NATCHITOCHES, La. -- Northwestern State soccer’s postseason hopes officially ended Friday in a 3-1 loss at Southeastern.
NSU (5-11, 1-8 Southland Conference) lost its fifth straight contest as the Lady Demons were mathematically eliminated from conference tournament contention.
The Lady Demons struck first in the 7th minute, but Southeastern (4-9-3, 2-5-2 SLC) answered with one first-half goal and two second-half goals to surge for the win.
Tied 1-1, SLU’s second-half goals came in the 78th and 84th minutes as NSU changed strategies knowing it couldn’t settle for a tie to stay alive in the postseason hunt.
“We knew we had to win, so we took a gamble on the defensive side, but it proved costly,” said NSU coach George Van Linder. “We didn’t want to be conservative, we wanted to keep fighting, we didn’t want to let up.
“We had the opportunities but not the result.”
Senior midfielder Payton Roney struck from 20 yards out on an assist from freshman Yeaya Gamboa early in the first half.
Roney’s third goal of the season is a new career high after the Laurel, Miss., native scored twice as a freshman.
Gamboa’s assist is her third this season as she moves into second place on the team with 13 total points (including five goals).
Southeastern tied the match in the 42nd minute when Kim Porche scored her first goal of the season on an assist by Christina Cutura.
The Lions got second-half goals by Amber Marinero and Lexi Gundersen.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Latham made seven saves in the loss, the most since the conference opener against Stephen F. Austin (14 saves).
After each team recorded four shots in the first half, Southeastern dominated the second period by taking 13 shots to NSU’s five.
Ten of SLU’s shots were on goal compared to four for NSU.
The Lady Demons have two more matches in the regular season – a Sunday trip to Nicholls (1 p.m.) before its finale at home against Central Arkansas on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.