Women’s soccer beats SIUE in finale

Senior+defender+Briana+Hickman+runs+alongside+a+Tennessee+Tech+opponent+during+the+Panthers%27+1-0+victory+on+Oct.+9+at+Lakeside+Field.

Jason Howell

Senior defender Briana Hickman runs alongside a Tennessee Tech opponent during the Panthers’ 1-0 victory on Oct. 9 at Lakeside Field.

Elias Albert, Staff Reporter

The Eastern Illinois women’s soccer team won their final game of the 2015 campaign by defeating Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 1-0 in the closing minutes of the game.

Senior forward Hannah Miller scored the game-winning goal off a free kick in the 89th minute after the SIUE goalkeeper picked the ball up while she was outside of the box.

With the victory, Eastern ends the season at 4-13-2 overall and 2-7-1 in OVC play.

Coach Jason Cherry said he was happy to end the season on such a high note.

“This is exactly what we set out to do today,” Cherry said. “We set a goal for ourselves and we went and took it.”

Previous to the game-winning goal, the two teams were locked in a tightly-contested matchup that could have gone either way.

Freshman goalkeeper Maddie Lyon recorded her fourth shutout of the season, and added nine saves to her season total.

Cherry thought that his goalkeeper played well, and said she was the key to the game ending in victory.

“She’s been great for us all year long,” Cherry said. “She managed to end the season exactly the way that she wanted to.”

Lyon ends her season with 17 starts and a save rate of 80 percent. She also led the conference with 129 total saves.

Eastern was outshot 16-12 and out-cornered 2-1. Cherry didn’t think that it mattered much though.

“We just had a lot of energy out there today,” Cherry said. “You could tell that we left it all out on the field.”

Miller’s goal gives her five for her final season, which was second on the team behind senior forward Molly Hawkins’ seven goals.

Miller and Hawkins led Eastern in shots against SIUE, with three each. Junior forward Kathleen MacKinnon and freshman midfielder Kaci Schonert each added two shot attempts.

Cherry said the win was a perfect way to see his seniors off.

“They all had a great game on top of a great career,” Cherry said. “I hope they’re all proud of themselves, because I definitely am.”

The seniors, defender Briana Hickman, midfielders Karlee Deacon and Bianca Navejas, forward Molly Hawkins, forward Hannah Miller, goalkeeper Hannah Vieth and student assistant coach Cortney Jerzy, were enthusiastic about winning their last game at Eastern.

“This is a perfect way to go,” Miller said. “We all played hard out there today, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Cherry said that beating SIUE was a huge accomplishment for the team, and that he hopes to build off the victory heading into next season.

“Beating SIUE makes it even more special,” Cherry said. “It took a lot of effort on our part, but we managed to do it. We beat a very good team.”

Entering the game, SIUE was 5-10-3 and had a goalkeeper that was sixth best in the conference.

Cherry said he was happy with the energy and emotion that his team showed for the seniors, and that he’d like this to translate into next season as well.

“Everyone was into it,” Cherry said. “Despite the cold weather, we were physical and driven to win, which is exactly the way that we want to be.”

 

Elias Albert can reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]