Panthers fall 1-0 to Murray State in OVC semis


Adam Tumino

Eastern sophomore Itxaso Aguero controls the ball against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 28. The Panthers won to advance to the semifinals of the OVC Tournament, which they lost 1-0 on Nov. 2 against Murray State.

Adam Tumino, Women's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern women’s soccer team’s season came to an end on Friday afternoon in the pouring rain in Martin, Tenn. 

The Panthers lost their OVC semifinal match against Murray State 1-0. Murray State then beat Tennessee-Martin on Sunday in the championship match. 

Eastern was outshot by Murray State 25-8 in the match. Nine of the Racers’ shots were on goal, compared to four for the Panthers. 

Eastern goalkeeper Sara Teteak made eight saves in the match and allowed just the one goal, which came in the 13th minute courtesy of Murray State’s leading scorer, Miyah Watford. 

Watford was assisted by Abby Jones, who led the OVC in assists this season. Watford was second in the OVC in total points this year, and Jones was third. 

Eastern’s offense was more productive in the second half of the match. Five of their eight shots came after the break but were unable to find the net despite some quality scoring chances. 

Sarah DeWolf led Eastern with three shots in the match. She nearly scored midway through the second half, but Murray State goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald made a lunging save to her left. 

It was one of four saves Steigerwald made on the day. 

Murray State’s wins on Friday and Sunday bolstered their reputation as the most dominant team in the OVC. They did not earn the one seed this season, for the first time since 2015, but their win against Tennessee-Martin came when it mattered. 

And for Eastern, their loss ends a comeback season for a program that had finished in either 10th or last place in each of the last four seasons. 

Two Eastern players earned All-OVC honors this season. Teteak was named to the All-OVC second team, and junior defender Henar Urteaga was named to the first team. 

Urteaga is the first Eastern women’s soccer player to earn All-OVC first team honors since 2013. 

Teteak and Urteaga will likely be back for their senior seasons. Also set to return are the Panthers’ top five scorers from this season. 

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