Story by Collin Morris, Contributing writer
Murray State Soccer claimed victory in their home opener Friday with a 2-0 victory over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – climbing to 1-1 on the season.
The Racers regain momentum after a disappointing loss to the University of Alabama in which they took a 2-0 lead, only to be beaten 2-4 due to a second half resurgence by the Crimson Tide.
Head coach Jeremy Groves said he was pleased with the win.
“It was a good game, it was extremely fast,” he said. “ [Chattanooga] didn’t come to bunker in, they came to play as well and for the whole bunch of fans that were here it was an exciting game. It was fast paced and we were in it to win.”
Young talent had a critical role in the Racers’ shutout, with freshman Emma Heise scoring her first career goal on her first career touch as a college athlete. With the team heavily injured, Heise was forced to take on additional responsibility and pressure.
“We joked with her and told her it’s not a bad first touch in college,” Groves said. “She probably played about five minutes in the exhibition game, I don’t think she got on against Alabama and then today I threw the freshman into the fire and I thought she really did a good job.”
The Racers also saw sophomore keeper Alex Steigerwald set a new career high with an impressive 12 saves; narrowly breaking her previous high of 11. The team will attempt to double their win total in its next game against Vanderbilt.
“I’m glad we got a clean shutout here and it’s good momentum going into playing a team like that, of which I feel like we should compete against,” Groves said. “We did against Alabama and we were disappointed that we did not win that game, and I think Vandy is a similar game where I feel like we have to go there and try to win.”
Murray State Soccer challenges Vanderbilt University at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 in Nashville, Tennessee.