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Hoffman's hat trick lifts Tech to overtime victory

Box score (PDF)

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Junior Jen Hoffman, the OVC Offensive Player of the Year, knocked in three goals Thursday afternoon and her hat trick lifted Tennessee Tech to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Eastern Illinois in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Soccer Tournament at Morehead State.

The No. 4 seed Golden Eagles advance to the semifinals Friday where they will meet No. 1 seed Morehead State at 4 p.m. CST.

After a scoreless first half, Eastern Illinois junior Sarah Rusk got the Panthers on the board off an assist from senior Alexis Miller. EIU would go up 2-0 as junior Kaitlin Sullivan scored her scored her third goal of the season.

Trailing by two, Hoffman's 30-yard lob shot from the right side ignited the Golden Eagles on the cold Kentucky night. Her unassisted score in the 60th minute made it 2-1. She followed with her second goal of the game 11 minutes later off an assist from the 2009 Co-Freshman of the Year Kris Cambron. This time it was a 20-yard lob shot from the right side.

Hoffman completed the hat trick with her third goal of the game, a 30-yard lob shot from the right side in the second overtime to give the Golden Eagles the win and keep Tech's season alive under second-year coach Becky Fletcher.

Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Thacker made five saves in the contest including one in the first overtime period. Tech's only shot in the overtime period was Hoffman's game-winner. In fact, the Golden Eagles had only three shots on goal, all by Hoffman, and all three found the back of the net.

EIU had a 7-2 advantage in shots in the first half, and an 11-8 margin in the second half.

Eastern Illinois concluded the season with a 7-8-5 overall mark while going 3-3-2 in the OVC play.