By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A second-half Samford score proved to be the difference in the Tennessee Tech soccer team's non-conference finale, as the Bulldogs split the pipes just over midway through the second stanza on the way to claiming a 1-0 victory Thursday night at Tech Soccer Field.
After a series of second-half attempts were denied by the purple and gold, Samford (4-2-3) finally broke through in the 69th minute, scoring off a set piece for the tilt's lone goal. Whitaker Buchanan lined up a corner that nestled into heavy traffic, before Mary Raymond finished out in front with her first goal of the season.
Raymond's game-winner was the Bulldogs' sixth shot of the period and third on-goal. A Layla Brown attempt just over a minute into the half was fended off by Maggie Conrad, before a second Brown try just over two minutes later alluded Conrad, but Macy Carter denied the Samford score by knocking away Brown's bid at a wide-open net.
Samford, who came into the contest receiving votes for the nation's Top 25, led the shots battle 17-6, including 11-2 in the second half. The Golden Eagles (2-4-2) were unable to put a shot on-goal, but managed to go toe-to-toe with the eight-time defending Southern Conference champion in the final match before the start of OVC play.
Yao Giada Zhou led the purple and gold with two shots, while Taylor Yount bested the Bulldogs with four attempts, including two on-frame.
Maggie Conrad picked up six saves and Morgan McAslan did not make a save on the Samford side.
With the non-conference slate now in the rearview mirror, the Golden Eagles will set their sights on the league ledger with eight OVC matches ahead of them. Up first on the docket is a Sunday, Sept. 18 meeting at Eastern Illinois. Kickoff in Charleston is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
Photo by Jim Dillon