By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
CHARLESTION, Ill. – The Golden Eagle soccer team ends its first weekend of Ohio Valley Conference action with a split, after falling on the road to Eastern Illinois, 4-2. An explosive spurt of three Panther goals in the span of just over two minutes late in the first half proved to be too much for Tech (3-8-0, 1-1) to handle, as EIU (2-9-0, 2-0) wraps up a perfect 2-0 conference-opening weekend.
For the third consecutive match, the Golden Eagles jumped on the board first, scoring on the first career goal by junior defender Katie Phillips. The Cincinnati, Ohio native capitalized on a corner kick in the 22nd minute, taking a deflection and firing it into the back of the net to break the scoreless tie.
Tech appeared to be primed to take its one-goal lead into intermission, but EIU had other ideas just before the first half came to a close. Less than six minutes to go in the opening stanza, the Panthers rattled off three goals in a stretch of just over two minutes, starting with an unassisted score by junior Meagan Radloff on a shot from 20 yards out.
One minute and eight seconds later, EIU junior Allie Lakie did the honors with an unassisted goal of her own, before sophomore Hannah Miller capped of the trio of goals at the 40:33 mark. Lakie and sophomore Chris Reed took credit for the assists on the Miller goal, putting the Panthers up 3-1.
Credit the Golden Eagles for bouncing back after the tough stretch, as Tech began the second half with a goal to trim the deficit in the half. Another career first for a TTU player, as sophomore Taylor Blazei split the pipes a mere 3:21 into the second period. Freshman Abi Gearing set the play up with a beautiful cross from the right, as Gearing notched her second assist of the year.
Down 3-2, Tech was unable to muster an equalizing score, and after EIU's Meagan Radloff racked up her second goal of the match in the 86th minute, the affair was all but over.
After consecutive shutouts by Golden Eagle goalkeeper Jordan Brown, the sophomore from League City, Texas surrendered four goals while making five saves. Panthers goalkeeper, sophomore Cortney Jerzy, stopped three shots that came her way in recording her second win of the season.
Eastern Illinois outshot Tech 20-19.
The Golden Eagles will now set their sights on a pair of OVC home matches on Friday against Austin Peay and Sunday against Murray State. Friday's tilt is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CDT at Tech Soccer Field. Both weekend matches will be broadcasted on the Golden Eagles Sports Network in partnership with the OVC Digital Network.