Sept. 3, 2005
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- In its first competition since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and after enduring a 10-hour bus ride to Jackson, Miss. where the Green Wave slept on a gym floor, then lost power before traveling to Birmingham, the Tulane women's soccer team was edged by former Conference USA foe Louisville, 2-1, in the opening round of the UAB Nike Classic Friday night at UAB's West Campus Field.
But for the Green Wave, it was less about the score than about returning to the field of play.
"I told the players at the end of the game that I've never been more proud of a team - either as a player or as a coach - than I was tonight," said head coach Betsy Anderson. "Each and every individual, whether they played 0 minutes or 90 minutes, gave everything they had tonight.
"I was concerned going into the game given the emotional rollercoaster that has gone on during the past week," Anderson said. "Physically, we've ridden buses, slept on floors and are just not in a normal routine. Our theme has been hour by hour, day-by-day and through the support of each other and the athletic department, we persevered."
After 45 minutes of scoreless play, the Green Wave took the lead five minutes into the second half on senior Jessica Mendez's first goal of the season. The senior from Spring, Texas, knocked in her ninth career goal on passes from junior Kali Miller and freshman Katie Somadelis, who registered her first collegiate assist.
The Cardinals answered with the equalizer five minutes later on a goal by Liz Kinny, and with nine minutes remaining in the game, Kinny knocked in the game winner from 25 yards out.
In a match that was nearly even from wire-to-wire, the Wave (0-2) outshot the Cards (3-0) 16-15, and had six corner kicks to the Louisville's one.
"We had better possession of the game in the first half and we continued to go at them in the second half," Anderson said. "We lost some steam at the end and a good team like Louisville takes advantage of its opportunities."
Anderson had praise for midfielder Miller, who the Tulane coaches selected as their player of the game.
The UAB Nike Classic concludes on Sunday when Tulane takes on Kennesaw State at 12 p.m.