Braves draw match with Warhawks

Published 11:53 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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LORMAN – A brace coming either side of halftime from freshman midfielder Zea Anderson was enough to earn Alcorn State a 2-2 draw with visiting Louisiana-Monroe on Tuesday evening in a women’s soccer nonconference matchup at Jack Spinks – Marino Casem Stadium in Lorman, Mississippi.

Originally scheduled to be played Aug. 24, the game was being made-up due to inclement weather in the Lorman area for nearly a week, causing heavy flooding in several areas of the “Magnolia State”. However, Tuesday’s fixture was delayed for almost three hours in itself due to storms in and around the Lorman area once again.

Once the game kicked off, ULM (2-0-1) applied pressure early-on with shots coming from outside the box courtesy sophomore forward Mara Grutkamp and junior midfielder Santana Pressley. However, Alcorn State junior goalkeeper Paula Argelaguet (Barcelona Spain) was up to the task, stopping four shots in the first half alone.

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The Warhawks breakthrough eventually came in the 43rd-minute, as Grutkamp netted her first goal of the season with a shot from just outside the box that stuck top-left corner just past a diving Argelaguet, giving ULM the 1-0 advantage just before the break.

The lead would last just over two minutes before Alcorn’s Zea Anderson (Basalt, Colo.) got behind the ULM defense, using a through-ball from freshman forward Samara Nunn (Parkersburg, W.V.) down the right channel, allowing Anderson to cut in and place the ball on her favored right foot for a shot into the lower-left corner to tie the game, 1-1.

For Anderson, the goal was the first of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School alum’s career.

Alcorn (0-2-1) continued to apply pressure after halftime, using the fastest second half goal for the Purple and Gold in more than five years, with the Braves scoring just over a minute into the second half.

Once again it was Anderson getting in behind the Warhawks back line, as sophomore defender Natacia Ruiz (Desoto, Texas) collected a mishandled pass from ULM, delivering a pinpoint accurate pass through to Anderson, who once again placed the ball onto her right foot just inside the box and placed the shot almost into the exact same location as her first goal.

With Alcorn on top, 2-1, the lead was the first of its kind for the Braves this season.

The lead, however, would last just nine minutes, as ULM defender Lena Göppel headed home a goal off the end of a Grutkamp free kick following a Braves foul from 22 yards out. With both Grutkamp and Sophia Youngman standing over the free kick, Grutkamp took the ball short from the touch of Youngman and delivered the cross to the back post where Göppel was waiting to deliver the towering header.

The goal represented Göppel’s second of its kind for the young 2022 campaign, knotting the game at 2-2 in the process.

The Braves and Warhawks traded shots on goal throughout the remainder of the contest, with both teams coming close to a potential match-winner in the end.

ULM’s Shi Swift saw her headed attempt at goal narrowly miss the target, sailing over the bar by mere inches. And it was Alcorn’s Anderson seeking to complete her hat-trick in the 76th-minute with a shot that was saved by Warhawks keeper Mickaela Leal on the other end.

Alcorn junior midfielder Emily Serrato (Porter, Texas) finished with a pair of shots, including one on target, while teammate Jada Ward (Kitchener, Ontario) provided a shot on target as well. Anderson finished the game with her two goals and three shots – all of which fell on target for the Purple and Gold. Ruiz and Nunn each tallied an assist on the night.

ULM’s Grutkamp led the charge for the Warhawks with six shots (four on target), a goal and an assist. Efi Brame added four shots (three on target), while teammate Göppel tallied two shots (one on frame for the goal).

Alcorn keeper Argelaguet ended the game with eight saves, while counterpart Leal recorded three saves between the sticks for ULM.

Alcorn returns to action this weekend with a pair of games in the “Lone Star State” of Texas. The Purple and Gold are set to embark upon a four-game road swing, beginning with Tarleton State (Sept. 2 | 6 p.m.) in Stephenville, before facing off against East Texas Baptist (Sept. 4 | 2 p.m.) in Marshall two days later.