Soccer out of the Southland Tournament despite win

Senior midfielder Maddie Kresevic scored the winning goal in her last game as a Lady Lion against Nicholls State University. Despite the victory, the team could not qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Regardless of a strong showing in the away game against Nicholls State University last Friday with a 1-0 win, the Lady Lions were unable to qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament this season.

Senior midfielder Maddie Kresevic scored a late winner for the Lady Lions after receiving a pass from junior forward Sofia Olsson. The Lady Lions required a win from themselves and a loss from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders to qualify for the tournament.

However, the Islanders played a scoreless draw against Houston Baptist University to reserve the final spot in next week’s tournament for themselves.

Head Coach Christopher McBride was happy with the team’s performance in the game.

“The players did really well,” said McBride. “They showed a lot of resilience. Nicholls were playing for a tie because that would get them into the tournament, but we had to win. So they were very defensive, very compact, but we got a lot of chances, and we kept pushing and kept pushing and kept pushing, and we got that goal to win the game.”

McBride shared his thoughts on the season, which he viewed as an opportunity for everyone to learn.

“It was a learning experience for everyone,” said McBride. “My first season with 10 new players, we had some ups, we had some downs. We definitely progressed, and with each game we got better from the first game to the last game. We showed a lot of improvements, and it’s promising for the future.”

McBride explained that he learned from his first season as head coach of the Lady Lions.

“It was a good experience for me,” said McBride. “It was good to see the improvements from the first game of the season to the last game of the season. It was a good first year, but obviously, I would’ve liked to do a little more. At the moment, there’s a solid foundation, and we can definitely start working for the next season.”

The coach had high praise for senior defender Kim Porche, Kresevic and senior midfielder Lauren Babcock, who played the last game of their college careers.

“The seniors were very good,” said McBride. “Maddie Kresevic is really good. She scored a goal in the double overtime and won us the game. Kim Porche, in the weekend before, had scored a goal and two assists against Northwestern State, and unfortunately for Lauren, she was injured for the last couple of games of the season. All three seniors have been really good this year. They’ve been really good to me in my first year as a head coach and during the transition period. It’s not easy having a new coach coming in your senior year, but they responded well to it and I couldn’t ask for anything more from the three of them.”

McBride would like to work on individual performances for the next season.

“The spring time will take a lot of individual moments, and you work on individual skills and you start working on those little foundations,” said McBride. “Well, all of the players, benched or starters, will be made better because in the big picture, they all fall into play. So we’ll be focusing a lot on individual performances this spring.”