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Tech soccer hosts Morehead State with chance to clinch OVC regular-season title

Tech soccer hosts Morehead State with chance to clinch OVC regular-season title

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A chance to claim the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season crown will take center stage Thursday night in Cookeville, as the Tennessee Tech soccer team will host Morehead State in an undefeated, first-place showdown at 7 p.m. CT. Both squads come in deadlocked for first in the league with identical 4-0-2 OVC marks. A Golden Eagle victory would clinch the program's second conference regular-season title and give the purple and gold the No. 1 seed in the OVC Tournament.

Admission to Tech Soccer Field is free of charge. Free t-shirts will be given away for the first 250 fans in attendance and complimentary hot chocolate will be handed out as well.

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

Tech (6-4-4, 4-0-2 OVC) comes into the big-time bout riding a six-match unbeaten streak since the start of OVC play, the longest undefeated run to begin league action in program history. Thursday's clash wraps up a three-match homestand that has seen the Golden Eagles already secure victories over SIUE on Oct. 6 and SEMO on Oct. 16, outscoring the Cougars and Redhawks 5-0 in the pair of affairs.

Following Sunday's 3-0 nod over Southeast Missouri, Chloe Smith and Maggie Conrad took home some conference hardware, with Smith claiming the OVC Offensive Player of the Week and Conrad collecting the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week. Smith scored a goal and added an assist, both in the second half, in the victory over the Redhawks, while Conrad tallied three stops en route to her fifth clean sheet in six conference contests.

Smith leads the OVC in goals with six and points with 17, five more than any other player in the league. Yao Giada Zhou sits atop the conference with six assists.

As a team, the Golden Eagles pace the OVC with 21 goals, 21 assists and 169 shots.

TTU's only other OVC regular-season championship came back in the 1998 campaign.

A look at Morehead State

The Eagles (7-4-3, 4-0-2 OVC) can put themselves in prime position to claim the program's third regular-season conference crown, and first since 2010, with a victory. Like Tech, Morehead has also rattled off six consecutive unblemished affairs, with the squad's last loss coming at Cincinnati with a 3-0 defeat on Sept. 11.

Late-match dramatics took center stage in the club's last tilt, as Erin Fite scored in the 88th minute to break a scoreless knot Sunday at Lindenwood and propel the Eagles to a 1-0 nod. Defensively, Morehead allowed just two shots in the match with zero attempts on-goal.

MSU is tied with Tech for the fewest goals yielded during OVC play, with just two scores surrendered in six matches. Freshman Erin Gibbs has started all six conference clashes in between the pipes and has an OVC-best .933 save percentage during league action.

Offensively, Hadley Cytron and Nicole Fiantaco lead the squad with four goals apiece. Cytron's four assists gives the Creve Coeur, Mo. product 12 points to tie for second in the league.

Inside the series

Thursday's battle will mark the 27th meeting in the all-time set, with Tech currently holding a 12-10-4 advantage. MSU bested the purple and gold with a 1-0 victory, using a Katie Larbes goal in the 81st minute for the tilt's lone score in last year's meeting in Morehead on Sept. 30. The two teams last gathered in Cookeville on Sept. 20, 2019 and played to a 1-1 draw.


Photo by Jim Dillon

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