Bulldogs top Tech on last-minute goal

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - For the second time this year, the Tennessee Tech soccer team had a game decided on a last-minute goal at Tech Soccer Field. This time, however, the Golden Eagles were on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision, after UNC Asheville's Katy Beeler netted the game winning goal on a breakaway with 40 seconds to play.

"It's one of those things, we've won a game this season with 15 seconds on the clock," Tech coach Becky Fletcher said. "And today it was a heartbreaker to get beat on that goal with 40 seconds on the clock."

The Golden Eagles (1-8-0) took a 1-0 lead into halftime, when sophomore Ashley Smith got her own rebound, and passed the ball to Senior Rebecca Ross, who kicked in the game's first goal. It was the first goal of the season for Ross.

"Rebecca played considerable minutes today," Fletcher said. "She gives us some senior leadership out on the field."

Two second half goals gave the Bulldogs (3-5-1) their third straight victory. Tech continues its four game home-stand Thursday at 4 p.m., when future OVC opponent SIU-Edwardsville comes to Cookeville.

"SIU-Edwardsville is a quality team," Fletcher said. "They have a solid team from player number one, all the way to the last player on their roster. They're going to be effective, and they play hard for ninety minutes, so I think they're going to come in and give us a challenge on our own field."

Thursday's match is the final game before the Golden Eagles begin conference play against Jacksonville State on Sept. 28.

"We're putting pieces together for conference play, and that's why we play such a hard non-conference schedule. It's a new season effective Sunday, so we're trying to prepare for that." Fletcher said. "We keep improving. The back line did a good job today of keeping plays in front of them, now the mid-field, we're trying to get it engraved in the back of their head so they don't have to think, they just do it."

Tech will wrap up its four-game home-stand on Oct. 3 in a conference match against Eastern Kentucky. Admission to all Tech home soccer games is free.