Story by Quinnen Taylor, contributing writer
The Murray State women’s soccer team rallied in a 94 minute contest to defeat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 1-0.
With the win, Murray State increased its overall record to 7-4-3 and extended its OVC unbeaten streak to 20.
The victory also helped to keep the Racers at the top of the conference with a 6-0-2 OVC record. Head Coach Jeremy Groves said the team playing big down the stretch was crucial.
“We needed somebody to step up and score for us,” Groves said. “I think our play, especially in the second half and everything up until the final shot, was very good. We just kind of lacked that quality today in the final third. It just felt like one of those days where you could play for five hours and not score a goal.”
The first half featured back-and-forth momentum shifts from both teams.
The Racers failed to convert with shots on goal by senior midfielder Taylor Richerson and junior forward Harriet Withers.
The squads ended the half scoreless with Murray State taking seven shots with five shots on goal while Jacksonville State attempted three shots with all of its shots on goal.
During the second half, the Racers were given eight corner kicks, taking only three shots out of them.
Murray State’s Withers and junior midfielder Aaron Lankster attempted shots but their kicks went either right or left of the net.
At the 94:09 mark in overtime, Richerson converted a goal from near the top of the box to give Murray State the 1-0 win.
Richerson said the team found momentum down the stretch despite the shot attempts.
“Second half, we had a lot more quality,” Richerson said. “We had a lot of opportunities but none were finding the back of the net. I think the quality was there, we just have to finish.”
The Racers concluded the contest with 10 of their 16 shots on goal. The Gamecocks finished with five shots, in which four of its shots were on goal.
Goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald, who had four saves in the contest, achieved her third shutout in the last four games.
The Racers’ next match will be against the Belmont Bruins at 2 p.m. Sunday at Cutchin Field.