The middle of the OVC women’s soccer standings are beginning to bunch up prior to the conference tournament at the end of the month.
Tennessee-Martin is leading the conference comfortably, with four conference points separating them from the second-place teams. The four-point margin is equal to the margin between second and sixth place.
The Skyhawks are likely to be the top seed in the tournament, leaving seven other spots up for grabs. They are 5-0-1 in conference play this season, with the draw coming against Eastern on Sept. 30.
They are 10-2-1 overall, by far the best record in the OVC.
On the other end of the bracket is Jacksonville State. They are 1-5 in OVC play and 3-9-2 overall. They have just three conference points and are currently four points out of a postseason spot.
Assuming Tennessee-Martin earns the top seed and Jacksonville State misses the tournament, the nine teams in between have approximately two and a half weeks to jockey for the seven remaining positions in the bracket.
The five teams directly behind Tennessee-Martin in the standings all have double-digit conference points. Murray State and Southern Illinois Edwardsville are tied for second place with 12 points apiece.
Eastern is directly behind them in fourth place with 11 points.
Rounding out the top six seeds are Austin Peay and Belmont with 10 points each.
The spots in the bracket that are the most likely to change drastically are the seventh and eighth seeds.
Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech currently occupy those spots, but they are followed closely by Morehead State and Southeast Missouri.
Eastern has three conference matches remaining, all against teams currently occupying the bottom four spots in the standings.
Statistically, the OVC team leaderboards are dominated both offensively and defensively by Tennessee-Martin, which is not surprising considering their record.
They have scored 33 goals in 13 games, and have only surrendered 11. Their defense has also allowed the fewest shots on goal in the conference while their offense has registered the most.
Individually, the points leader in the OVC is still Miyah Watford from Murray State. She has led the conference in points and goals every week this season, and her teammate Abby Jones has been in second place in scoring most of the year.
Austin Peay’s Claire Larose is closing in on Watford’s lead in goals scored. Larose has seven goals to Watford’s eight.
Southeast Missouri goalkeeper Bailey Redden has taken over the conference lead in save percentage, saving 82 percent of opposing shots.
Morehead State’s Eva Helgadottir still leads the conference in saves by a wide margin but has allowed the most goals in the conference as well.
The OVC Tournament begins on Oct. 26, and the standings and leaderboards are likely to change quite a bit until then.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]