Golden Eagles thwart SIUE 1-0 behind brilliant defensive effort

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team grabbed its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season Friday afternoon, taking down the Cougars of SIU Edwardsville 1-0 with an impressive defensive effort.

The first half, which was played to a stalemate, saw 14 SIUE shots to just two for the Golden Eagles. Tech rebounded, however, putting up eight more shots and sealing the game with the only goal of the contest.

Senior midfielder Sarah Gawthrop tapped in her second goal of the season in the 49th minute off a rebound off the crossbar from an Ellie Iaciofano shot. It marked the seventh goal of Gawthrop's career and put the Golden Eagles up for good. Iaciofano was credited with her second assist of the year giving her a team and OVC-leading 14 points on the season.

The Golden Eagle defense shut down the Cougars from that point on, allowing no goals despite a barrage of attempts from the SIUE offense. SIUE attempted 30 shots in the game, however, they were limited to just 14 shots on goal by stingy defensive play from several different Tech players.

Making their first career starts were freshmen Taylor Blazei, Mackenzie Miller, and Taylor Sutton, as well as sophomore Kelsey McGohan and junior Jessica Wilson.

Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Brown, who ranked second in the OVC in saves heading into the match, racked up a career-high 14 saves in the match. She made several impressive diving stops during the contest and stopped eight SIUE shots in the second half alone. The win also marked Brown's second career shutout and third career win. Her 14 saves marked the highest amount by an OVC player this season and the most in the OVC since Oct. 30 of last year.

The win moved Tech's record to 1-1 in OVC play this season and 3-6-1 overall.

"I think we rebounded well," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "They are a good team. They're very physical and their coach has them going in the right direction. We had a lot to deal with. They're very crafty, but we held strong. It was a barrage there at the end and Jordan came up big with some key saves. The entire team played well. We hope to take this momentum going into Sunday against EIU."

The Golden Eagles will return to the pitch on Sunday for their annual senior day. The match, which pits Tech against OVC foe Eastern Illinois, will begin at 1 p.m. CT on the Tech Soccer Field.