By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team will look to continue its recent run of success over the weekend, as the Golden Eagles (2-3-2) will wrap up their three-match home stand with a pair of non-conference clashes. On Friday at 4 p.m. CT, Tech says hello to Troy University, before in-state foe Chattanooga heads to Cookeville for a Sunday tilt at 1 p.m.
Both matches will be broadcast live on the Golden Eagle Sports Network via the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.
Unbeaten in its last four matches, the Golden Eagles have experienced their fair share of suspense and excitement throughout the torrid stretch, especially in the friendly confines of Tech Soccer Field. In front of a record crowd of 961 back on Aug. 30, TTU took home its first ever win against an SEC opponent, defeating the University of Alabama, 2-1.
The Golden Eagles then went on the road, and following a pair of draws down in Georgia, Tech returned home and smacked an exclamation point on a thrilling tilt with Radford on Sep. 13. Squared away at 0-0 in the waning moments of double overtime, freshman Mayra Tarraga Manzanal scored with just 10 seconds left to push TTU to one of its most electrifying victories in program history.
The score was the first in the career of the Gerona, Spain native, while sophomore Lauren Brewer notched her second career assist on the captivating play that saw Brewer blast one from well outside that caromed off the try Tarraga Manzanal and into the back of the net.
The goal for the Tech freshman continues a balanced offensive attack that has featured scores from five different Golden Eagles on the year. Sophomore Zoie Hensley's team-best three assists is good enough for a tie for first in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Defensively, TTU continues to soar, as the Golden Eagles will head into the weekend having allowed one goal or less in their last six matches. In fact, Tech has registered shutouts in two of its previous three affairs and has yielded just one score in the last 367 minutes of action. TTU has also allowed just only one first half goal all season long.
Freshman goalkeeper Kari Naerdemann has excelled between the pipes this year, leading the OVC in save percentage (.875) and goals against average (0.76).
Troy (5-2-0) comes to Cookeville having won four of its last five matches, including taking out a pair of OVC opponents in UT Martin (2-1) and Austin Peay (4-0). Trojan senior midfielder Chelsey Williams leads the squad with three goals and eight points, one of four players on the roster to tally at least two goals on the year. In net, sophomore Mikki Lewis has posted an .844 save percentage, stopping 27-of-32 shots this season.
The Trojans lead the all-time series, 2-0.
Before making the short trip over, Chattanooga (1-6-0) hosts UAB on Friday as the Mocs will be searching to snap a two-match skid. Senior Skylar Brewer leads the UTC charge with two goals and five points this year. Three different Moc goalkeepers have seen action this season, with junior Katie Emig receiving the most playing time having appeared in nearly 540 minutes in 2015.
Chattanooga leads the all-time series, 11-6, however Tech has had the last laugh in the set thanks to a 2-1 road victory last year.
The two weekend matches are the final non-conference tilts of the year for the Golden Eagles. Admission to all Tech home regular season matches is free of charge.