By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The conference campaign has arrived for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, as the Golden Eagles charge into their 10-match Ohio Valley Conference slate with a pair of weekend home matches at Tech Soccer Field.
The purple and gold welcome Morehead State to Cookeville for a Friday evening showdown at 7:30 p.m. CT, before Tech concludes a program-long, five-match homestand with a Sunday matinee against Eastern Kentucky at 1 p.m.
Sunday's match with the Colonels will be streamed live on ESPN+. Click here to watch.
Admission to both weekend matches is free of charge.
A look at Tech
The Golden Eagles (2-4-2) head into OVC action on the heels of a tough weekend that saw TTU drop back-to-back matches that tied a bow on non-conference play. Tech was upended 2-0 by Evansville on Friday, Sept. 13 and fell 2-0 to Lipscomb on Sunday, Sept. 15. Friday's loss to the Purple Aces snapped a two-match winning streak that featured nods at North Alabama and against Appalachian State in the home opener.
The Golden Eagles had their fair share of opportunities in the pair of losses, combining for 40 shots in the two contests against the Purple Aces and Bisons. In fact, Tech's three highest shot totals have all come in the last three matches with 16 attempts against App State on Sept. 8, 24 against Evansville and 16 against Lispcomb.
Tech is currently third in the OVC with 101 total shots (12.62 per match). Three Golden Eagles rank in the top six in shots in the conference, paced by Kendall Powell and Bailey Taylor's team-leading 19 to place the duo in a tie for fourth in the OVC. Cassidy Bereda's 17 attempts ranks sixth in the league.
Taylor leads the Tech charge with four goals, a mark that puts the 5-foot-6 freshman in knot for fourth in the conference. Bereda's two assists are tied for second in the OVC.
From a defensive perspective, TTU goalkeeper Isabelle Austin's 34 saves are good enough for fourth in the league.
A look at Morehead State
Selected ninth in the OVC's predicted order of finish, the Eagles (1-6-0) head into conference play with one win under their belt, a 2-1 nod over Akron on Sept. 1. Morehead is coming off an overtime loss at Southern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 15 in a match they led 1-0 behind an eighth-minute score from Natasi Gabby.
Gabby's goal is one of only five this season for the Eagles, with the 5-foot-4 freshman serving as the only player on the club with two scores. Morehead has yielded 18 goals in seven contests this season.
Tech leads the all-time series 11-9-3 with the Eagles, however Morehead bested TTU in Morehead last season with a 2-0 victory.
A look at Eastern Kentucky
Picked third in the OVC's predicted order of finish, the Colonels (2-6-0) snapped a three-match slide with a 2-1 overtime win at Akron on Sunday, Sept. 15 for the squad's second win of the year. EKU's other triumph was a 1-0 overtime victory against Milwaukee on Sept. 1.
Kylie Thompson has scored four of the club's six goals this season, a mark that puts the junior forward in a tie for fourth in the OVC. Audrey Anderson and Sarah Owusu have each recorded a goal as well to round out the EKU scoring attack this year.
Defensively, the Colonels have surrendered 12 goals in eight matches.
Before coming to Cookeville, the Colonels will play Friday night at Jacksonville State.
EKU leads the all-time series 10-5-1 with the Golden Eagles. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw last year in Richmond.
Photo by Thomas Corhern