HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Texas Southern’s 12-hour trip to the state of Alabama was worth the drive as the Tigers pulled off the sweep after another comeback win against Alabama A&M Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously today ended much better than it began,” said head coach Lindsay Vera. “We had a slow start and allowed an early goal for AAMU. After that, neither team could keep possession very long. However, I thought we did well to refocus, defensively, and get out of the first 45 minutes with no more goals against us.”
Almost as soon as the contest started, Alabama A&M struck first for an early 1-0 lead. TSU would only get one shot attempt in the half compared to four by the Bulldogs.
TSU regrouped to begin the second half as Desiree Harte knotted the contest at 1-all in the 54th minute.
“The second half saw a brand new team,” added Vera. “We were moving the ball quickly. The communication was back and the energy was much better all around. We were able to feed our forwards a lot more in the half and get ourselves into better positions offensively.
“Jada ran on to a great pass from Maurie (Lemauriel Johnson), dribbled through a couple of defenders and earned a penalty kick after being tripped in the box. Des confidently stepped up to take the penalty kick and tucked it away for us, tying the game.”
Both teams were aggressive on the offensive end as they had four shots apiece in the half. However, TSU goalie Salma Ghazal was up for the task with a total of three saves in the half, including a key stop in the 85th minute.
“While the possession was heavier for TSU in the second half, A&M found some chances but, once again, Salma Ghazal made two big-time saves and kept us in the game for the remainder of regulation,” said Vera.
With a long trip back home to Houston, TSU made quick work in overtime as Jada MacLean scored the game-winner in the 92nd minute.
“In the first two minutes of OT, the ball made it over to Des on the left side,” said Vera. “She got around her defender and sent a low, driven ball across the frame of the net where Jada sent it home for the golden goal.”
In addition to the win, which moved TSU up to third place in the SWAC standings, Vera was pleased with the play of both Harte and MacLean from an offensive standpoint. Vera also was pleased with her squad’s mental makeup at this point of the season with postseason play looming in a few weeks.
“Des and Jada combined this weekend for seven points, four and three respectfully,” she said. “I’m happy to see that from our forwards. They are really connecting now.
“Once again we came back from being down. I certainly don’t want to make a habit of that but I have to give credit to the team’s mentality. We’re still learning and still improving with each game and that’s why I’m excited for this week of preparation as we head into Senior night.”
TSU is back at home Friday and Sunday as they’ll face Grambling for Senior night on Friday at 7 p.m. and Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 1 p.m. Sunday at Durley Stadium.