Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team will face a pair of big tests when they open their Ohio Valley Conference schedule this weekend. Austin Peay will host two-time defending OVC Tournament Champion UT Martin, 7:00pm, Friday, in a rematch of last season’s OVC Championship, before squaring off against Southeast Missouri in a 2:00pm, Sunday tilt.It’s been awhile since the Lady Govs saw game action; they had last weekend off and will have gone 12 days between matches when they take the field against UT Martin, Friday.
The nonconference portion of the Lady Govs regular-season schedule was very kind to the red-and-white as they enter the weekend at 5-1-1.
The Lady Govs began the season with a program-best six-match unbeaten streak before succumbing in double overtime at Buffalo, September 15th.
A high-octane offense has carried the Lady Govs through the early portion of 2013. Senior Tatiana Ariza (six goals) and freshman Gina Fabbro (five goals) are first and third among OVC goal scorers, respectively.
Austin Peay’s 15 goals as a squad have them tied with Murray State for most in the conference. Ten of the Lady Govs goals have come in the second half, while four of the five first-half goals have been scored within the game’s first 11 minutes.
After pacing the conference with 45 goals in 2012, UT Martin (2-6-1) has scored just six goals through nine games this season. Part of that offensive struggle can be attributed to the absence of 2012 OVC Freshman of the Year Saphyra Coombs-James, who is sitting out this season after injuring a knee late last year. Keeper Mariah Klenke has three shutouts on the year, including a 1-0 blanking of Saint Louis, Sept. 20th, which earned her this week’s OVC Goalkeeper of the Week honor.
Two of those goals have come from freshman Natasha Minor, who enters the weekend tied for ninth in the OVC with five points. Senior netminder Ashton Aubuchon leads the conference with 7.17 saves per game.
The Lady Govs keep it in-state next weekend for their first OVC road tests, traveling to Tennessee Tech (3:00pm, Friday) and Belmont (2:00pm, Sunday) for a pair of conference matches.
Last Time Against This Weekend’s Opponents
After starting last season with a pair of losses in conference play, Austin Peay picked up its first OVC win Sept. 30th with a 1-0 victory at Southeast Missouri. Emily Perkins scored the game’s lone goal and Haylee Shoaff made six saves in the first of her season’s seven shutouts.
Keep An Eye On
With one point, senior Natalia Ariza would pass Jessica Hosse (2004-07) and take sole possession of fifth place on the Lady Govs career list with 33 points. She remains one goal away from tying Erica Dengler (2003-06) and Kaylee Yago (2002-05) for fifth in Austin Peay history.
Senior Tatiana Ariza continues her assault on the record books. With one point this weekend, she would become the first Lady Gov with four single-season point totals residing among the top 10 in Austin Peay history. With 112 career points, Ariza needs to average 3.7 points in her remaining 10 regular-season matches to tie Eastern Illinois’ Beth Liesen’s (2000-03) OVC-record 149 points.
Senior midfielder Morgan Zigelsky needs one assist to tie Erin Mitchell (2002-04) for fifth on the career charts with nine.
Austin Peay seeks to snap a two-year losing streak in conference openers; Austin Peay’s last win in their season’s first OVC match came against Eastern Illinois (1-0) in 2010.
Lady Govs Online
Be sure to follow all the Lady Govs action at LetsGoPeay.com, and check them out on Twitter (@AustinPeaySocr) and by liking the Austin Peay Women’s Soccer Official Page on Facebook. Live stats will be available prior to the match at LetsGoPeay.com, and streaming video will be available for free on the OVC Digital Network (http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com).