August 28, 2019
LITTLE ROCK- Little Rock grabbed their first win of the season in their home opener against Grambling State as Julia Edholm’s 81st minute header gave the Trojans the game-winning goal in their 1-0 victory.
“In the first half we were really nervous,” said Head Coach Mark Foster. “We talked about it at halftime and we gave the girls some solutions to what was going on out there and we played much better. I think it was a win that the girls need for their confidence and once you get that first win everything starts to settle down. We’re really thankful for all the fans that came out tonight, as well as the people for the athletic department and the school who made it a great night.”
Grambling State came out with some lively play from the start, dominating possession in the early minutes. However, the Little Rock defense held strong, allowing just one shot in the first half.
Morgan Smocovich fired two shots from long range, including a driven free kick in the 65th minute, but was denied by the Tigers’ goalkeeper.
Little Rock did well to get back into the game in the second half, winning possession high up the pitch to create solid scoring opportunities.
Mari Young was extremely effective in the attack, starting the match in the striker position. She did well to create space in the attacking third and continually won free kicks near the penalty area.
The game-winning moment came in the 81st minute when the Trojans won a free kick about 35 yards from the goal. Smocovich delivered a wonderful lofted ball near the penalty spot and Edholm rose above the Grambling State defense to flick her header into the back of the net and score the first goal of her Little Rock career.
Julia Curatolo continued her great form between the posts, making one save and earning her second shutout of the season. The redshirt-freshman has now played 245 minutes without allowing a goal.
The Trojans improve to 1-1-1 on the season while they hand Grambling State their first loss of the season as they fall to 2-1 overall.
Little Rock gets back to action Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. when they head to Tulsa, looking for back-to-back wins.