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APSU Travels to Little Rock, Mississippi State this weekend

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Soccer - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Looking to continue its unbeaten start to the season, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s soccer team faces a pair of tough road tests, taking on Little Rock, 7:00pm, Friday and then Mississippi State, 1:00pm, Sunday.

The Govs won their opening three matches under new head coach Naomi Kolarova, all while not allowing a goal in the process.

Austin Peay Women's Soccer hit the road this weekend to take on Little Rock and Mississippi State. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Soccer hit the road this weekend to take on Little Rock and Mississippi State. (APSU Sports Information)

The Govs’ latest performance was a comfortable defeat of Alabama A&M, which saw Claire Larose score a brace in the second half to break the match open.

Larose leads the team with three goals, the only player with more than one and already matching her tally from last season. Larose also won the penalty against Alabama A&M that was converted by Morgan Drawdy for the opening goal.

In addition to her penalty kick, Drawdy beautifully fed freshman Rachel Bradberry as Bradberry was able to finish coolly into the bottom career for her first career goal in a Govs uniform.

The backline has mainly been anchored by familiar faces on the roster, but maybe not familiar to defense. With Abby Therrell and Caroline Wistrom on the outside of defense, Renee Semaan in the center, and Mary Parker Powell in goal from the start of the first three matches, the APSU backline has plenty of experience.

However, the surprise on the backline is Jennifer Smith. Smith, a forward for her first three seasons as a Gov, made the transition to center back under Kolarova seamlessly. Smith (defensive) and Powell (goalkeeper) both won Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week awards last week.

Smith still gets it done offensively as well, as the Canadian ripped a volley into the roof of the net off a deflected ball from a corner against Middle Tennessee, a goal which appeared in the number two spot on NCAA Soccer’s Top 5 Plays.

Opponent Spotlight

Little Rock has made a promising start to its season, with a record of 2-1-1 through four matches. The Trojans have defeated their two most recent opponents, narrowly beating Missouri State, 1-0, before obliterating Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 7-0. The Trojans’ lone loss came against Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky, falling in double overtime, 3-2, after a hotly contested match.

The Govs will need to focus on containing Jaclyne Purvine, who leads the team with four goals, including three in the past two matches. The Govs have won all three meetings between the two schools, including a 3-0 win last season. Larose and Drawdy were on the statsheet that match, with Larose scoring off a Drawdy assist.

SEC opponent Mississippi State will prove to be a challenge for the Govs. While the Govs have never played the Bulldogs, APSU has never beaten a SEC opponent. The Bulldogs are off to a roaring start this year, winning their first four matches by a combined 14-2 with three shutouts. Junior midfielder MaKayla Waldner has scored five goals in just four games to lead the Bulldogs.  

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