Clarksville, TN – Only one squad emerged from Friday’s battle of OVC unbeatens between Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team and Eastern Illinois with an unblemished record. Tatiana Ariza made sure it was the Lady Govs.The senior from Bogota scored less than two minutes into the contest and later added a second goal to lead the Lady Govs to a 3-0 victory against Eastern Illinois (4-10-0, 4-1-0 OVC), snapping the Panthers four-match win streak in conference play and extending Austin Peay’s winning streak against Eastern Illinois to four games.
The win gives Austin Peay (9-1-2, 4-0-1 OVC) the pole position in the race for the OVC regular-season championship.
“We came out tonight with a mission to make sure that we played our game and put the ball in the net early and often,” said head coach Kelley Guth. “The game was probably closer than indicated and I thought we need to be a little more disciplined but I’m very pleased with the result.”
As they have so often this season, the Lady Govs struck first and struck quickly. In just the second minute, Ariza took a feed from sophomore Courtney Sheppard and created space for herself in the box, blasting a shot by the Panthers Cortney Jerzy for the game’s first goal. Among the five goals Austin Peay has scored in the first 10 minutes of contests in 2013, Ariza’s tally at the 1:36 mark was the fastest.
Later in the first half another senior, Joceline Quiceno, got in on the act. Again Sheppard was the facilitator for finishing, firing a cross through the box that found Quiceno all alone near the back post. She put it away easily for her season’s first goal, tying her with Natalia Ariza for seventh in Austin Peay history.
With two assists on the night, Sheppard now has four helpers on the season, taking the team lead from Tatiana Ariza.
After a first-half controlled almost exclusively by the Lady Govs – Austin Peay outshot the Panthers 12-3 over the opening 45 minutes – the visitors began to find more chances in the attacking third during the second half. A shot from Madison Carter in the 68th minute hit the crossbar and sophomore keeper Nikki Filippone made an excellent save on a Meagan Radloff look in the 71st minute.
Ariza found the nylon again in the 83rd minute. Senior Andy Quiceno’s cross to the middle of the box left Ariza with a clean shot on net, and the 2012 London Olympian rarely misses from there. The multi-goal game was the 13th of Ariza’s career and her fourth in 2013.
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With four points on the evening, Ariza now has 29 points on the season. That’s the third-highest single-season total in Austin Peay history and gives Ariza each of Austin Peay’s top four single-season marks.
Filippone made three saves on the evening for her second shutout in as many Fridays, moving her record to 8-1-1 on the season. Jerzy took the loss for Eastern Illinois but made nine saves in defeat.
Austin Peay hosts SIU Edwardsville in a 2:00pm, Sunday tilt that is a rematch of last season’s epic OVC semifinal.
The match will be Senior Day for the Lady Govs, where the program will honor and acknowledge the contributions of eight seniors: Natalia Ariza, Tatiana Ariza, Emily Kink, Corey Osborn, Andy Quiceno, Joceline Quiceno, Haylee Shoaff and Morgan Zigelsky.