Story by Quinnen Taylor, contributing writer
The Murray State women’s soccer team held off the Belmont Bruins in the waning minutes to win 1-0 and extend its unbeaten OVC streak to 20.
Despite the low scoring game, Head Coach Jeremy Groves said he was pleased with the opportunities the team had.
“I think it’s good that we’re getting these opportunities,” Groves said. “I think in the first half, we played very well. We created a bunch of really good stuff but in soccer if you don’t put people away when you have the chances, they can come back to bite you. Fortunately in the second half, it didn’t but I’m happy we are creating the chances. They’ll come.”
During the first half, the Racers took an early lead with a goal by senior midfielder Taylor Richerson off an assist by sophomore forward Cori Cain at the 29:13 mark to make it 1-0.
Murray State kept the Bruins scoreless in the first, ending the half with seven of its eight shots on goal while Belmont finished the first half having taken two shots with none on goal.
The second half featured numerous momentum swings from both teams.
The Racers failed to convert on shots by senior midfielder Ali Critcher and Richerson, both of which missed the net.
Belmont wasn’t able to capitalize in the final minutes after several opportunities, making it the fifth shutout of six games for sophomore goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald, who completed the game with six saves.
Richerson, who scored both game-winning goals in the past two contests, said to get the win and remain the top seed has been crucial for the team.
“I think as a team we’re all pretty excited,” Richerson said. “We’re going into our last game on top of the league. Today and the last game, I think we had a lot of chances. I had three in front of the goal that I should have finished but we just have to put away our chances.”
Murray State finished the match with 14 shots and 10 shots on goal. Belmont concluded the contest with six of its 10 shots on goal.
The Racers pushed their record to 8-4-3 with a 7-0-2 conference record, which keeps them in first in the OVC standings with a chance to host the OVC tournament.
The Racers’ last bout of the regular season will be against the Austin Peay State Governors at 7 p.m. Thursday in Clarksville, Tennessee.