Women’s Soccer out of conference tournament

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern women’s soccer team lost both of its road matches this weekend, meaning the team is officially out of the race for a conference tournament berth.

For the OVC conference tournament at the end of the season, the top eight teams in the conference will make it in.

Eastern is in last place in the OVC, where it has been for most of the later part of the season. With one match left in the season, the next closest teams in the conference, Morehead State and Jacksonville State, have six and seven conference points respectively. Those two teams are out of tournament too.

Over the weekend, Eastern lost to Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin.

Southeast Missouri shutout the Panthers 3-0 Friday and Tennessee-Martin defeated Eastern 2-1 Sunday.

The two losses show what has become the narrative for the Panthers in the second half of the season: struggling to score.

Eastern scored 16 goals in the first eight matches of the season, but has only scored two goals in the second half, which features matches mainly against conference opponents.

For the season, the Panthers have been shut out nine times, including Friday’s loss to Southeast Missouri.

Southeast Missouri midfielder Esmie Gonzales scored the game-winning goal for her team in the 42nd minute of the first half Friday and less than a minute later she scored her second goal of the match (fourth on the year) for some insurance.

Then in the 51st minute, Southeast Missouri defender Shelby Beussink added another insurance goal for the Redhawks, her second for the season.

Eastern had the same amount of shots as Southeast Missouri in the match (13), and had more shots on goal (5) than the Redhawks (4).

Sunday was a déjà vu moment for Eastern.

On Sunday, Eastern took a 1-0 lead over conference-opponent Morehead State after sophomore midfielder Henar Urteaga scored in the first half.

With the lead and chance to earn a conference win in sight, it was taken away in the second half after Morehead State scored three goals, one in the first half, and won the match.

Sunday against Tennesse-Martin, Eastern defender Kayla Stolfa scored in the 26th minute after scoring by curling her corner kick into the goal.

With seven minutes left in the match, Eastern was on its way to a victory, its first in conference. But the Skyhawks scored two goals in less than a minute in the 83rd and 84th minute.

Eastern is now 5-11-2 overall for the season, with an 0-8-1 conference record. The Panthers’ last match of the year is a road match on Thursday at 3 p.m. against Murray State, who is second in the OVC.

Eastern has nothing to lose in the match, and Murray State will play hard because it is one point behind Eastern Kentucky for first in the conference, so it will be playing to try to get first place in the OVC.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]