Lady Demons soccer sweeps SLC


Courtesy of Southland Conference

The Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s women’s soccer team earned their first Southland Conference championship victory since 2005 after defeating University of Incarnate Word 1-0 on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana claimed new silverware this 2021-2022 season. For the first time since 2005, the Lady Demons soccer team won the Southland Conference regular-season title and their fourth SLC Tournament Championship, earning a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Soccer Tournament.

The Lady Demons blazed through the SLC Tournament in a sleek fashion, beating out Southeastern Louisiana 1-0 in the semifinals and the University of Incarnate Word 1-0 in the SLC Tournament Championship. NSU marked a 12-5-2 overall record and a 10-2 SLC record in the 2021 season.

Freshman midfielder Faith Adams delivered the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute and sealed Northwestern State’s enshrinement into conference champions. Only gaining playing time after Oct. 17, Adams’ strive for a championship came at the right time, who was in amazement of her shot going in the net.

“I saw the ball come in, and all I could think about was placement and try to not put it in the center of the goal,” said Adams. “It all happened in slow motion, and all I could see was the ball going into the back of the net.”

Adams said after the shot went in, she was too excited to think. That goal for NSU became one of, if not the biggest goal all season. “If it weren’t for my team and Olivia Draguicevich, I wouldn’t have been able to make it happen.”

Draguicevich, 2021 SLC Player of the Year, ended the regular season leading the team with 12 goals, followed by 26 shots on goal and two assists. Her assist in the SLC Tournament Championship, pushing up the left wing and sending a cross over UIW keeper Makenzie Hall while Adams hunted down the pass at Hall’s left and headed it in, showed what this season was like for the Lady Demons; flashy and excellent.

Throughout the week, SLC Tournament Most Valuable Player Acelya Aydogmus’ nerves never lost her focus. This season, the intensity she brings to the game was on display when the stakes were high for NSU.

“The team and my family instill so much confidence in me, which helps with the nerves,” Aydogmus said. “You may think I don’t get nervous, but I don’t eat or sleep before.”

After winning the championship on Sunday, Lady Demons head coach and SLC Head Coach of the Year Stuart Gore believed this was not the end of the rope for NSU. “

I’m so happy for the team,” Gore said. “And for those of them that played in 2019 and lost in the final, they got a bit of redemption.”

The last time NSU went to the SLC Tournament Championship, the Lady Demons saw the heartbreak side of their championship experience, losing 3-1 against Lamar in the 2020 Southland Conference Tournament Championship. They never stopped grinding, and with leaders on the team like Adams, Draguicevich and Aydogmus, NSU gained a winning complexion that couldn’t be matched.