Nov. 4, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Lamar Lady Cardinals saw their bid for their first-ever Southland Conference women’s soccer title fall just short in a 2-1 loss to top-seeded Stephen F. Austin on Sunday.
The Lady Cardinals (11-9-1) fell into a 2-0 first-half deficit before Kimmy Albeno got Lamar back into the game with her school-record 12th goal of the season midway through the second half.
“We got off to a slow start and Stephen F. Austin dominated most of the first half, but I thought we came back and dominated the second half,” Lamar coach Orlando Cervantes said. “But against a team like SFA, you have to play a full game.”
Albeno ended the season with a school-record 27 points, one point ahead of Kristin Bos, who picked up an assist on Albeno’s goal.
Chelsea Raymond and Zuri Prince scored for Stephen F. Austin (17-3-0). Raymond scored 7:29 into the game off an assist from Prince, who would give SFA a 2-0 lead at the 25:49 mark. Prince was named the tournament MVP.
Albeno pulled the Lady Cardinals to within one with 31:05 remaining, but Lamar could hever get the equalizer. Lamar goalkeeper Bailey Fontenot and SFA keeper Lacey Lee both made spectacular saves down the stretch. Fontenot finished with 10 saves, while Lee stopped five shots.
“I think we came out a little nervous in the first half,” but the halftime talk got us going,” Albeno said. “It’s disappointing to have our season end, but I am excited about next season.”
The loss ended the most successful season in the six-year history of Lamar soccer. The Lady Cardinals posted a school record 11 wins and reached the conference finals for the first time. In addition to Albeno’s scoring records, Fontenot set single-season records for wins (11), goals-against average(1.18) and save percentage (.844) while tying a school mark with six shutouts.
“I’m very proud of this team and what we accomplished,” said Cervantes, who was hired shortly before practice started in August. “I’m looking forward to having a full spring with the team. We’re going to hit the recruiting trail and we’re going to get better for next season.”
Albeno, Bos and Jannet Hernandez represented Lamar on the all-tournament team.