Golden Eagle soccer back at home to open Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend

Golden Eagle soccer back at home to open Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend

Weekly Game Notes (PDF)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - After a grueling nine-game non-conference slate which featured three matches against NCAA tournament teams from a season ago and a seven-game road trip, the Tennessee Tech soccer team will return to Cookeville to open up Ohio Valley Conference play against UT Martin on Sept. 25, and Murray State on Sept. 27.

The Golden Eagles enter the conference season at 1-7-1, but have high expectations for the remainder of the season. Tech was picked to finish fifth in the OVC by the leagues' head coaches and Sports Information Directors.

Tech was picked to finish last in the conference a season ago, and entered league play at 1-9-0 before going 3-4-1 in the OVC and advancing to the OVC tournament for the first time in five seasons.

But this year's team won't be satisfied with an appearance in the conference tournament.

"Last year we made the OVC tournament for the first time in five years," head coach Becky Fletcher said. "This year we can't settle for that. We want to take that a step further."

The Golden Eagles will have a tough task in front of them as UT Martin was picked to finish in a tie for second place in the OVC, and Murray State, the defending regular season champions, was picked to repeat as champions.

"Murray State won the regular season OVC title last year and UT Martin was third, so both are quality teams," Fletcher said. "They were among the teams that set the standard last year. Based on last year's results, we open with two of the best in the conference, back-to-back."

The Golden Eagles hold a 7-5-1 mark all-time against UT Martin. However, Tech lost to the Skyhawks twice in 2008, and look to avenge those losses on Friday in Cookeville.

They visited Martin during the last conference weekend of the regular season last year, and fell 1-0. The Golden Eagles then traveled back to Martin for the first round of the OVC tournament, and lost another one-goal match, falling 2-1.

UT Martin enters the week at 3-4-0 overall, and 0-0-0 in the OVC in 2009. All three Skyhawk wins have been shutout wins. UTM is 0-4 away from home this season.

Tech will meet defending OVC regular-season champion Murray State on Sunday, and look to answer a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Racers last season. Tech holds a 5-3-1 record against Murray State all-time, but has lost the last three meetings.

Murray State owns a 2-4-1 overall record and is 0-3-1 on the road this year. The Racers are coming off a trip out west where they lost to Northern Arizona 4-0 and tied Southern Utah 2-2.

The Golden Eagles will play a round-robin OVC schedule with four home matches and four road matches. The top six teams advance to the OVC tournament Nov. 3-8 hosted by the regular season champion, with the No. 1 and 2 seeds receiving first-round byes.

Tech continues its OVC slate next week with a visit to Eastern Kentucky on Oct. 2.  The Golden Eagles downed EKU on Oct. 3 of last year, winning 2-1 in overtime. Tech and Eastern Kentucky are all square in program history, with each team holding two wins in the all-time series. The Colonels enter the week at 3-6-0 overall.
Tech will then return home to face defending OVC tournament champion Morehead State on Oct. 4. Admission to all Tech home soccer matches is free.