Watford’s goal helps Racers advance to title game

Photo by Bryan Edwards/TheNews

Story by Gage Johnson, Staff writer

Murray State’s women’s soccer team opened up postseason play in the OVC tournament semi-final game on Friday, Nov. 2, defeating Southeast Missouri State 1-0.  

Murray State entered the semi-final game, and its first game of the postseason after receiving two byes, with a first-place finish in the conference with an 8-0-2 conference record, while sitting at 13-1-2 overall.

Southeast Missouri State entered the tournament as the five seed, boasting a conference record of 4-3-3, while owning an 8-7-4 record overall.  The Redhawks enter their third game of the postseason after defeating the eighth-seeded Austin Peay team 2-1, and then claiming the victory over a fourth-seeded Belmont team.

The game was intense from the very beginning.  The referees let the two teams play through calls throughout the game, with several instances of hard contact not being called.  Multiple yellow cards were issued as well, with one being issued to Southeast Missouri State in the first half, and one apiece for each team in the second.  

Despite the intensity, Murray State managed to get the first goal of the game on sophomore forward Miyah Watford’s fifth goal of the season following a header from sophomore forward Emma Heise.  The Racers managed to hold the Redhawks scoreless on three shots in the first half, giving them the 1-0 lead at halftime.

Both defenses continued to work as the game remained at a stalemate with both teams unable to convert on very few shot attempts.  The Redhawks managed to earn possession of the ball, and got off their only shot of the half within the final minutes.  A save on the near goal by junior goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald kept allowed Murray State to retain possession, and they were able to finish the game with the 1-0 victory.

The Racers will now advance to the OVC conference championship tournament game when they take on the third seeded Eastern Kentucky Colonels after they defeated a second-seeded Tennessee Tech team 1-0 in double overtime.  The title game will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Cutchin Field.