By Dylan Vazzano, Sports Information Coordinator
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team's bid at smacking an exclamation point on the end of its non-conference campaign went by the books Sunday afternoon as the Golden Eagles were upended midway through the second overtime at Western Carolina. A Catamounts' score in the 106th minute pushed WCU (3-6-0) to a 1-0 nod in the second extra session, ending Tech's (4-4-1) road trip with its second-straight 1-0 defeat after falling by the same count at Radford Friday evening.
Scoreless halfway through the second overtime, Western Carolina's Kasey Cooke tucked one just left of the post and into the right side of the net to tie a ribbon on the tightly contested affair. Cooke's third goal of the season was made possible behind a Sayres McKenna pass that netted the Wilmington, N.C. native an assist on the play.
"Congratulations to Western Carolina, they played a quality game that was aggressive and hard fought, and ultimately they found a way to win it in overtime," TTU head coach Steve Springthorpe claimed. "I was proud of our team and the effort they gave coming off a Friday night game. We battled throughout the game and into overtime, and obviously I wish the outcome was different, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. Overall I'm proud of the way we competed and hopefully next time we can find a way to come out with a victory and our team is looking forward to the start of conference play next weekend."
The Golden Eagles found themselves right in the thick of things despite being outshot, 14-6, paced by freshman Dani Shartouny's three attempts. The 5-foot-4 speedster put one on point in the 105th minute, Tech's lone shot on-goal after regulation.
WCU's Kasey Cooke and Megan McCallister topped the matches with four shots each, combing for five of the six Catamounts shots on-goal.
Sophomore Kari Naerdemann registered five saves for the second consecutive tilt, while senior Carly Tinstman accounted for two of the three Western Carolina stops with freshman defender Kate Swartwout earning the third.
With the non-conference slate officially in the rearview mirror, Tech will set its sights on OVC action as the Golden Eagles unwrap conference play Friday, Sep. 23 with a home affair against Jacksonville State at 3 p.m. CT. TTU will host Belmont under the lights at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sep. 25.
Admission to all regular season home matches at Tech Soccer Field is free of charge.
Photo by Jim Dillon