OVC play heats up as Tech welcomes in Belmont on Friday; heads to Austin Peay Sunday

OVC play heats up as Tech welcomes in Belmont on Friday; heads to Austin Peay Sunday

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In-state battles highlight the weekend for the Tennessee Tech soccer team as the Golden Eagles (2-11-1, 0-4-1) play host to Belmont Friday at 3 p.m. CT, before traveling to Clarksville to tangle with Austin Peay Sunday at 2 p.m.

Friday's affair with the Bruins (4-5-4, 1-2-2) will be streamed live on the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network via the Golden Eagle Sports Network with Dylan Vazzano calling all the action. CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE.

Tech enters the pair of tilts having just snapped its seven-match losing streak behind an offensive eruption that saw the Golden Eagles produce a season-high 32 shots in forcing a 2-2 tie with Eastern Illinois in a rain-soaked Tech Soccer Field on Oct. 11. The match featured a pair of firsts for Golden Eagles' Mary Francis Hoots and Tarah Piccirilli as the duo each split the pipes for their first ever collegiate scores.

Piccirilli's net-finder came at a pivotal time for TTU, as the 5-foot-8 sophomore squared up the match at 2-2 mid-way through the second half, soaring one into the back of net after junior Taylor Blazei's initial attempt deflected right to Piccirilli for the equalizer. Blazei was credited with the assist on the score, one of two in the match for the Hartford, Wis. native, who also led the Golden Eagles with six shots.

Belmont comes to Tech soccer field having dropped consecutive home matches to SIU Edwardsville and Southeast Missouri, losing 1-0 in both clashes. Bruin freshman Belicia Mendiola has paced the club up to this point, leading BU with five goals and 10 points.

The Bruins lead the all-time series with Tech, 8-4-2, rattling off consecutive victories over the Golden Eagles since joining the Ohio Valley Conference in 2012. The last time the two teams locked up in Cookeville, back in 2012, the match seeped into overtime with the Bruins capturing a 2-1 victory in the 94th minute.

Sunday's match with Austin Peay (4-9-0, 3-2-0) marks the final Tech road affair of the regular season as the Golden Eagles are currently in a stretch of five-of-six at home to close out the year. Before Tech heads west on Sunday, the Governors will welcome in Jacksonville State on Friday with APSU searching for its third consecutive victory after blanking both Southeast Missouri and SIU Edwardsville over the weekend.

The two shutout victories led Austin Peay junior goalkeeper Nikki Filippone to the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week honor after recording a combined 13 saves in the pair of matches. From an offensive perspective, sophomore Gina Fabbro leads the team with five goals and 10 points.

The Golden Eagles have controlled the all-time series with the Governors, winning eight of the 12 previous meetings, though Austin Peay has taken the last two matchups.

Admission to Friday's match at Tech Soccer Field is free of charge.