By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team closes out non-conference play over the weekend, as the Golden Eagles continue a program-long, five-match homestand with contests on Friday and Sunday.
TTU (2-2-2) plays host to Evansville Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. CT, before officially tying a ribbon the club's non-conference campaign with a Sunday, Sept. 15 matchup against Lipscomb at 6 p.m. CT. Admission to both tilts at Tech Soccer Field is free of charge.
A look at Tech
The Golden Eagles ride into the weekend with a wave of momentum after collecting back-to-back victories in the last two affairs. Tech started the stretch of success with a 2-1 win at North Alabama on Sept. 6, a match that featured its fair share of dramatics after the Golden Eagles found themselves staring at a 1-0 deficit late in regulation.
Freshman Bailey Taylor knotted things up with an 84th-minute goal, before Tech claimed the contest just over seven minutes into overtime behind a Cassidy Bereda score that pushed the purple and gold to their first win of the year.
TTU then secured its second-consecutive nod in the club's home opener with a 2-1 win over Appalachian State on Sunday, Sept. 8. Taylor was again at the forefront of Tech's scoring, as the 5-foot-6 forward out of Powell, Tenn. split the pipes twice to help give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 victory. Taylor's three-goal weekend led her to the OVC Offensive Player of the Week award, the first Tech freshman to hoist a weekly accolade since Kari Naerdemann claimed the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week honor on Sept. 8, 2015.
Overall, Taylor's team-leading four goals are good enough for a tie for second in the OVC, while her 13 shots place the TTU rookie in a tie for third in the conference.
With one goal and a team-leading two assists, Cassidy Bereda is second on the squad with four points. The Bellbrook, Ohio products nine shots are tied with Kendall Powell for third on the Golden Eagles, trailing Taylor's 13 and Nora Vicsek's 10.
Red-shirt junior Isabelle Austin picked up her first two career wins over the weekend after allowing only two goals, while making 10 saves in the narrow nods at UNA and vs. App State. The 5-foot-8 keeper's 28 saves are tied for fourth most in the OVC.
A look at Evansville
The Purple Aces (0-4-1) are searching for their first win of the season as they come to Cookeville for the middle of a three-match road trip that will wrap up Sunday at Austin Peay. In fact, Evansville is currently in a stretch of five straight against OVC schools after tying UT Martin on Aug. 29 and falling 2-1 to SEMO on Sept. 6 and 4-2 at Belmont on Sept. 8.
The Purple Aces have been outscored 16-5 this year, with sophomore Emily Ormson responsible for two of the squad's five goals. From a goalkeeper perspective, junior Michaela Till has spent the most time in net for Evansville, playing in all but 23 minutes this season. The Avon, Ind. product has yielded 16 goals and has registered 32 saves.
The Purple Aces are a perfect 3-0 against Tech in the all-time series, including a 3-0 win last year in Evansville.
A look at Lipscomb
Before coming to Tech for Sunday's matinee, the Bisons (4-2-0) play host to Cincinnati in search of a third-straight win after knocking off Marshall and Colgate over the weekend. Lipscomb's matchup with Tech will mark the third this season against an OVC school, with wins vs. Belmont and at Jacksonville already in the back pocket of the Bisons.
Senior Olivia Doak paces the club with three goals, while red-shirt senior Maycie McKay is the team-leader with three assists. The duo is tied for first on the squad with seven points.
Red-shirt junior Melissa Gray and red-shirt senior Hannah Parrish have split time in between the pipes this year for the Bisons. Gray has played 315 minutes in net and has allowed three goals, while making seven saves. Parish, in 225 minutes of action, has allowed four goals and has made six stops.
After dropping the first seven in the all-time series with Tech, Lipscomb claimed its first win in the set with a 2-1 nod last year in Nashville.
Photo by Thomas Corhern