HATTIESBURG, MS - Southern Miss soccer hosted Marshall in the 12th annual "Blake Nettles Day" at the Southern Miss soccer complex.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw after going to two overtimes. Junior Katie Richmond scored the equalizer for the Golden Eagles off of the assist from Adriana Garcia. It was Richmond's fourth goal of the season, which tied sophomore Bri Schubeck for the most on the team.
Sunday's contest was in the memory of Blake Nettles, a local soccer coach and friend of former Southern Miss coach Gail Macklin, who passed away in 2005.
"[Blake] would bring his team out here to be ball girls," said Blake's widow Tara Nettles. "And [Macklin] decided to honor him the year he passed away with having a 'Blake Nettles day."
This year's event marked the first time Southern Miss awarded the Blake Nettles scholarship in honor of his contributions to the soccer program. The Nettles family has looked forward to establishing a scholarship in Blake's name for several years.
"This is something that was really important to [Blake] and we wanted to find a way to give back to these girls that cared about the same things he did, and be able to give back to the community and the USM soccer team that way," said Blake's daughter Emily Nettles.
The University selected junior Karen Torres as the first recipient of the Blake Nettles scholarship, a choice the Nettles family couldn't be more proud of.
"We knew we wanted someone who had some sort of background in soccer," said Blake's daughter Amanda Kirtland. "And, ironically, our father was an accounting major and that's what Karen was too. So, she really embodied a lot of the spirit of the type of person that we want help out."