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Tech soccer welcomes SEMO to town for Sunday Senior Day showdown

Tech soccer welcomes SEMO to town for Sunday Senior Day showdown

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With three matches remaining in the regular season, the Tennessee Tech soccer team gears up for a crucial contest against Southeast Missouri Sunday afternoon in Cookeville. With TTU setting its sights on a potential Ohio Valley Conference regular-season crown, the Golden Eagles will welcome the Redhawks to Tech Soccer Field for a 1 p.m. CT beginning.

Admission 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.

Sunday's battle is part of Tech's annual Senior Day, with seven Golden Eagles set to be honored just prior to the match. Seniors Sarah Block, Emily Carlevato, Macy Carter, Anna Croxall, Meg Ivey, Chloe Smith and Bailey Taylor will all be recognized in a pre-contest ceremony, honoring their collegiate careers.  

A look at Tennessee Tech

The Golden Eagles (5-4-4, 3-0-2 OVC) enter Sunday's get-together in a three-way tie for first place in the OVC behind 11 league points. Morehead State shares an identical conference mark thanks to a 3-0-2 record as well, while SIUE holds a 3-1-2 OVC ledger to also account for 11 OVC points.  

Tech was responsible for handing SIUE its first league loss with a 2-0 Golden Eagle victory in TTU's last affair on Oct. 6 in Cookeville. Yao Giada Zhou put the purple and gold on the board with a goal in the 31st minute, before Katie Toney added on in the 77th minute to extend Tech's edge to 2-0. Giada Zhou and Toney each registered their second score of the year to join Allison Lee and Meredith Nye as the quartet of Golden Eagles with two goals this season.

Chloe Smith, who assisted on Giada Zhou's net-finder, leads the squad with five goals to tie for most scores in the OVC. The senior forward's 14 points, thanks to four assists as well, is the highest total in the conference. Giada Zhou's six assists are two more than any player in the league.

TTU's clean sheet over the Cougars was the club's fourth OVC blanking in five conference clashes. Selma Askildsen, who helped play a role in limiting SIUE to only eight total shots in the tilt, was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon, the junior's third career weekly accolade. Sophomore Maggie Conrad's four stops helped lead the Tech goalkeeper to her fourth shutout of the year.

At 3-0-2, the Golden Eagles have gone unbeaten through their first five OVC matches for the first time in program history.

A look at SEMO

The Redhawks (6-5-2, 2-1-2 OVC) come to Cookeville scorching, having strung together an unbeaten stretch of their own that has seen SEMO go 2-0-2 in their last four affairs. During the surge, the Redhawks topped EIU and Little Rock with 2-1 road wins and played Lindenwood and Morehead State to draws.

Cayla Koerner, who leads the team with four goals this season, heads to Tech Soccer Field with some weekly conference hardware after claiming the OVC Offensive Player of the Week honor Tuesday afternoon. The freshman forward scored twice in SEMO's pair of affairs, proving equalizing goals in the 2-1 nod at Little Rock on Oct. 6 and the 1-1 deadlock against Morehead State on Oct. 9.

Megan Heisser and Alayna Jakul have each split the pipes twice this season, representing the only other Redhawks with more than one goal in 2022. Faith Liljegren paces SEMO with three assists this year.  

Sophia Elfrink has spent each and every minute in-net this season for Southeast Missouri and has surrendered 12 goals to go along with 72 saves for a 0.92 goals against average and a .857 save percentage. Elfrink's sturdy save percentage is good enough for second in the conference.

Inside the series

Sunday's contest will mark the 27th meeting in the all-time set. The Redhawks hold a 16-6-4 advantage in the series, which includes a scoreless draw in last year's regular-season finale in Cape Girardeau, Mo. in the previous matchup between the two clubs. Sunday will be the first time the two teams take center stage in Cookeville since a scoreless knot on Oct. 5, 2018. The last three get-togethers have taken place in Cape Girardeau.  

Photo by Jim Dillon

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