Women’s team has ‘nothing to lose’ in final week of season

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

After surrendering two losses last weekend, the Eastern women’s soccer team appears to be on the outside looking in of making the top six and qualifying for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

The Panthers didn’t go out without a fight, though. Eastern held Murray State, the conference’s top scoring team, scoreless until late in the match Friday when a controversial hand ball led to the eventual winning goal. Then on Sunday, Eastern took Tennessee-Martin to overtime, but the Skyhawks were able to score on a corner kick in the last minute of overtime.

“It was a tough weekend for us because I think we played well enough to win both of these games,” Eastern head coach Jason Cherry said. “I was really proud of the seniors and how well they played and how hard they worked. They played the majority of the game and they just battled. I was very proud. It’s been an honor and privilege coaching them.”

The two losses kept the Panthers at four points in the OVC standings, leaving Eastern and Eastern Kentucky tied for ninth place.

Eastern is now preparing for its final two matches of the season, traveling to Kentucky to take on Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.

“We have nothing to lose,” senior Meagan Radloff said. “Just gonna give it all we’ve got for the last two.”

Originally scheduled for a 3 p.m. start, Friday’s match at Eastern Kentucky now starts at noon.

The Colonels are 1-6-1 in the OVC, coming off two losses to Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Eastern Kentucky has failed to score a goal in four of its eight conference matches. The Colonels only win came over Tennessee Tech on Oct. 3. Eastern Kentucky played to a 0-0 draw on Sept. 28 against Belmont.

While the Panthers match with Eastern Kentucky might not mean much, Morehead State currently has 11 points in the standings. The Eagles are currently in sixth place, making them the last team in to make the tournament. Austin Peay is close behind with 10 points. A Morehead State loss to Eastern could spoil its chances of making the tournament. Morehead State won the tournament last year and lost to Wake Forest 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, currently with 18 points, is in first place after picking up wins over Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. The Cougars were formerly tied with Murray State for first place. Murray State has 15 points, as its win over Eastern was its only match of the weekend. Murray State, Jacksonville State and Southeast Missouri are all tied for second place with 15 points.

The OVC tournament starts Thursday Nov. 6. The first place team hosts the tournament.

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].