Spencer’s OT goal sends LSUA to RRAC tournament title game

LSUA Men’s Soccer
Shaun Spencer
Shaun Spencer(Source: LSUA Generals Website)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:08 PM CDT
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The following was released by Louisiana State University of Alexandria:

TEXARKANA, Texas - Goalkeeper Alvaro Garcia didn’t want his career to end Thursday in the semifinals of the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament. Neither did freshman Shaun Spencer.

Spencer’s goal in the 97th minute gave the No. 4 LSUA men’s soccer team the upset of top-seeded Houston-Victoria 1-0 at the Judy Kelley Morgan Soccer Field and lifted the Generals to the RRAC Tournament title game.

LSUA (4-4-3) will take on the winner of No. 2 LSU-Shreveport and No. 3 Our Lady of the Lake on Friday for the right to advance to the NAIA Tournament.

Spencer, a freshman from London, United Kingdom, scored in front of the net in the seventh minute of overtime. He fought for position in the box and then turned around and fired one top shelf to set off a major celebration at midfield. With the win, LSUA heads to its first RRAC Tournament title game since 2017 and third time overall.

Up until that point, the extra period had been dominated by UHV. In the first 75 seconds of overtime, the Jaguars had two golden opportunities to give the top seed the victory.

A minute into overtime, Jordy Van Hamburg fired a shot that hit the post and the rebound came to Jean-Luc Ramdin, whose shot was saved on a tremendous stop by Garcia, one of his five.

The shutout for Garcia is his fourth on the season and 21st in his illustrious career, which is tops in program history.

UHV (8-1-1) tasted defeat for the first time on the season and was eliminated from the tournament after winning the RRAC regular season for the second consecutive year.

The game was the sixth overtime contest the Jaguars played in this season and had been 4-0-1 in those games, including defeating LSUA 2-1 in Alexandria on March 20.

The first half was tight with it being scoreless. But despite the scoreless half, both teams had chances. UHV had seven shots, with a pair on frame, while LSUA had six shots and three on net.

Just over two minutes into the contest, Karlo Lopez had the game’s first shot for UHV, but it sailed wide. Daniel Torrenegra had the first shot on goal for LSUA, but Gian Marco Cordoba made the save, one of six on the evening for him.

In the 24th minute, the Generals tried to put a tally on the board with good ball movement and it was passed in the box to Danny Stevens, but it was ruled offsides.

LSUA put pressure on Cordoba, but to no avail. After a free-kick, Keelin Foley attempted a header that was stopped by Cordoba.

It was a hectic final two minutes, as UHV’s Connagh Wilks had a shot blocked and Stevens received a pass for the Generals, but was brought down in the box. The official ruled it a clean tackle, though, and the game went into the break scoreless.

In an exciting second half, both goalkeepers came up huge.

In the 54th minute, the Jaguars had their best scoring opportunity of the game. The Jaguars had a 2-on-1 breakaway, but just outside the box, LSUA goalkeeper Alvaro Garcia came out to challenge Bosco Irankunda and blocked it, keeping the game tied.

With 12 minutes to play, Cordoba made two tremendous stops to keep it tied. First, Samuel Ogunjobi passed it to Joao Leonel, whose shot was saved on a great play by Cordoba.

Moments later, he robbed Alessandro Zappavigna of a goal to keep it tied and send it into overtime.

The Jaguars led the shot battle 12-11, but the Generals registered six on goal, compared to four for UHV. Spencer, Zappavigna and Juan Dorta led LSUA with two shots, while Oliver Nugent led UHV with four, including two on goal.

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