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USM jumps Rice in C-USA West Division Standings

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:12 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Freshman Ilana Izquierdo (Cali, Colombia-Comeva) scored from the spot in double-overtime giving Southern Miss its first win in program history over the Rice Owls, for a final score, 2-1, in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles are back on top of the C-USA West Division with a 7-3-2 overall and 3-1-2 conference record.

Assistant Coach J.P. Valadares had this to say about the massive win, “We before me. Our team did a great job of playing together and we were able to highlight our strength, which is this great group of girls. To do something for the first time in school history feels great, but we are gritty and want more of that feeling”.

Sophomore Blessing Kingsley (Carlow, Ireland-Presentation College) and Ilana Izquierdo both netted in the historic win for the Golden Eagles. Freshman Lauren Bennett (Long Beach, Miss.-Long Beach HS) provided the assist for the opening goal.

Southern Miss out-shot Rice, 16-to-9, and put more on target with 11 to the Owl’s five. The Black and Gold also held more time on the ball with 56% possession.

Seven Golden Eagles saw the full action as eight personnel came off the bench. Rice defender Ziyana Samanani saw the only yellow card of the match. Southern Miss keeper Alex Helbling (Highlands Ranch, Colo.-Richmond Univ.) also made a rare field appearance, donning No. 30, and saw a couple of minutes of full-field action.

Blessing Kingsley broke the deadlock in the 30th minute after receiving a pass from Bennett and powered it past the reigning C-USA Keeper of the Year, Bella Kilgore. Graduate student Alice Campos (Campinas, Brazil-Northwestern Oklahoma State) nearly struck gold in the 41st minute but was denied by the crossbar.

Heading into the break, the Golden Eagles held the 1-0 advantage.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Owls leveled the score at one apiece as Delaney Schultz found the back of the net from a low left shot. Kingsley would come close to a second goal on the night with a fast break but was denied in the 64th minute. With the score level at 1-1, the teams headed to overtime.

Both squads saw opportunities in the first overtime, but a second overtime period was needed to separate the teams.

In the 106′ minute, freshman Adaira Nakano (London, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas) was fouled inside the box, providing Southern Miss a penalty kick. The Colombian international, Ilana Izquierdo beat the Rice keeper from the spot, slotting her shot to the left, and gave Southern Miss the victory. Izquierdo currently leads all C-USA freshmen with 16 points to her name.

Southern Miss hits the road and travels west to El Paso, Texas to take on the Miners of UTEP on Friday, Oct. 22, for an 8 pm (CT) start.

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