Racers set to take on pair of SEC schools

Freshman forward Lily Strader takes a shot against the Indiana Hoosiers. (Photo courtesy of Richard Thompson/TheNews)

Gage Johnson

Sports Editor

gjohnson17@murraystate.edu

After a substantial home win against Indiana University and a tough road loss to Northern Kentucky University, the Racers will take on the University of Missouri and the University of Mississippi in the toughest stretch of their non-conference schedule.

Murray State at Missouri

The Missouri Tigers have gotten off to a hot start to their 2019 campaign, going 4-0. The team’s most recent win came against Xavier University with a double-overtime 3-2 victory. The Racers suffered a similar fate, but took a 4-3 loss against Xavier in their season opener in double overtime.

Its impressive start to the season has earned Missouri 23 votes to put them just outside the NCAA Top 25 in women’s soccer.

The Tigers offense averages 2.0 GPG and is led by sophomore forward Julia Cisneros who has four goals on the season.

Head Coach Matt Lodge says the team is going to have to bring its A game because Missouri is going to come right at the Racers’
defense relentlessly.

“They’re very physical and they’re very athletic,” Lodge said. “They have a forward who can absolutely fly, so we’ve got to control our backline really well. They’re going to smash the ball in behind and they’re going to make us make mistakes, so we’ve got to make sure we clean things up and I think we can really exploit them on the
counter-attack.”

Murray State vs. Ole Miss

The matchup with the Rebels will be a familiar one as the two faced off last year when Ole Miss snagged a 3-0 victory at home.

While Lodge said the team’s main focus is their first game with Missouri at the time being, he knows that Ole Miss won’t be an easy game.
“They’re going to be solid,” Lodge said. “They’ve already played SEMO and beat them and beat a good Minnesota team. So they’re going just as good if not better than last year’s team. Both teams this week are receiving votes, so we’re going to have to step it up.”

Murray State will see a familiar face on the Rebels in Murray-native junior forward Channing Foster. Foster was selected to the All-SEC Second Team in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
This also marks the second Power-5 school to visit Cutchin Field this season. Lodge said that this is the product of the respected program they’ve become over the years, but also tips his hat to schools willing to leave the comfort of home.

“They could get anyone to go to their place and they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone and come and play us at our place where we’re historically good,” Lodge said. “I think it’s something we’ve built here. Our RPI’s been good enough that even if a team comes here it’s a good win and it’s not a terrible loss.”

When and where:

The Racers will hit the road to take on Missouri at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 5 and then look to secure their second home win of the season against Ole Miss at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sep. 8 at Cutchin Field.