OVC split as women’s soccer team prepares for conference play

Adam Tumino, Women's Soccer Reporter

With the conference season on the horizon, the Panthers are looking to keep improving. 

The rest of the OVC is finding their way as well, with mixed results.

Morehead State, Eastern’s first conference opponent, is in eighth place in the OVC. They are 1-3 so far. 

Morehead beat Akron in its opening game, then dropped three in a row. All of its games have been one-goal games, and Morehead has not given up more than two goals in any game this season. 

Eastern’s next conference opponent will be Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels are in second place at 3-1. 

Their record mirrors Morehead State’s. Eastern Kentucky lost their opener and then won three in a row. The Colonels have doubled up their opponents in goals this season, outscoring them 8-4. 

Sophomore Sarah Owusu is leading the team in goals with three. Two of them came against IUPUI on Aug. 26.

Eastern plays their first home conference game on Sept. 21 against Murray State. 

Murray State is tied in the standings with Eastern Kentucky at 3-1. The Racers started 3-0 before getting shutout by Ole Miss on Aug. 26. 

Junior forward Miyah Watford is leading the team with four goals, which are also the most in the OVC.

On Sept. 23, Austin Peay comes to Lakeside Field. The Governors are the only unbeaten team in the OVC this year. 

They have not given up a goal this year, outscoring their opponents 7-0. Junior goalkeeper Mary Parker Powell has eight saves on the year. 

There are two more home games for the Panthers after Austin Peay. 

First is Belmont, one of three winless OVC teams. Belmont’s defense let them down in the team’s first two matches, which were 6-1 and 5-3 losses. 

Tennessee- Martin comes next and brings with it their OVC-leading 13 goals. They scored 10 of those goals in a shutout win against Jackson State. Jaden Hildreth had a hat trick in that game. 

Nine different Tennessee- Martin players have scored goals in 2018. 

On Oct. 7, the Panthers travel to Edwardsville to play Southern Illinois Edwardsville, who is 0-3 this season. 

Southern Illinois Edwardsville have been outscored 9-2 through its three matches, despite having goalkeeper Jensen Schoch register the second-most saves in the OVC. 

The Panther’s final home game of the season is on Oct. 11 against Southeast Missouri, who is 1-2 so far, led by top scorer Morgan McCourt and her two goals. 

The longest trip of the season awaits the Panthers next as they travel to Jacksonville, Alabama, where they will play Jacksonville State.  

Much like Tennessee- Martin, Jacksonville State registered a blowout win against Jackson State. They won 7-0 behind two goals each from Chloe Doherty and Claire Peterson. 

Tennessee Tech is the Panthers’ final conference opponent of the season. They will meet on Oct. 21. 

Tennessee Tech is directly in the middle of the OVC standings with a record of 2-2 and have scored four goals on the season while allowing seven. 

The OVC is split down the middle, with five winning teams, five losing teams and one .500 team. 

If Eastern continues to improve on the attack, they can find themselves in a good position come conference play. 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]