The soccer team looks to rebound after last week’s performance that caused the Racers suffer their first losses of the season.
After starting the season unbeaten, the Racers could only produce two goals over the weekend and fell to South Alabama and Troy. The road trip was not what Head Coach Beth Acreman had hoped for.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted, but I know we have learned a lot about what we need to improve on over the next two weeks before OVC play,” Acreman said.
The Racers’ first opponent of the weekend was South Alabama, but the result was a new experience for the team. The team allowed their first goal of the season three minutes into the game to fall behind 1-0.
“We gave the goal up really early,” Acreman said. “It was definitely a wake-up call for us.”
Murray State tried to overcome the deficit, but South Alabama scored an insurance goal in the 34th minute to put the Racers away in the first half 2-0.
The Jaguars kept up the intensity in the second half, shooting 12 of their 21 shots in the final half.
Murray State had an opportunity in the second half to get on the scoreboard, but junior forward Julie Mooney’s shot was saved by the South Alabama goalkeeper.
Murray State’s offense stalled after the save and left South Alabama with the 2-0 loss.
The Racers looked to come back against Troy and got the offense started in the first half as Mooney scored her third goal of the season in the 30th minute to take the early 1-0 lead.
Troy got more aggressive and rallied by scoring three consecutive goals in the second half for a 3-1 lead over Murray State.
Freshman midfielder Lyssie Wright cut the lead in half in the 83rd minute to make it a 3-2 game, but the Trojans scored an insurance goal in the final minute and handed the Racers their second defeat, 4-2.
“We had to make some forced personnel changes just before halftime and it definitely changed the rhythm for us in the second half,” Acreman said. “It was a shame as we definitely had the momentum and we were playing really well. It did give us an opportunity to see some younger players in action and they did a great job stepping in.”
The Racers spent the past week looking to learn from the losses that caused their unbeaten streak to end.
“We need our players to know that there is no such thing as a perfect goal, so we must release the ball as much as possible when the chance arises in the future,” Acreman said. “I think we are trying to be too perfect.”
The team now turns its attention to its third straight Sun Belt Conference opponent, Arkansas State, who enters the weekend with three wins under its belt.
“It is an important game for us to gain momentum for our OVC games, so we will be focused and training hard this week to prepare for a good Arkansas State team,” Acreman said.
The Racers look to turn things around Sunday when they travel to Arkansas State for their final nonconference game.
Story by Tom Via, Staff writer