ORU improved its record to 10-3 overall and 5-1 in Southland Conference play, while the Colonels dropped their third straight match and they fell to 9-3-1 and 3-3-0 in league action. The Golden Eagle victory kept them in pace with Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin in a three-way tie for first.
Giles put the Golden Eagles on the board early in the match as she converted a goal in front of the net. Mary-Kate Halsmer earned the assist as she dribbled down near the endline on the left side and crossed the ball into the box for Giles. It was Giles’ fifth goal of the season.
In the 30th minute, Giles recorded her fifth assist of the season as she found Keller in the middle of the field. Keller made a move on a Nicholls defender, blasting a shot from about 30 yards out to give ORU a 2-0 lead.
Great defensive play by the ORU backline allowed just three shots by the Colonels in the first 45 minutes, each coming off the foot of Spencer Valdespino.
Keller added the insurance goal in the 55th minute as Halsmer sent the ball through a couple of defenders, hitting Keller in stride in the box for the goal. Keller has eight goals this season, the most by a Golden Eagle since Maria Grados scored nine in 2009.
In the 58th minute, the Colonels broke the shutout as Misty Tatom scored on a header in front of the net off a free kick from near midfield by Renee Bruns.
Maddie Rhodes (6-2) earned her sixth victory of the season as she earned six saves in the match. Amanda Boylson (6-2-1) was credited with the loss for Nicholls, marking four saves. Taylor Mosley replaced Boylson to start the second half and picked up three saves.
Both squads took 17 total shots in the match, with the Golden Eagles holding an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal. Keller led the Golden Eagles with four on target, while Jennifer Abernathy had two good looks as well.
ORU will have an opportunity to get the upper hand in the Southland on Sunday afternoon as they battle fellow conference leader Southeastern Louisiana. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Case Soccer Complex.