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APSU picks up timely OVC shutout

APSU Athletics Communications

By Dylan Schwartz

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peayearned a crucial win over Eastern Kentucky, 3-0, Friday, at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.

The Govs (8-4-1, 3-2-1 OVC) are in a prime position to rise in the Ohio Valley Conference standings, while the Colonels (5-6-2, 1-2-2 OVC) will have some work to in the coming weeks.

Despite the scoreline, it was EKU who got off to a better start, as they had the majority of the ball and a few shots, but none troubled APSU goalkeeper Mary Parker Powell. Recognizing the sluggish start, the Govs kicked into high gear immediately. A ball won by the Govs in midfield released Claire Larose, who combined with Caroline Wistrom to fire a half-volley that looked it was going to go in, but EKU keeper Zoe Aguirre made an amazing save. However, off the ensuing corner taken by Katie Costantino, the EKU defense could not clear and McKenzie Dixon, who started in defense once again, headed home to give the Govs a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.

The Govs nearly doubled their lead just two minutes later with Katie Kenward receiving a pass at the top of the box, but her shot went over the bar. From that point, there were no real scoring chances until late in the half, with Claire Larose and Brice Bement each having half-chances, but halftime came without any more scoring.

The Govs set the tone early one in the second, with a Morgan Drawdy corner finding Dixon’s head again, but it went wide. In the 49th minute, Renee Semaan stepped into midfield and played a slicing pass to Rachel Bradberry that cut open the heart of the EKU defense. Bradberry controlled the ball perfectly and swept the ball home to double the Govs lead.

The Govs were not done yet though. Ashley Whittaker ran about 40 yards with the ball down the right side of the field, holding off her defender the entire time, and crossed the ball on the ground to Shelby Stewart, who got away from her mark and blasted the ball into the net to essentially wrap up the game for the Govs in the 56th minute.

The game once again settled down, but EKU nearly pulled one back in the 80th minute, with Idalys Rea hitting the crossbar. However, the Govs clamped down on the Colonels the rest of the game to preserve the win and the clean sheet.

With the win, the Govs extend their program-record unbeaten streaks at home to 16 straight in the conference and 23 straight overall.

The Govs are back in action for a road match at Morehead State, 1 p.m., Sunday.

Notably

  • Dixon scored her 16th career goal, now fifth all-time in program history
  • Powell earned the unique clean sheet without having to make a single save
  • The Govs held EKU to having zero shots on target
  • It is the first time this season the Govs have had more than two individual goalscorers in a single match
  • The Govs have six shutouts this season, already more than all of last season
  • The Govs are now 6-5-3 all-time against the Colonels
  • The Govs extend their program-record unbeaten streaks at home (16 conference, 23 overall)
  • The Govs scored at least three goals in back-to-back conference games for the first time since October 2015

Kolarova’s Thoughts

On the match:

“I thought we started slow, but we came out after the first ten minutes and matched their pace and intensity and scored a goal. I think that gave us a little boost and we continued that work rate the remainder of the game. There were patches were they (EKU) looked dangerous and at the end they just threw bodies forward so I was really pleased we were able to get the shutout.”

On her team’s performance:

“There wasn’t a shot on target from them all game, which I thought was a testament to our defenders and how they closed down and didn’t give their marks good opportunities to take shots. I thought defensively we did a really solid job and we had a number of players slide through that defensive role and they all did well. I’m really excited to have been able to score a few goals, especially in the conference. I know that was a big match in terms of points and hopefully we can get another three points on Sunday.”

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