By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team is set to tie a ribbon on the regular season with a pair of weekend home matches at Tech Soccer Field. The Golden Eagles will greet SIUE Friday evening for a 7 p.m. CT first kick with the Cougars, before concluding the regular season with a Sunday showdown against Eastern Illinois at 1 p.m.
Sunday's match with the Panthers is Tech's annual Senior Day, with a special pre-match ceremony scheduled that will honor the careers of Molly Kafader, Courtney Manning, Tina Marolt, Kari Naerdemann and Mayra Tarraga Manzanal.
Admission is free of charge to both contests and each match will be live streamed on the OVC Digital Network. Click here to watch.
A look at Tech
The Golden Eagles (6-7-2, 2-4-2 OVC) are currently sitting just on the outside of the OVC Tournament postseason picture, a mere two points back of Austin Peay and Belmont for the final playoff berth with two matches remaining.
Thanks to a 1-1 draw at Eastern Kentucky in the club's last contest on Oct. 14, Tech put itself in a position to make some noise heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Rachel Blow accounted for the TTU goal in the clash with the Colonels, a 19th-minute score that saw the Boca Raton, Fla. native bend in a corner kick that jumped the Golden Eagles out in front. Blow's goal marked the first in the career of the 5-foot-7 junior.
Kari Naerdemann secured six saves in the draw, and over the last four matches, the Herne, Germany product has collected 29 stops to push her total to an OVC-best 71 on the season.
Offensively, Kendall Powell is the Golden Eagle leader with six goals in 2018, a mark that places the sophomore out of Cookeville in a tie for fifth in the conference. Rachel Blow's team-leading three assists is good enough for a tie for fourth in the OVC.
A look at SIUE
The Cougars (5-7-1, 4-3-1 OVC) are currently in third place in the OVC with 13 points, just ahead of both Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State who have 12 points apiece. SIUE is coming off a 1-1 draw in the club's last affair at Southeast Missouri on Oct. 14.
Freshman Amanda DiNardo and sophomore Andrea Frerker lead the squad with three goals each, while red-shirt junior Courtney Benning sits atop the Cougar club with four assists to rank in a tie for third in the OVC.
Sophomore Jensen Schoch has played in all but 115 minutes in between the pipes this year and has allowed 19 goals to go along with 58 saves for a .753 save percentage and a 1.58 goals against average.
Tech leads the all-time series 4-3-1 with SIUE. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in Edwardsville last year and TTU claimed the last Cookeville meeting with a 1-0 nod in 2016.
A look at Eastern Illinois
The Panthers (5-7-4, 3-3-2 OVC) are in sixth place in the OVC with 11 points, sitting one point back of Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. EIU dipped out of conference in the club's last clash, a 4-3 road win at Purdue Fort Wayne on Oct. 13. The squad's last OVC tilt was a 1-0 overtime loss against SEMO on Oct. 11.
Haylee Renick leads Eastern Illinois with three goals, while Lexi Ketterhagen paces the club with four assists and eight points. The Waterford, Wis. native's four assists are good enough for a tie for third in the OVC.
Sara Teteak has been EIU's primary goalkeeper with over 1,200 minutes in net. The 5-foot-9 junior has yielded 14 goals and has notched 56 saves to rank second in the OVC in both save percentage (.800) and goals against average (1.02).
Eastern Illinois leads the all-time series with a 17-4-6 edge over the Golden Eagles. The two teams played to a scoreless deadlock last year in Charleston and TTU seized a 2-0 victory in the last Cookeville get-together in 2016.
Photo by Thomas Corhern