By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team remained unblemished in OVC play, as the Golden Eagles played SIUE to a 2-2 draw in the club's first conference clash away from Cookeville.
Tech (3-4-4, 1-0-2 OVC) split the pipes in each half of regulation with goals in the 17th and 50th minutes to take a 2-0 edge, but were unable to seal the deal on a second-straight OVC victory after the Cougars (2-4-3, 0-1-2 OVC) staged a late rally. SIUE got on the board in the 71st minute and then deadlocked the affair on a penalty-kick goal in the 87th minute.
"I thought the game was pretty predictable in terms of what we were going to see and I don't think we were surprised by SIUE and how they played," TTU head coach Steve Springthorpe said. "I thought the first half and early into the second we did a good job of dealing with a number of situations and did exactly what we needed to do defensively. Unfortunately, late in regulation, we just didn't handle a lot of those situations as well as we did earlier in the game.
"That being said, we came out with a tie tonight in a place that is always tough to play," Springthorpe continued. "We could have, and probably should have won tonight, but anytime you get a point in conference play on the road, it's something positive. We are still in a better position with tonight's outcome than of course what could have happened. We are going to continue to train and improve on the areas that we didn't necessarily do well tonight."
Following her first career multi-score effort with a pair of second-half goals in a 3-1 nod over Eastern Kentucky on Sunday, Bereda picked up right where she left off with a goal in the 17th minute that put the Golden Eagles on top 1-0. The 5-foot-9 sophomore was the beneficiary of a feed from Kendall Powell, who dribbled around the edge and along the end line before connecting with Bereda, who knocked it into the back of the net.
Powell received an assist on the go-ahead score, while Bereda's net-finder put the Bellbrook, Ohio product in a tie with freshman Bailey Taylor for the most goals on the squad.
Tech's early score was one of only two shots for the purple and gold in the first, both of which were on-point. Chloe Smith took the other TTU try with an attempt in the 14th minute. SIUE recorded a dozen first-half shots, but just three were on-goal.
Powell was responsible for Tech's second-half score with a goal in the 50th minute. This time Bereda helped set up the Cookeville native after a Rachel Blow service found its way into the box amid heavy traffic. Powell found a way to emerge through the crowd with a clean look and took care of business to extend the Tech edge to 2-0.
Bereda, who found Powell in the traffic, secured her team-leading third assist of the year on what was the Cookeville native's second goal of 2019.
The Cougars responded with goals in the 71st and 87th minutes. Becca Jostes claimed the first SIUE score, before an Andrea Freker penalty kick knotted the tilt in the waning moments of regulation.
Overall, SIUE outshot the Golden Eagles 24-8, but Tech made the most of its opportunities behind five shots on-goal. Bereda was the team leader with three tries on-point. SIUE's Mackenzie Litzinger led the match with eight shots and assisted on the club's first goal in the 71st minute.
The Cougars outshot Tech 4-2 in the pair of extra sessions, with each team putting one shot on-goal.
Isabelle Austin made two saves between the pipes. The Golden Eagles also recorded two team saves. Bella Henderson and Jensen Schoch split time in net for the Cougars, with Schoch recording the club's only two saves of the evening.
Tech will be idle the rest of the weekend, before returning to action on Friday, Oct. 4 at Belmont. First kick in Nashville is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
Photo by Thomas Corhern