By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team continued its roll of late, as the Golden Eagles used a first-half score and a lights out defensive effort to notch a 1-0 win at Jacksonville State Sunday afternoon for the club's third consecutive victory.
Tech (6-5-4, 4-1-2 OVC) limited the Gamecocks to only four shots in the match, including just one in the second half, en route to a second straight shutout after blanking Murray State Friday night at home. TTU's three match winning streak is a season best, while the back-to-back clean sheets marks the first time the Golden Eagles have claimed consecutive shutouts this year.
"We are definitely excited about getting a win here today, anytime you can pick up a conference win on the road it's a big deal," Tech head coach Steve Springthorpe said, on a win that pushes the sixth-year head coach into a tie with Greg Stone for the most career victories in program history with 43. "I thought our team played well, especially after a big win on Friday against Murray State. I'm happy about our effort and excited about a lot of the things we did today.
"Give credit to JSU though, they are a team that is a little undermanned with a fair share of injuries, but they were very organized and played well in limiting our opportunities," Springthorpe continued. "We were fortunate to get a goal in the first half and I really liked the way we shut things down in the second half, holding JSU to just one shot. I'm excited about the direction we are heading and the way we have been playing the last few games."
Offensively, TTU found success early behind a Kendall Powell goal in the 34th minute, the Cookeville native's third goal in the last two matches after registering a pair of scores in Friday's nod over the Racers. Powell slotted one inside the far post after receiving a pass from freshman Meg Ivey, who intercepted a JSU feed moments earlier.
With the score, Powell took over the team lead in goals with five, while Ivey tallied her second assist of the year.
Isabelle Austin earned her third shutout of the season with four saves in the contest. The 5-foot-8 red-shirt junior halted three attempts in the first half and recorded one stop in the second stanza.
"Izzie made some nice saves today, which were important for us in today's win," Springthorpe said. "Overall our defense played really well. I thought we were organized and did a great job of winning the ball and then keeping the ball. We had possession throughout, especially in the second half where we limited any real looks from JSU."
Jacksonville State keeper Morgan Lerch was kept busy with eight saves, as the Golden Eagles put pressure on the Collinsville, Ill. product behind nine shots on-goal.
Tina Marolt paced the purple and gold in shots with three, while Powell and rookies Tina Marolt and Carme Peirau were the club leaders with two shots on-goal. The Gamecocks (3-12-0, 0-7-0) had four different players record one shot, using attempts by Cynthia Bagozzi, Nadia Plawiuk, Cheyenne Carden and Cephana Deane over the course of 90 minutes.
With the regular season down to its final three contests, the Golden Eagles will set their sights on a meeting at Eastern Illinois on Friday, Oct. 18 for the club's only match of the week. First kick in Charleston is slated for 3 p.m. CT.
Photo by Thomas Corhern