This weekend, the Murray State soccer team showcased an improved offense that kept opposing goalkeepers busy in route to victories over Alabama A&M and UALR.
This year, the team has taken 80 shots in its first four games of the season. With this offense, the Racers are off to their best start in program history, posting a record of 3-0-1, surpassing the teams from 2001-03 that opened 3-1.
Head Coach Beth Acreman said the game changers are the forwards on the team.
“We have a lot more options and I think the girls we have out there are actual threats,” she said.
The biggest threat so far is junior forward Julie Mooney, who arrived on campus in 2011 and set the single season record with 78 shots attempted in her freshman year. This year, Mooney could challenge her own record as she has 28 shots in just four games.
Mooney’s role is simple – to shoot and create chances.
“Everyone has their roles on the team, and when I can do my role and score goals as a forward, it feels good,” Mooney said.
The Racers finished the game with 10 goals scored from seven different players.
Junior Pavlina Nepokojova scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of play. Freshman Lauren Frazier would follow up with two goals within three minutes.
Sophomore Alexa Hosey was the third player to score two goals in the game.
By the end, the Racers left Huntsville, Ala., with the 10-0 win.
While the Racers’ offense has seemed to dominate this season, Acreman said freshman goalkeeper Savannah Haberman has been just as vital in the team’s success.
After three and a half games, she has yet to allow a goal.
“It’s been nice this far into the season with no goals allowed in my career yet,” Haberman said.
Sunday at Cutchin Field, a tough UALR offense challenged Haberman, but she stood tall.
A goal by Mooney in the seventh minute gave them an early 1-0 lead, and it was up to Haberman to maintain the lead.
“We kept it clean in the first half with shots I faced, so in the second half it was my turn to step up,” Haberman said.
She faced 12 shots in a second half that saw UALR dominate. Haberman would record seven of her 10 saves in the final 45 minutes, and the Racers held on once again for the victory.
Acreman said there is still improvement to be made, and with no games for another week, it is a perfect time to work on it.
“We need to work on how to manage a game better,” Acreman said. “We still have some tactical things to work on, so these next few weeks are going to be great.”
The Racers look to continue their best start in history with a road trip with stops at South Alabama and Troy Sept. 13 and 15.