Racer soccer take home first OVC Tournament title since 2009
Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
The Racers will head to the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history as they beat Southeast Missouri State 1-0 in overtime during the OVC Tournament championship.
The Racers are entering the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 16-4.This is the second time that the Racers have been to the NCAA tournament since they lost to Virginia Tech 2-0 in 2009.
Murray State’s off conference schedule included two teams from the SEC. The Racers lost just one home game this season against St. Louis University. The team also lost three games on the road.
Murray State earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament from the OVC conference after winning the regular season and tournament championship.
The Racers will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to play their third SEC opponent of the season.
Ole Miss finished its season with a 13-5-2 record as it lost to Vanderbilt 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss shared two common opponents with the Racers this year in Austin Peay and Little Rock. Ole Miss and the Racers both beat Austin Peay, while Ole Miss beat Little Rock 1-0 in overtime, but Murray State fell 2-1 in regulation.
Senior Racheal Foxley, from Bolton, England, said she’s excited for the challenge of another high quality opponent.
“I think we kind of know how SEC teams prepare before games, obviously it’s a big school so it’s a lot different than playing teams in the OVC,” she said. “But we have played teams like that and that’s going to help us going into the game.
Foxley said that they haven’t really had an opportunity to look at how Ole Miss plays but she also said she isn’t too worried about that.
“We don’t really know much about the girls, but I’m sure coach has a scout on them and we have played a couple SEC schools, so he has contacts in the SEC who can help us out,” she said.
Head Coach Jeremy Groves said he likes watching SEC soccer in his office and has seen Ole Miss play a couple times. He also said he is coming up with a game plan and the practice schedule will look very similar to what it has been all year. Groves predicted also that the Racers would have been selected to travel to Oxford for the first round.
“I kind of guesstimated a couple places and I figured that it might be one of them so, I’m pretty happy we’re not going north,” he said. “It’s a good game for us and I think it is maybe a winnable game if we go down there and play our game.”
Groves said the Racers plan on getting a training session sometime Thursday. Murray State takes the field at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. The winner will play the winner of the Furman vs. Clemson on Nov. 20 or Nov. 22.