The Eastern Kentucky University soccer team continues to power through the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) as they still hold the best record in the conference with a record of (7-3-3, 4-0-2 OVC). Five different Colonels scored and the Colonels marked two more OVC wins this past weekend as they travelled through Illinois to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers (5-7-1, 0-4 OVC) and the Southern Illinois of Edwardsville Cougars.
The Colonels first pitstop was in Charleston, Illinois against the EIU Panthers which took place at Lakeside Field last Friday.
The first half of the game was scoreless until junior defender Kacy Eckley received a perfectly set pass from Foster off a fast break during the 56th minute. Following the pass, Eckley took the keeper one-on-one and netted a shot to give EKU the first goal of the game, 1-0, and Eckley her first goal on the season and second of her career.
Eckley has been an impeccable defender this season and continues to show her stamina throughout this season. She started 17 of the Colonels 19 games during the 2016 season and did not leave the field once in any of the games she started.
Carrying the momentum from Eckley’s goal, in the 66th minute, just moments later Idalys Rea, junior midfielder, connected with senior midfielder Allison Werner at the top of the box in which Werner then converted the cross in to a goal giving Werner her first career goal as a Colonel and bumping the score up to 2-0 Colonels.
Werner took three shots in the game, two of which were on goal, and has been a versatile player for EKU since she’s been here. Her efforts continue to help this Colonel’s team to win.
Eastern played incredible defense throughout the game allowing the Panthers to take only 3 shots, one of which was on goal, to their 15 shots. Senior goalkeeper Anna Hall left the game with a win and the shutout making this the fourth shutout for her this season.
EIU’s Henar Urteaga led the Panthers with 2 shots none of which were on goal.
“We are proud of the girls for sticking to the game plan and being persistent,” said head coach Nick Flohre. “EIU has frustrated a lot of teams this season with their defensive organization and they defended well against us too.”
Eastern won the match in regulation with a score of 2-0 and left with 15 shots on the match by 11 different Colonel’s, eight of which were on target. This was Eastern’s fourth straight win over EIU since 2014.
EKU’s next pitstop was in Edwardsville, Illinois against the SIUE Cougars which took place at Korte Stadium. It was the rematch of the OVC Championship game that took place during the 2016 season, but the Colonels refused to let the Cougars best them twice in a row. An incredible game winning header by Emmi Carrol was just enough to boost the Colonel’s over SIUE and grant them the victory with a 3-2 win.
Right from the start the Colonels were the first to score when Marian Wolski, sophomore midfielder, crossed the ball to senior Jordan Foster who then took control and booted a ball in to the bottom right corner of the net to give the Colonels an early 1-0 lead.
This was Foster’s fifth goal on the season tying her with Emmi Carrol for most on the team. Currently, according to OVC standings, Fosters is tied for fourth place in the category for points with 13. Foster also led Eastern with three shots in the game, two of which were on target.
The Colonel’s did not let up after Foster’s goal when just over three minutes later Wolski, yet again, strategically placed a beautiful cross to junior Bailly Bounds who fired a shot in to the back of the net to give EKU a promising 2-0 lead over SIUE.
This was Bounds’ only shot in the game, but her third goal on the season.
Wolski played just 63 minutes in this game but was able to get off two assists that were converted in to goals for the Colonel’s.
The Cougar’s finally were able to get past Hall in the 57th minute off a goal from Kelsey Pruett making the score 2-1, Colonels.
Eastern continued to be persistent in their attack and in the 77th minute, off a 40-yard free kick from freshman Katie Shaffer, Emmi Carrol made everybody go in to shock when she headed in a goal over the keeper to push the score to 3-1, Colonels.
This goal was Carrol’s fifth on the season.
A penalty kick in the 85th minute of the game gave the Cougar’s another goal, 3-2, but they were no match for Eastern’s solid defense and ultimately fell victim to the Colonel’s this time around.
Goalkeeper Hall finished the game with a win, allowing two goals but coming out with one save.
“We knew today’s game was going to be a battle and played with a lot of emotion,” head coach Nick Flohre said. “Our players started with great energy, both on the field and on the sidelines, and it helped us get the early lead.”
The Colonels are back in action this Thursday at 4 p.m. at EKU Soccer Field as they look to their extend their two-game win streak with a victory over Murray State University.