons to victory. Mattsson kicked the ball in front of the net, where it was tipped by Krumme and it went right to Draguicevich for the finish to win the game. It was her second of the match.
“The team worked really hard to set me up for those goals,” Draguicevich said. “I was able to get my foot on both balls. Props to my team because without everyone’s hard work, we wouldn’t have had those opportunities.”
NSU won the shot battle once again, 11-9.
“Our non-conference slate really prepared us well for us going into conference play,” Jobe said. “We’ve started to put some pieces together and gain confidence and some belief at a really nice time.”
NSU hits the road to begin conference play, as the Lady Demons head to Nacogdoches to play Stephen F. Austin on Friday. It is the lone contest of the weekend. They return to the Lady Demon Soccer Complex Sept. 27 when they welcome Lamar.