The Murray State soccer team ended its season with a pair of hard fought-home losses.
The Racers (4-13, 2-8 OVC) took on Eastern Kentucky (10-7-2, 6-3-1 OVC) in a rain soaked match last Friday afternoon. The sloppy conditions proved to be a factor throughout the game and eventually led to a late goal for the Colonels.
Senior defender Hayley Wright made the most of a Murray State turnover in the 72nd minute to give the Colonels the lead. The Racers couldn’t respond despite out shooting Eastern Kentucky 19-14.
Head Coach Beth Acreman said the Racers’ offensive struggles continued to plague the team and have showed in their record.
“Without being able to score enough goals you can’t expect to win,” she said. “We’ve really struggled with that all season and we need multiple players on the score sheet every day. We can’t look for just one goal a game or no goals a game.”
The Racers were shut out for the sixth time this season, even though they put seven shots on net in the contest. Freshman Murray State goalkeeper Latesha Stevenson tied her career-high in saves with eight.
The team moved on to play Morehead State two days later on a clear Sunday afternoon for senior day.
The Racers went down 1-0 in the 53rd minute when Morehead freshman defender Kimberly Golden put away a corner kick pass but senior defender Jenelle Cunningham brought life back to the Racers as she put away her second goal of the season in the 89th minute to extend the game into overtime.
“Obviously with Jenelle coming back at the end of the game and scoring a goal you couldn’t want anymore from a senior,” Acreman said.
It wouldn’t be enough, however, as freshman midfielder Teig Palmateer broke the hearts of the Racers scoring off of a free kick from 40 yards out.
“Ending a game like that off a free kick is a heart breaker,” Acreman said. “That free kick shouldn’t have gone into the back of the net but everybody played hard today; we struggled to score all season, so getting a goal back after getting scored on was a positive but to get scored on off a free kick like that is not what we’re looking for.”
Six seniors played their last game for the Racers Sunday, including leading goal scorer Veronika Pribyslavsk and team captain Cunningham.
Throughout the season the Racers struggled to stay healthy on offense and the record mirrored that, Acreman said.
“Soccer is all about scoring goals, so if you don’t have pure goal scorers then that’s where it’s a struggle,” Acreman said. “Having Julie Mooney back coming into conference play has been great but she hasn’t been fit to really have a major role for us.”
Acreman said Murray State would move on and try to revamp its offense in the off-season.
Said Acreman: “Next season we will bring in more powerful forwards who are used to scoring goals and maybe that will lead the way a little bit better than it has this season.”
Story by Nick Dolan, Staff writer.