LU's Kelso Peskin steals the ball from an A&M defender during Friday's NCAA defeat at College Station.

LU’s Kelso Peskin steals the ball from an A&M defender during Friday’s NCAA defeat at College Station.

Lady Cards fall to Aggies, 1-0, in NCAA tourney

Lamar University soccer travelled to College Station for their first appearance in the NCAA tournament, to take on the No. 6-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, Friday at Ellis Field.

The Lady Cardinals put up a big defensive fight the hour and a half they were on the field, but came up just short as the Aggies took an early 1-0 lead through an LU own goal.

sc2“My feelings right now are just extremely proud of the team and what they have accomplished this year,” head coach Steve Holeman said. “We came a long way in one season. When we drew Texas A&M we knew that it was going to be an incredible challenge. I think our girls handled it extremely well. We knew we were going to have to defend and that’s exactly what we did.”

Defense in front of the net was tremendous on both sides of the field as 22 shots by Texas A&M went unanswered with LU senior goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy having nine saves on the night, three in the first period and six in the second.

“It’s a great feeling to go out on a game like this,” Lovejoy said. “If they have to score an own goal to win, then so be it. “I’m so proud of the team and how hard everybody worked. It’s an amazing feeling to come out of a game like that no matter the outcome. Everyone did a really good job and I couldn’t be anymore proud of this team.”

scLU was outshot 20-5, with only two of the five being on-goal kicks. Lamar had three corner kicks, 12 fouls and one yellow card.

On goal shots were kicked by freshmen forward Lucy Ashworth and midfielder Juli Rocha.

“It’s obviously tough, but we played our hearts out,” Rocha said. “It was a hell of a season — it really was.

“We’ve achieved everything we wanted to achieve. Coming here is a big achievement, it’s only one step closer to the next season and what we’re going to do and what we’re going to achieve. I’m really proud of these girls and I’m glad I got to play with the seniors.”

Lamar will say goodbye to senior goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy, along with midfielders Samantha Moreno, Tori Alaniz, M.J. Eckart and defenders Marie Lund and Laura Parra.

LU finished the season 18-4-1, winning the Southland Conference title for the first time in franchise history and received the team’s only automatic admission into the NCAA tournament in the last 11 years of the program.

“If our season had to end, this was not a bad way to end it,” Holeman said. “I think our staff and our players will look back at this season as one of our bests ever.”

Story by Cassandra Jenkins, UP sports editor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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