Seniors Tasha Merritt and Shauna Wicker and the rest of the soccer team concluded their 2013 season with a 2-1 win over rival Austin Peay.
The team rallied around Wicker, who started her final game despite an injury.
“During the game I told myself I had to do this for Shauna because she has done so much for me and this team,” said freshman goalkeeper Savannah Haberman.
While the pregame focused on the seniors, Haberman was the main point of attention during play. With the Governors playing for positioning in the OVC Tournament, Haberman faced 24 shots on net and set multiple records in the victory.
The Racers came out fired up and scored in the 4th minute when junior forward Julie Mooney crossed the ball to junior defender Bronagh Kerins to take the early lead.
“Getting the goal early set the tone for the game and relaxed us so much,” Wicker said.
Austin Peay controlled the ball for the majority of the game, holding Murray State to 14 shots in the game. The Governors may have taken more shots, but the Racers’ shots were more effective.
The Racers doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when freshman forward Lauren Frazier scored after sophomore defender Taylor Stevens served a free kick into the box.
In the final 30 minutes, Haberman helped the Racers keep their narrow lead.
“Right before the game, Rebecca Bjorkvall came up to me and said ‘Have the game of your life,’ and I said, ‘I’ll try,’ ” Haberman said. “Some things I don’t even remember doing, but I know I did them.”
Austin Peay scored in the closing minutes, but Wicker said she and her teammates had no worries because she had faith in Haberman.
“She saved the whole game for us and I wasn’t even worried at all after (Austin Peay) scored,” Wicker said.
Haberman’s 23 saves was not only a Murray State record, but it broke the old OVC record of 20. The performance also made Haberman the first Racers’ keeper with more than 100 saves in a single season, finishing her freshman year with 111 saves.
“With (Haberman) back next season and the confidence she has gotten from today’s game, only good things are going to happen in the future,” former Head Coach Beth Acreman said.
While the Racers finished the season at 6-10-1, the team ended on a two-game winning streak.
Because the team did not qualify for the OVC tournament, the offseason has already begun. The team loses only two seniors to graduation. Murray State returns standout keeper Haberman and Mooney, who is 10 shots away from breaking the program’s all-time record.
Story by Tom Via, Staff writer