September 28, 2011

Golden Eagles return home for important weekend of conference play

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Holding an 0-2 Ohio Valley Conference record after the opening weekend of league play, Tennessee Tech returns home to a pair of extremely important matches in the scheme of the Golden Eagles' postseason hopes.

The path to get back to .500 in conference play is not an easy one, however, as TTU welcomes Eastern Kentucky (1-0) as well as defending OVC champion Morehead State (0-1) to Tech Soccer Field.

The Golden Eagles will face the Colonels at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 before taking on the Eagles at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.

"It's going to be a very, very important weekend," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "All is not lost, but we do have our backs up against the wall and we need to dig deep and figure out how to change some things."
The thing that needs to change, according to Brizard, is that the Golden Eagles must play more intelligent soccer on the heels of back-to-back losses.

"This past weekend was rough," Brizard said. "I know we had higher expectations than what panned out. But we fought the whole weekend. We gave a full effort. In the end, we just didn't play smart enough. We've got to figure out how to correct that in the next three or four days."

NOTES:

-Junior midfielder Kerri Reid became the Golden Eagles' leading offensive producer this season with her goal against SIU Edwardsville on Sunday. Reid has a team-high three goals on the season and six points.

- Becca Toler ranks 10th nationally in Division I soccer this week in goalkeeper minutes played. The sophomore from Collierville, Tenn., has played 1,108 minutes.

-Senior defender Lindsey Reed continues to be an ironwoman for Tech. Reed played all 180 minutes this past weekend and has played every minute of every game this season — 1,108 total.

In fact, all members of the Golden Eagles' back line have played more than 1,000 — sophomore defender Taylor Hicks (1,078), junior defender Julie Thompson (1,098) and junior defender Leigh Heffner (1,008).

"Lindsey's doing a great job for us," Brizard said. "If it weren't for a few issues beyond our control, there's a good chance every member of our back line would have played every minute of every game. Lindsey has played one game sick, and she's showed a lot of determination, a lot of grit."

SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY

-Eastern Kentucky comes into its second OVC match of the season with a 3-6-1 overall record and a 1-0 mark in conference play. The Colonels are coming off a 1-0 victory over defending league champion Morehead State on Sept. 23.

-The Colonels and Golden Eagles have one common opponent in UNC Asheville. Tech defeated UNC-A 4-1 on Aug. 28 while EKU shut out the Bulldogs 4-0 on Sept. 2.

-The all-time series between Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky is tied at 3-3. EKU handed the Golden Eagles a close 1-0 defeat in the last meeting between the two schools on Oct. 3, 2010 in Richmond.

-The Colonels are scoring 0.90 goals per game compared to Tech's 1.08. EKU is surrendering 1.60 goals per game compared to 1.75 for the Golden Eagles.

-Freshman forward Devon Saini leads Eastern Kentucky offensively with three goals on the season. Goalkeeper Annie Wickett has a 1.36 goals-against average.

 

SCOUTING MOREHEAD STATE

-Defending champion and preseason No. 1 pick Morehead State enters its second weekend of conference play with a 4-4-2 overall record and an 0-1 mark in the OVC thanks to a 1-0 loss suffered against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 23. The Eagles travel to Jacksonville State on Sept. 30 before coming to Cookeville.

-The Eagles and Golden Eagles have played no common opponents.

-Tech owns an 8-5-2 advantage over Morehead State in the all-time series. In the last meeting between the two schools on Oct. 1, 2010, Morehead defeated the Golden Eagles 2-0 in Morehead.

-MSU is scoring 1.40 goals per game compared to Tech's 1.08. The Eagles are also surrendering 1.40 goals per outing compared to 1.75 for the Golden Eagles.

-Senior midfielder Brittany Kiracofe is Morehead State's offensive leader with three goals and three assists on the season, totaling nine points. Goalkeeper Katie Blevins has a 1.33 goals-against average.