Golden Eagles face Belmont as OVC foe for first time
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team will look to even its Ohio Valley Conference record to 3-3 this weekend when it hosts the Bruins of Belmont University. The match, which will take place at the Tech Soccer Field on Sunday, is slated to begin at 2 p.m. CT.
The Golden Eagles split their matches over the weekend, earning a 1-0 victory at Morehead State and falling two days later to Eastern Kentucky, 2-0.
"I think the girls are starting to see that they can compete in the conference and can make it to the conference tournament," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "There's still a challenge ahead of us, but I think we can do it. Earlier in conference play we had a tough loss against EIU, but we rebounded well with a good win over Morehead."
Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Brown made 14 saves over the two-game roadtrip, giving her 90 for the season. She now ranks first in the OVC in saves and saves per game and also ranks 10th in all of Division I soccer in total saves. She has racked up three shutouts on the season as well.
Junior forward Ellie Iaciofano didn't score any points over the weekend, however, she still ranks first in the OVC in both goals and points with eight and 18 respectively. She has accumulated three games with multiple games this season.
"We're hoping to take a good week of training into the match against Belmont," said Brizard. "They're new to the conference, but I think they'll become our biggest thing to a rivalry now that they're in the conference. They're right there in Nashville, just an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes away. We'll compete for some of the same kids in recruiting. I think it's going to be nice. It's always nice to have a little rivalry going for competition."
"They're still strying to find their identity just like us. Our goal is to play well and get a win and move one step closer to the conference tournament."
- Belmont sits at 5-6-1 on the year, splitting a pair of matches last week against Austin Peay and Murray State.
- The Bruins are 1-2-1 in the OVC this season, their first as a member of the conference, owning a notable tie against the OVC-leading Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
- Sunday's match will mark the 13th meeting between TTU and Belmont, with the Bruins holding a 6-4-2 advantage.
- Belmont defeated the Golden Eagles 3-1 in last season's meeting in Cookeville.
- Katie Proud leads the Bruin attack with three goals this season.
- Nicole Berner has recorded 50 saves this season in the net, along with three shutouts.
Daniel Brizard on the Bruins
"They're a hard-working team and very blue collar. They like to put the ball on the floor and pass it around, but at the same time if they see an opportunity for a quick strike, they'll go for it. They have a couple of special players we'll have to look after, but at the end of the day, we just need to go out there and worry less about the other team and concentrate on what we need to do"
"They're going to fast and physical. They have a couple of big girls that will help them win some 50-50's. Heather [Henson] is very methodical in her coaching and her girls are going to be smart. We're going to have our work cut out for us, but I believe it will be a great match."