By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The final road trip of the 2018 regular season is on deck for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, as the Golden Eagles will make their way to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky for a pair of weekend clashes.
Tech (6-6-1, 2-3-1 OVC) will connect with Morehead State on Friday, Oct. 12 for a 5 p.m. CT beginning, before heading to Eastern Kentucky for a Sunday, Oct. 14 battle with Colonels at 12 p.m. Both matches will be live streamed on the OVC Digital Network. Click here to watch.
A look at Tech
The Golden Eagles enter their road trip east on a two-match unbeaten streak behind back-to-back shutouts against Belmont and Southeast Missouri. Tech registered a clean sheet 2-0 nod over the Bruins on Oct. 2 and played SEMO to a scoreless draw on Oct. 5.
The pair of goose eggs helped lead the purple and gold to two weekly conference honors, as junior Kaitie Shipley took home the OVC Defensive Player of the Week honor and senior Kari Naerdemann was awarded with the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week accolade.
Shipley did not leave the pitch in the two contests, tallying 200 minutes of action for a Golden Eagle defense that has new recorded five shutouts this season. As far as Naerdemann is concerned, the three-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year secured 17 saves in the two matches, highlighted by a 10-stop showing against Belmont for Naerdemann's third double-digit save effort of her career.
Offensively, Tech's two goals were the first career by a pair of freshmen, as Chloe Smith and Haylee Koger each found the back of the net for the first time in their TTU tenures. With Smith and Koger's scores, the Golden Eagles now have seven different players with a goal this season. Sophomore Kendall Powell leads the charge with six scores, a mark that places the Cookeville native in a tie for third in the OVC.
A look at Morehead State
The Eagles (3-11, 2-4 OVC) are currently on the outside of the OVC postseason picture, sitting in ninth place, one point back of Tennessee Tech for the final berth in the OVC Tournament. Morehead is coming off a victory in the club's last match with a 1-0 home win over Austin Peay on Oct. 7 to snap a three-match skid.
Senior Dani Wilson was responsible for lone goal scored in the win over the Govs, extending the 5-foot-4 forward's team lead in goals with six already this year. In fact, Wilson has six of the club's 10 scores this season and is also tied for third in the OVC with those six goals.
From a goalkeeper perspective, red-shirt sophomore Eva Helgadottir has been the primary keeper for the Eagles with over 1,000 minutes between the pipes this season. The Reykjavik, Iceland product has surrendered 20 goals and has made 70 saves for a .778 save percentage and a 1.77 goals against average.
Morehead State leads the all-time series 11-8-3, however the Golden Eagles have been unbeaten in the last three matches with two wins and a draw over that stretch.
A look at Eastern Kentucky
The Colonels (6-6-2, 2-2-2 OVC) are sitting just above the Golden Eagles in seventh place in the OVC, a mere point ahead of Tech with eight points recorded during conference action. EKU has won two of the last three matches, including a 3-1 nod at Belmont in the club's last contest on Oct. 7.
Three different Colonels split the pipes in the victory over the Bruins, as Sarah Owusu collected a ninth-minute score, while Monica Rios found the back of the net in the 57th minute and Kylie Thompson did the honors in the 78th minute.
Junior Erin Torrence is the squad leader with six goals this season, and with four assists, the Hudson, Ohio native ranks third in the OVC with 16 total points. Owusu is second on the club with five goals and 12 points.
Freshman Zoe Aguirre has played in all but 135 minutes in between the pipes this season, yielding 20 goals and notching 50 saves for a .714 save percentage and a 1.53 goals against average.
EKU leads the all-time series 10-5 over the Golden Eagles. TTU won the regular season meeting last season with a 2-0 nod in Cookeville, but Eastern Kentucky knocked the Golden Eagles out of the OVC Tournament with a 1-0, double overtime win in the semifinals.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information