Racers continue hot start with sweep of weekend

Chalice Keith/The News

Story by Gage Johnson, Contributing writer

Game One

After starting off the season 1-0-0 at home, the Racers traveled to Alabama this weekend and stayed red hot by winning their first of two games in their season opening road trip with a 2-1 victory at Troy.

After playing the whole first half and holding Murray State scoreless with five saves, Troy Head Coach Ged O’Connor made the decision to sit freshman goalie Katrine Jacobsen the entirety of the second half.  Instead, senior Mikki Lewis got the nod at goalie and finished out the game.  

After almost an hour of play, the first goal was scored by sophomore forward Miyah Watford on an assist from junior forward Cori Cain.  However, Troy retaliated and sophomore midfielder Julia Winter scored the Trojans’ first goal three minutes later.  Murray State’s continued aggressiveness led to eight shots on goal in the game and inevitably paid off.  Murray State head coach Jeremy Groves said of their change of play in the second half,

“I felt like we took our chances better,” Groves said. “We didn’t create as much as we wanted in the first.”

After another scoreless drought for both teams, the Racers cracked the scoreboard once again. Last week’s OVC Offensive Player of the Week, senior forward Harriet Withers, scored her third goal on the season off an assist from sophomore forward Emma Heise.  With that goal Withers’ career goal count moved to 28, only six goals away from the all-time Murray State record of 34 held by Theresa Reedy.

The 2-1 win at Troy puts the Racers at 2-0-0 for the season.  They will look to continue their early win streak and cap off their road trip on a good note when they take the field at 1 p.m. on Aug. 27 against the University of South Alabama.

Game Two

The Racers’ soccer team headed to the University of South Alabama on Sunday for their second game of the weekend.

The team showed no signs of fatigue as they claimed a 2-1 win against South Alabama thanks to a strong offensive game by senior forward Harriet Withers. The win pushed the Racers to 3-0-0 on the year as they kept the Jaguars winless on their season.

The Jaguars came running out of the gates, getting off five shots in the first 15 minutes of play.  Senior midfielder Tiina Trutsi scored the first goal of the game off of a penalty kick which occurred after a foul on Racer senior forward Destiny White. Murray State’s defense didn’t get a break with South Alabama getting off 10 shots by the end of the first half. However, the Racers brought some firepower of their own, cracking the scoreboard as Withers scored her fourth goal of the year to end the half tied 1-1.

In the second half, the game went down to the wire as if the two teams had swapped gameplans. Murray State got nine shots off in the half, while the Jaguars managed to only get two.  

Withers added another goal to the books late in the second half to give the Racers a 2-1 lead. Withers inched closer to the Murray State career record for goals scored by scoring her fifth goal in three games.  The goal marked the 30th of her career as a Racer, and she is now only five goals away from breaking the scoring record held by Theresa Reedy with 34 career goals (2001-2004).

While the Jaguars attempted several shots of their own in the second half, they were unsuccessful, allowing Murray State to claim a 2-1 victory and extend their early winning streak to three.

Coach Groves said he has been very impressed with his team thus far.

“This is probably the best team we’ve ever had here.” Groves said.

The Racers’ win in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday capped off their first road trip of the season, improving their record to 3-0-0 on the year.  Coach Groves and the Racers will look to continue their hot streak as they hit the field at 1 p.m. on Sept. 3 at Northern Kentucky University.