By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Locked up in a defensive battle at Southeast Missouri, the Tennessee Tech soccer team was unable to escape with a victory, falling 1-0 Sunday afternoon in sun-splashed Houck Stadium. The loss keeps the Golden Eagles (3-12-1, 1-5-1) in ninth place in the Ohio Valley Conference, still three spots away from the coveted sixth and final OVC playoff spot.
The two teams combined for just 17 shots throughout the course of 90 minutes, including only seven in the second stanza as defense appeared to reign supreme.
Scoreless after the first half, the Redhawks (6-5-2, 4-1-2) struck just two minutes and 47 seconds into the second period. SEMO freshman Natasha Minor headed in the tilt's only goal, her fourth score of the season, receiving a cross into the box from junior Breana Beine, who was credited with the assist on the play.
After the Southeast Missouri goal, the Golden Eagles managed just three shots the rest of the way. Senior defender Leigh Heffner did the honors twice for Tech, missing high on a header off a corner in the 70th minute, and then on a rip that was gobbled up by Redhawk's goalkeeper Ashton Aubuchon in the 75th minute.
Freshman Ashlyn Flaherty was responsible for the final attempt at a goal in the 89th minute, ripping one high off a corner in the affair's final stages.
Aubuchon went relatively untested in pitching the shutout, making just two saves in the match, while TTU sophomore Jordan Brown earned four stops in another solid showing for the League City, Texas native.
Seven Golden Eagles went the distance in the match, as Brown, fellow sophomore Taylor Sutton, freshman Kalyn Pruett, junior Katie Phillips, and seniors Leigh Heffner, Taylor Hicks, and Ellie Iaciofano all played 90 minutes.
Tech will return home for the final time in 2013 next weekend, welcoming in Morehead State on Friday at 3 p.m. CDT, and then Eastern Kentucky on Sunday at 2 p.m. CDT. Both matches will be streamed live on the OVC Digital Network.