Soccer shuts out Eastern Kentucky

Murray State’s Steigerwald kicks the ball back into play Sunday against Eastern Kentucky.Murray State’s Steigerwald kicks the ball back into play Sunday against Eastern Kentucky.

Murray State’s Steigerwald kicks the ball back into play Sunday against Eastern Kentucky. Kelli O’Toole/The News

Story by Quinnen Taylor, contributing writer

The Murray State women’s soccer team extended its OVC unbeaten streak to 17 with a 3-0 win against the Eastern Kentucky Lady Colonels.

The Racers boosted their overall record to 5-4-2 and extended their winning streak to four for the 2016 season. With the unbeaten streak still continuing, Head Coach Jeremy Groves believes every game matters.

“I think every one’s important,” Groves said. “We don’t really look at one particular game, we have to take care of them all. With our conference, it’s so tight and everybody takes points off of each other. We just got to try to stay as perfect as we can.”

Groves also said teamwork and different players stepping up has been important during these wins.

“You need somebody who is going to score the majority of goals, but then we need other people to chip in and step in with goals and I think that’s what’s happening,” Groves said. “It happens when you have a team full of confidence.”

The Racers started with a goal off of a free kick by junior forward Harriet Withers at the 27:01 mark. Murray State held Eastern scoreless in the first half and kept the Lady Colonels to two shots with one shot on goal while the Racers took six shots with two shots on goal.

During the second half, Murray State extended the lead to 2-0 after a goal by sophomore forward Cori Cain after a Withers pass at the 61:09 mark and to 3-0 with a goal headed in by senior midfielder Ali Critcher at 78:40.

The Racers finished with 13 shots and five shots on goal while the Lady Colonels ended with five shots and four shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald finished the game with four saves to make her second consecutive shutout since her return against Southeast Missouri State last month.

Murray State’s next contest will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Eastern Illinois. With two consecutive away games, Withers said they can’t be too concerned with the away game conditions.

“Obviously it’s a different ground and traveling is always a little harder than coming to our own field to play,” Withers said. “We try not to get caught up in that. We know how to play and we just got to do what we do.”