Women’s soccer heads into OVC play during weekend


File Photo

Sophomore defender Lindsey Carlson attempts to get past two Tennessee-Martin players during the Panthers’ 1-0 overtime win September 2016 at Lakeside Field.

The women’s soccer team is heading into the weekend riding momentum from a game-winning goal in overtime from freshman midfielder Rachel Pappas.

Coach Kiki Lara said the win brings a reward for what the team has been working toward as a process.

“It’s nice to get rewarded for things that you genuinely work for,” Lara said.

The Panthers head to Jacksonville State for their first away match in Ohio Valley Conference play, but Lara said the away games do not put extra strain on the team and approach every game with the same mentality.

“I want the players to approach every game in the same manner, prepare in the same manner,” Lara said. “In many ways, it’s kind of nice for us to be on the road and get away and have to have time to focus for the match for a good amount of time in the day and get a good amount of preparation in.”

The Panthers (4-6) have matched their win total from last season with last week’s win over the Tennessee-Martin. Last season, the Panthers went 4-13-2 overall with a 2-7-1 in OVC play.

Freshman goalkeeper Sara Teteak recorded her third shutout on the season. She faced six shots from the Skyhawks. Teteak has three shutouts in her last four matches and has 63 saves on the year with a 1.29 goal against average. Lara said she has been growing so far this season.

“She’s had her ups and her downs, for us right now, we can depend on her in goal to make some good saves and she’s very young and she’s grown from some of the mistakes she has made,” Lara said. “We have a lot of confidence in Sara.”

The team’s focus lately, has been focusing in on ball circulation. Lara said he wants his offense to get behind teams and be effective on goal. Pressure on the ball defensively also has been a key in practice.

“We have to make sure we take pride in not getting beat one-on-one and through us, over the top of us, or around us,” Lara said.

Lara said the team needs to be more direct with ball possession. Trying to connect the players and making runs to the net. Lara said he wants the team to be effective with a combination of things.

“It’s not as easy as holding the ball, there’s details that go into that, and it’s not as easy as just getting in behind. I think if you don’t have that combination right, you really make your team ineffective if you’re too possessive of the ball or you make your team too direct, you make your team too susceptible to being countered. It’s a combination of the two,” Lara said.

The Panthers will head to Jacksonville State (3-7-1) Friday for a 7 p.m. kick-off and will head back to Lakeside Field on Sunday to face Belmont at 1 p.m.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]