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Final OVC soccer game has tourney berth on the line

 

APSU Women’s Soccer

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team will look to secure its place in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament when it travels to Tennessee Tech for a 2:00pm, Sunday contest.

The Lady Govs have had an opportunity to recoup after a 1-0 OVC win against Eastern Kentucky, last Sunday. That win put head coach Kelley Guth’s young team in a position to make a late move into the league tournament.

“The energy around the team is good,” Guth said. “They’re excited and they understand the importance of the game. It comes down to being ready and being able to execute our game plan. This is no different than any other game. We have to stay focused and ready to go at speed.”

After opening league play with a win against Eastern Illinois, the Lady Govs dropped back-to-back games before playing to a tie at Murray State. That game allowed the Lady Govs a chance to regenerate their struggling offense. Since then, Austin Peay is 2-1, with wins against Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky.

While the Lady Govs have outshot opponents, 297-130, on the season, that margin narrows significantly in league play. The greater challenge for the Lady Govs will be overcoming their lackluster performance in road contests.

In fact, in road OVC games, the Lady Govs have been outshot 40-33, but have allowed only two goals in three games with one coming on a penalty kick. Keeper Carley Newman has made 26 saves in league play and boasts a 0.42 goals-against-average, which is third-best among OVC keepers.

Freshman Tatiana Ariza is not only the Lady Govs leading scorer, but also is responsible for all three of the Lady Govs OVC goals. She has eight goals overall, while sophomore Jocelyn Murdoch has five goals.

The rivalry between Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay soccer has been one-sided with the Golden Eagles holding a 7-1 advantage all-time. This time, however, as the OVC finale the game has added meaning with both teams battling for a spot in the conference tourney.

“We’re in a position where we’re fighting for life,” Guth said. “There is so much yet to be determined, but we know that if we get a win, we can get in the tournament. There is a lot on the line. It’s going to be a challenge. We have to come out and be ready to play our best game. I know there will be a lot of emotion for both teams and we have to be able to channel that emotion the right way.”

After opening league play with four straight losses, Tennessee Tech is currently riding a three-game unbeaten streak. It started with a 1-0 win against Southeast Missouri, followed by a 1-1 tie with Eastern Illinois. Most recently, the Golden Eagles picked up a 3-1 win against Jacksonville State.

The Golden Eagles are led, offensively, by Andrea Meloff’s five goals, while Kris Cambron and Sarah Gawthrop each have two goals. Becca Toler, meanwhile, has allowed 18 goals while making 60 saves.


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