Little Rock, Louisiana battle to draw in Sun Belt opener

On Sunday afternoon, the Little Rock (LR) women’s soccer team battled Louisiana (UL) to a 1-1 draw at the Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex. It was the Sun Belt Conference opener for the Trojans (4-4-1).

Arola Aparicio Gili put the Trojans on the board with a goal in the match’s 35th minute. It was the junior Gili’s first goal since the season opener against Central Arkansas on Aug. 18, almost a month prior to the day.

The 1-0 score nearly held as the final margin, as it was not until minute No. 89, just before the horn sounded, that UL’s Haley Boroch scored after a scramble following a corner kick.

Neither team scored in the next two 10-minute overtime periods, although LR had multiple opportunities.

In the sixth minute of the first overtime period, the Trojans’ Fali Garuba, a senior, nearly put in a header goal, but the trajectory of the shot instead went straight upward and into the hands of Mackenzie Lee, UL’s sophomore goalkeeper. Later the same period, a contested shot from junior Jaclyn Purvine flew over the goal.

The Ragin’ Cajuns’ (4-4-1) had 10 shots on goal in the match, while LR had eight.

LR freshman goalkeeper Megan Swanson added eight saves to her season total of 43, making for an average of about five per game. Swanson played all 106 minutes of the match, along with senior Quin Wilkes. Bergros Asgeirsdottir played 93 minutes.

UL had four players, including the goalkeeper Lee, play all 106 minutes.

The Trojans committed nine offside penalties, compared to just one for the Cajuns.

LR will play at in-state rival Arkansas State on Friday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m.

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