COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - For the third consecutive game, the
Tennessee Tech soccer team needed overtime before the final outcome
could be decided. After a loss and a tie in the previous two, the
Golden Eagles pulled out a 2-1 win Friday over Eastern Kentucky in
Ohio Valley Conference play.
The Golden Eagles (2-9-1, 1-0-1) were aided by the return of two seniors, Brianne Lankford and Katie Hoover, who both came back from injury, and freshman goalkeeper Lauren Schaedig, who made her first career start.
"We finally had some bodies today," coach Becky Fletcher said. "We had some depth off the bench, and having numbers helped us."
Schaedig and fellow freshman keeper Kaitlyn Thacker have been battling for the goalkeeper spot since August, and in her first start Schaedig came up with 11 saves.
"She played like she's been the starter all year," Fletcher said. "That's a testament to Katilyn and her, because they train hard together, and compete for that spot. She did a really good job, and the team was confident in her. The team is confident in whoever goes in goal, and that's exciting because we have two great goalkeepers."
After giving up an early first half goal, Schaedig kept the Colonels (2-7-2, 0-2) off the scoreboard.
"I was nervous, and I think it showed in the first half," Schaedig said. "It was hard, stepping out on the field when I really havent played at all, but my teammates gave me a lot of encouragement, and a lot of instruction."
Tech tied the game early in the second half, when sophomore Taren Brown scored on a penalty kick.
"I just tried to focus, and when it went in I was very excited," Brown said.
Once the game went to overtime, it didn't take long for the Golden Eagles to seal the victory. Senior Rebecca Ross kicked in the game winner just over a minute in, with an assist from sophomore Ashley Smith.
"Rebecca had the same opportunity in the first half, and she tried to one-time it, and the ball shanked out of bounds," Fletcher said, of the game-winning goal. "The second time she got that chance, she finished it. That's a senior for you, and she deserved it."
The win puts the Golden Eagles at 1-0-1 in OVC play, with four points in the conference standings. Tech has six conference matches remaining, including one Sunday when the Golden Eagles face Morehead State on the road.
"It feels great, we all knew it had to come together sometime, and this is a great time for things to start coming together," Brown said.
Tech finished the game with 13 shots, including eight on goal. Ross and senior Katie Morrissey each had two shots on goal, while Brown, Hoover, Lankford, and Kathryn Lally all added one.
"I'm just excited that the girls are finally being rewarded for their efforts," Fletcher said. "I was more dissapionted with ties and losses for them, because we gave the effort in the past, but we might not have gotten a bounce, or gotten beat with 20 seconds left. They've come back everyday, and worked hard everyday."
Sunday's match against Morehead can be view live on the internet. Visit OVCsports.tv for information on single-game or season subscriptions. The Golden Eagles will take on Austin Peay on Oct. 10 before returning home to face Eastern Illinois on Oct. 17.