Golden Eagles get win over SEMO on senior day

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech soccer team honored its seniors Sunday, when it hosted Southeast Missouri State in its final home regular-season Ohio Valley Conference game, and the Golden Eagles took advantage with a 2-1 win, sparked by a goal from senior Rebecca Ross.

"It couldn't have been any better," coach Becky Fletcher said. "You want to send the girls out with a win, on a positive note, and that's exactly what we did today."

The Golden Eagles (4-11-1, 3-2-1) took a 2-0 lead into half time when sophomore Ashley Smith scored what proved to be the game-winning goal off of Michelle Decker's corner kick. SEMO (2-8-1, 1-4-2) scored mid-way through the second half, keeping the game tight, but was not able to tie the game.

Smith and freshman Lindsey Reed assisted Ross's goal. Freshman goalkeeper Kaitlyn Thacker made 10 saves in the winning effort for the Golden Eagles.

"Kaitlyn has been great all season long," assistant coach Chris Walker said. "To be confident the way she is, is great."

The win puts the Golden Eagles in an advantagous position to make it to the OVC tournament, which takes the conference's top six teams. Tech was in a tie for fourth place heading into Sunday's contest. Depending on results from other games around the league, Tech may have clinched a top-six spot.

"As soon as we've made it into tournament, our next goal is to host the first round," Fletcher said. "And from there, who knows? It's all up for grabs."

The leagues top two teams have a first-round bye in the tournament, while the third and fourth place teams host the fifth and sixth place teams, with the winners traveling to the regular-season champion for the semi-finals and finals. Tech has two OVC games remaining, at UT Martin on Oct. 24, and Murray State on Oct. 26.

"We're away these next two games," senior Kristin Hennek said. "Hopefully we can win them, and host a game in the tournament."

The Golden Eagles return to Cookeville for their season finale, a non-conference match-up with Lipscomb on Oct. 29.