Clarksville, TN – Two second-half goals from senior Tatiana Ariza propelled Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team to a 2-0 exhibition victory against Evansville, Friday, at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.
The win avenges Austin Peay’s 2-1 preseason loss to the Purple Aces in 2012 and evens the Lady Govs preseason record at 1-1 with one exhibition match remaining.“I thought we defended pretty well tonight,” said head coach Kelley Guth. “We were exploited a little bit in the first half on the left side and we didn’t make the necessary adjustments. But we addressed that at halftime and did a much better job in the second half.
“When we can press teams and keep them on their half of the field for long periods of time, the result is more likely to be in our favor and we did a great job with that in the second half.”
Despite outshooting Evansville 7-5 in the opening frame, the match remained scoreless until well into the second half. The Lady Govs continually bombarded the Evansville net, with Ariza, who had five shots on goal in the match, leading the charge but were unable to break through for much of the match.
A change of pace up front may have contributed to the late goals. With the Lady Govs starting forwards resting, Guth inserted Shelby Olszewski, Claire Pultz and Natalia Ariza – a more defensive-minded trio – into the attacking half, where they did an excellent job of keeping pressure on the Evansville back line.
“I wanted to get a rotation in there, because we needed to give our forwards a breather,” Guth said. “They gave us some aggression and athleticism and did a really good job. They caused some problems and created some chances. It kept the Evansville defense under pressure, and gave our starters a chance to get a rest and come in fresh off the bench.”
Tatiana Ariza returned to score two late goals to put the Lady Govs over the top. In the 81st minute, an Emily Kink free kick found Ariza at the top of the box and she put it past Whitney Biggs for the goal. Six minutes later, some fine passing from freshman Mary Ruth Locastro and senior Joceline Quiceno put Ariza in a similar position, and she finished with a similar result to give the Lady Govs a commanding two-goal lead in the game’s late stages.
Biggs, under fire for much of the evening, finished with seven saves for the Purple Aces. Sophomore Nikki Filippone, who made the start for the Lady Govs, recorded two saves in the win. Freshman Katie Emig also saw action in net for Austin Peay but was not forced into a save situation.
“I’m really pleased with tonight,” Guth said. “Evansville is a good team and I expected this to be a close matchup. Scoring two goals, getting a shutout and playing everybody that was available for us tonight I think are all big positives for us.”
The Lady Govs close out the exhibition season when they host Freed-Hardeman, 7:00pm, Friday, at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.