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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Tech soccer wraps up homestand with Sunday evening contest against WKU

Tech soccer wraps up homestand with Sunday evening contest against WKU

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off its first win of the season, the Tennessee Tech soccer team's brief homestand rolls on, as the Golden Eagles close out a two-match Cookeville swing with a Sunday evening affair against WKU. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

Admission to Tech Soccer Field is free of charge. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Click here to watch. Live stats will also be available. Click here to view.

A look at Tennessee Tech

After a winless and goalless start to the season with losses to IUPUI and Lipscomb, the Golden Eagles (1-2-0) got off the schneid in a big way behind a 4-1 victory over Furman Thursday night at Tech Soccer Field. TTU's quartet of scores marked the largest offensive output since a 4-0 nod at Purdue Fort Wayne on Sept. 3, 2018, while the impressive home production was also the most goals scored in a Cookeville clash since a 4-1 triumph over Chattanooga on Sept. 6, 2007.

Bailey Taylor opened up the scoring with a strike in the 19th minute for her ninth-career net-finder, before the purple and gold essentially put the contest out of reach with a strong surge early in the second half. Tech clipped the back of the net three times in the span of 13 minutes in the second stanza's initial stages to jump ahead 4-0. Chloe Smith scored twice with goals in the 47th and 51st minutes, while Allison Lee capped the TTU onslaught with a 60th-minute goal for her first collegiate score.

Smith, who assisted on Lee's header, set single-match career-highs with two goals and five points. Taylor, who tallied an assist as well, ended her evening with three points, while Yao Giada Zhou collected a career-best three assists, the second-most by a Golden Eagle in a single tilt. The San Michele al Tagliamento, Italy native's stellar showing catapulted her to the top of the OVC leaderboard in assists.

Defensively, TTU limited Furman to just three shots on-goal. Sophomore keeper Maggie Conrad captured her first career victory with one stop in over 75 minutes in between the pipes.

The Golden Eagles were selected to finish third in the OVC's Predicted Order of Finish following a conference tourney semifinals appearances last season, the program's fourth in the last seven campaigns. Chloe Smith was chosen as Tech's Player to Watch coming into the year after taking home All-OVC first-team honors in 2021.

A look at WKU

The Lady Toppers (1-2-0) come to Cookeville to continue an early-season road crossing that will feature away matches in three of their first four affairs. WKU has been unsuccessful in its first two tests outside of Bowling Green with a 1-0 loss at Xavier on Aug. 18 and a 2-0 loss at Vanderbilt on Thursday. Sandwiched in between the two defeats is a 5-0 triumph over Union University, a DII school that plays in the Gulf South Conference.

All five goals have come from five different players this season, with Kayla Meyer, Avery Christopher, Katie Erwin, Anna Isger and Brooke Sleeva each finding the back of the net. Meyer has tabbed an assist as well to pace the squad with three points this year.

The Lady Toppers were picked to finish in second in the Conference USA Predicted Order of Finish. WKU went 10-5-1 last season with a 5-2-1 league ledger that put them in second place in the East Division. The club lost to UAB in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

Inside the series

Sunday night will mark the first-ever meeting in the all-time series. The two clubs were scheduled to meet last year in Bowling Green, but the match was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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