Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Hometown hero Taylor Richerson scored the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat Southeast Missouri State 1-0 in Sunday’s OVC Championship game.
Richerson, junior from Murray, was able to slip past a few defenders and receive a pass from Taylor Stevens, senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Richerson took the shot and put it past the keeper in the 100th minute of the game.
Richerson said it was a great feeling to score a goal for her hometown school.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “We had so many fans here supporting and so many local fans. I’m just glad I could be the one to do it.”
The Racers struggled most of the game trying to get anything going offensively because SEMO was dropping most of its team back to play defense.
Head Coach Jeremy Groves made a few changes at halftime that made the offense a little bit better.
“They just put numbers behind that ball and made it hard for us to get in behind,” he said. “At half time we obviously got Taylor on the ball in the space a little bit and she did more damage there.”
SEMO’s defense had two or more players guarding OVC Offensive Player of the Year Harriet Withers, sophomore from Murwilumbah, Australia, every time she touched the ball.
Groves gave SEMO some credit for the way it handled the Racer offense.
“They man marked Harriet the entire game which is good for them,” he said. “I think full credit to them, they came here and made things hard for us. They defended really well and made it hard for us.”
The Racers await their first round opponent in the NCAA Tournament with a watch party Monday in the Murray Room in the CFSB Center.