By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A month away from the friendly confines of Cookeville, the Tennessee Tech soccer team finally wraps up its stretch of eight-straight on the road as the club prepares to travel to the Bluegrass State for matchups with Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State. The Golden Eagles (2-9-0, 0-2-0) will land at Eastern Kentucky (2-8-1, 0-1-1) Friday at 3 p.m. CT, before soaring to Morehead State (6-2-4, 1-0-1) to clash with the Eagles Sunday at 12 p.m.
The match with EKU will be live streamed on the OVC Digital Network. CLICK HERE to watch.
In the early stages of its conference season, Tech will be looking to check the OVC win column for the first time after opening up conference play with a pair of defeats to Murray State and UT Martin at the end of September. Second half scoring proved to be an Achilles heel of TTU as the Golden Eagles surrendered six combined second-half goals in its two matches, including allowing a trio of Martin scores in the span of just three minutes early in the second stanza on Sunday.
Tech did find the back of the net against the Skyhawks on a Taylor Blazei goal in the 63rd minute, the junior forward's second of the season to march even with sophomore Abi Gearing for the team lead. The score brought Tech within one at 2-1, but UTM responded only a minute later with an Ellie Myrick goal, the beginning of the three straight in just three minutes to put the match out of reach.
Taking a peek at Eastern Kentucky, the Colonels have had their own struggles this season after a hot start to begin the year. EKU opened the season with a pair of wins over Western Carolina and Alabama A & M, but have since gone 0-8-1 in their next nine matches, finally breaking a stretch of eight-straight losses with a scoreless tie at Belmont in their last time out on Sep. 28.
The match featured an impressive showing by Eastern Kentucky goalkeeper Anna Hall as the 5-foot-9 freshman notched 14 saves in the shutout effort, helping guide an EKU defense that fended off 27 Belmont shots. Hall currently sits atop in the conference with 66 saves, 13 more than Tech's Rebecca Toler and Martin's Mariah Klenke for the most in the OVC.
Tech is 3-6 all-time against the Colonels, including a 3-1 loss in the club's final home match of 2013, a tilt that saw three late EKU goals reverse a 1-0 Golden Eagle advantage.
Morehead State, the defending conference tournament champions and preseason No. 1 in the OVC, will host Jacksonville State on Friday before welcoming in Tech on Sunday to close out a stretch of three-straight at home. The Eagles are coming off a 2-1 Sunday home win over Austin Peay, using a Macy Cobb 79th minute goal to break a 1-1 tie to push Morehead to the eventual victory.
Cobb is one of three Eagles with at least three goals, joining sophomore Angela Black's five and senior Jade Flory's seven, a mark that puts the Chambersburg, Pa. native in a tie for second in the OVC.
The Golden Eagles own a 9-7-2 edge in the all-time series with Morehead State, with the two squads trading 1-0 wins over the last two seasons, both earning the victory in enemy territory. An Angela Black goal pushed the Eagles to a 1-0 win last year in Cookeville, while a Taylor Sutton goal proved to be enough in TTU's 2012 1-0 victory, the last time the two teams locked up in Morehead.