Golden Eagles close out five-match road trip; make 2019 home debut over the weekend

Golden Eagles close out five-match road trip; make 2019 home debut over the weekend

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An intriguing weekend is on the books for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, as the Golden Eagles will wrap up a season opening, five-match road swing and make their 2019 home debut at Tech Soccer Field.

TTU (0-2-2) is at North Alabama on Friday, Sept. 6 for a 7 p.m. CT first kick with the Lions, before the purple and gold host Appalachian State on Sunday, Sept. 8 in the home opener at 1 p.m. The match with App State is the start of a five-match homestand for the Golden Eagles that will carry them into the start of OVC play.

Both contests over the weekend will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Click here to watch Tech at North Alabama. Click here to watch Tech's home match with App State.

Admission to Tech Soccer Field is free of charge.

A look at Tech

The Golden Eagles are coming off a weekend that saw Tech travel out West for the first time in program history. TTU took aim in the Sun Devil Desert Classic in Tempe, Ariz. where the club locked up with a pair of "Power 5" programs in Arizona State and the University of Arizona. The Golden Eagles fell 7-1 to the host Sun Devils in the first clash of the West Coast swing, before they were downed 3-0 by Arizona in a match in which Tech trailed only 1-0 for the first 70 minutes.

Sophomore Natalie Rolen was responsible for TTU's lone goal over the weekend with a 29th-minute score against Arizona State Friday evening. Senior Nora Vicsek paced Tech with three shots against the Sun Devils, while freshman Bailey Taylor was TTU's shot leader against Arizona with two attempts on Sunday.

Red-shirt junior goalkeeper Isabelle Austin notched nine saves over the weekend, pushing her total to 18 this season.

Junior Kendall Powell leads the Golden Eagles with seven shots this season and freshman Kendall Webb is on top of the minute's total this year with 394 minutes of action over the first four contests. Kaitie Shipley has appeared in 390 minutes, while Rachel Blow has seen 385 minutes on the pitch.

A look at North Alabama

Friday's match against Tech will wrap up a three-match homestand for the Lions (2-2-0), who have split the first two contests. UNA fell in heartbreaking fashion in the club's home opener on Aug. 30 against Chattanooga, a match that saw the Mocs score with 18 seconds left in regulation to win 1-0. Two days later, the Lions bounced back with a 3-0 nod against OVC foe Jacksonville State. Senior Shelby Wall scored twice in the contest to push her team-leading goal count to three, while sophomore Anna Bove tallied a goal and two assists for a four-point afternoon.

The Lions other two affairs were a 2-0 loss at Ole Miss on Aug. 22 in the season opener and a 3-1 victory at Southern Illinois on Aug. 25. UNA has used a pair of goalkeepers in the early stages of the season. Senior Savannah Stewart has started three of the squad's four matches with three goals allowed and 18 saves on her 2019 resume, while freshman Jordyn Spreck earned her first career start against JSU on Sunday and made two saves en route to the clean sheet.

North Alabama is coming off a storied 2018 campaign in which the Lions made it all the way to the ASUN Conference Tournament championship match in the school's first year as a Division I program. UNA lost 3-2 to Lipscomb in the title tilt to tie a ribbon on a 11-9-1 season.

Tech leads the all-time series 2-1 against North Alabama, however the Lions bested the Golden Eagles last year in Cookeville with a 4-0 win.

A look at Appalachian State

Before traveling to Tech Soccer Field for Sunday's clash with the Golden Eagles, the Mountaineers (1-2-1) will be at Charlotte for a Thursday night affair with the 49ers. App State will enter the weekend on a high note after collecting its first win of the season in the club's last contest, a 6-0 victory over UNC Asheville on Sept. 1.

Six different Mountaineers scored in the match after the squad notched one goal in the first three tilts combined. From a goalkeeper perspective, Kerry Eagleston and Alisa Ostwald teamed up to blank UNCA behind two saves from Eagleston and one stop from Ostwald.

The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series with the Mountaineers 3-1. The clubs have not squared off since 2008, a match Tech prevailed 1-0 in Cookeville.

Admission to Tech Soccer Field is free of charge.

Photo by Thomas Corhern