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Ariza’s spark offense, Lady Govs soccer heading for title game

 

APSU Women’s Soccer

Austin Peay State University GovernorsMorehead, KY – Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team will face No. 1 Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship game, Sunday, after a decisive 3-1 semifinal win against No. 2 Southeast Missouri, Friday night.

“The whole team just dug down and got the result,” head coach Kelley Guth said. “We’re really excited. It was such a hard-fought game, really just back and forth the whole time with a lot of emotion.”

The Lady Govs, who were playing on short rest after an opening-round win against No.5 Murray State, got a pair of goals from first-team All-OVC pick Natalia Ariza and an insurance goal from OVC Freshman of the Year Tatiana Ariza to seal the deal. Natalia Ariza had only two goals entering the season’s final week and has since scored four goals in the past four games.

Lady Govs Soccer. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

Lady Govs Soccer. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

As expected the Redhawks were a formidable opponent, playing a physical match much like the one in Clarksville, Sept. 26. This time, however, it was the Lady Govs who came up with the winning strike. Led by their two first-team All-OVC selections, Austin Peay was able to provide the scoring punch to back its always potent defense.

Natalia Ariza scored her first goal in the 28th minute, but Southeast Missouri was able to equalize shortly after the half on Courtney Luehmann’s direct kick. Lady Govs keeper Carley Newman kept the tie in place with a tremendous save, clearing a hard ball over the crossbar in the 75th minute.

Tatiana ArizaWith the game tied, 1-1, it was Tatiana Ariza who set up the final goal. Her aggressive play led to the game-winning penalty kick by her sister, Natalia.

“Tatiana got in behind the defense in a one-on-one situation and got pulled down in the box,” Guth said. “We called on Natalia to take the penalty kick and it turned out to be the game-winner.”

When Southeast Missouri packed the box for a final-minute corner kick, Tatiana Ariza took a clearance and led a long pass into the Redhawks goal for the game’s final score.

Natalia ArizaFor the second-straight game, the Lady Govs were outshot, 15-12. Newman finished with five saves, while Southeast Missouri keeper Ashton Aubuchon made three stops. Ashley Runion led the Redhawks with four shots, while Natalia Ariza had a team-high four shots for the Lady Govs.

Both Morehead State and Austin Peay will have one day’s rest before Sunday’s, noon (CST), title game. This will mark the first-ever championship game appearance for Austin Peay. Fans can watch the game free on OVCSPORTS.tv. Click on Upcoming Events and the link will be available at start time.


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