By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
MOREHEAD, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team (6-4-2, 2-0-1) kept its unbeaten mark in Ohio Valley Conference play true Sunday afternoon, fighting and batting against Morehead State (3-8-2, 0-3-1) through 90 minutes of regulation and two, 10-minute overtime periods for a 1-1 draw.
"Both teams were aggressive and had some chances," head coach Steve Springthorpe said. "It was just two teams that battled for a good part of the match. Credit goes to Morehead for playing well and being prepared. I thought we handled playing on the road well for the most part. We're happy to tie on the road, but I would have liked to for us to play a full 110 minutes."
The Golden Eagles outshot the Eagles throughout the match, holding a 19-11 advantage, including 7-4 in the on-goal department. Leading the way among those with shots was senior Kalyn Pruett, who fired off four attempts, including a team-high two on goal.
The two sides shared a scoreless first half, with the visiting Tech squad putting up eight shot attempts to just five from the Eagles. The second half was close to the same, with both sides trading attempts, at least up until the 64th minute.
Freshman Nora Vicsek controlled the ball in the Morehead State box and in an attempt to navigate around the Morehead State defense, was fouled to draw a penalty shot for the Golden Eagles. Senior Abi Gearing made easy work of the attempt, posting her team-high fifth goal of the season to give Tech a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles wasted little time in answering the Tech score, notching their own marker in the 71st minute off the foot of Cara Maher, who just beat Kari Naerdemann to the upper left portion of the net. Both teams then fought off opportunities for the remainder of regulation, forcing the two extra periods.
The Tech defense proved strong in extra time, not allowing a single shot attempt from the home squad while posting three of its own. The Golden Eagles nearly snagged a victory in the second overtime period, as Dani Shartouny fired a rocket at the net in the 102nd minute.
"She [Shartouny] struck it hard," Springthorpe explained about the attempt, "but she just got underneath it a bit and it rang of the crossbar. We had a couple of decent chances throughout the match and in overtime in particular, but we just couldn't capitalize."
Goalkeeper Kari Naerdemann made three saves in the match, while the Golden Eagle defense held the Morehead State attack to just four attempts on goal.
"The schedule just continues to get tough and we'll be playing on short rest this week," Springthorpe explained. "We head to Murray state on Wednesday and they're the reigning conference champs. They haven't lost a league match in a while and we will need to recover quickly and get to ready to play a great opponent."
Tech will square off with a Racers squad that hasn't lost an OVC match since Oct. 26, 2014 in a 3 p.m. CT tilt in Murray, Ky. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Photo by Jim Dillon