Story by Mark McFarland, Staff writer
The Racers put their perfect OVC record on the line this past weekend, facing two teams. Defending their record, the Racers beat Belmont and Jacksonville State, on the road, to improve to a historic 5-0 conference record.
Murray State went into the weekend with a 9-4 overall record and a 3-0 OVC record. It was the first time that the Racers were 3-0 in conference play since 2008. The Racers gave their best effort to continue their historic run.
The team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to take on the Bruins, who came into the game with a 2-9-1 overall record and a record of 1-3 in the OVC.
The Racers started out the scoring in the 18th minute of the game as Taylor Stevens, senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana, received the rebound off of the goalkeeper and buried the ball in the back of the net. This not only gave the Racers the lead, but it was the only goal scored.
Though the Racers won the game Belmont came out strong leading the board in shots 14-7 the team could not put the ball in the back of the net.
“Belmont’s record isn’t good overall,” said Head Coach Jeremy Groves. “But I think they’re a better team than what they are showing. Anytime you play on the road it’s hard to win.”
The Racers had to quickly get ready to head to Jacksonville State, who came into the game with a 6-6-1 overall record and a 3-1-1 OVC record.
The first half of the game was a tough defensive battle as the half ended in a scoreless tie with neither team putting any chances in the back of the net.
It took until the 68th minute for anyone to hit the net as Marissa Burroughs, senior from Popular Bluffs, Missouri, received a long ball from Stevens and hit the ball past the keeper.
The Racers again proved to be too much for their opponents as they led the Gamecocks in shots 16-9 which marked Murray State’s fifth conference win of the year.
“It is definitely great being 5-0 in conference,” Stevens said. “We got five more games though so we got to focus on those, but it definitely gives us confidence going into these next few games.”
The Racers are gearing up to travel to Morehead State to see who will be heading down the stretch as the number one seed for the OVC tournament.
“Thursday is going to be the biggest game for us all season,” Groves said. “If they beat us they go top and if we win we stay top. At this point in the season it’s just about taking each game as it comes and taking care of business.”
It is clear that the Racers are going to go down the stretch in these last five games looking to stay the number one seed in the conference tournament. Groves said that he and the team have talked about making sure they put themselves in a place where they control their own destiny and do not need help from other teams.
The Racers look to continue their hot streak and stay undefeated this week and nearly seal the conference regular season championship as they play Morehead State then travel to Tennessee Tech on Sunday.