Soccer Beats Samford In Double Overtime, 1-0, To Win OVC Regular Season Title
Oct. 28, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Senior midfielder Molli Beard (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) scored her second game-winning goal of the weekend as Southeast Missouri State soccer clinched the 2007 Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title with a 1-0 double overtime victory against Samford this afternoon at Houck Stadium. The Redhawks improve their season record to 11-2-2 and finished the conference slate with an 8-0-1 ledger, while the Bulldogs dropped to 13-4 overall and 8-1 in the OVC.
The Redhawks and the Bulldogs battled through 100 minutes of scoreless physical play in which 54 fouls were called. Scoring chances were at a premium during regulation and both defenses were put to the test only twice.
Samford sophomore Amber Cress has a shot on goal in the 41st minute that was saved by Southeast senior goalie Lindsay Pickering (St. Charles, MO/St. Charles West). Senior forward Alaina Lacopo (Troy, IL/Triad) later blasted a free kick from 20 yards out in the 79th minute which was stopped by Bulldog junior Cayley Winters. Both teams attempted two shots during the first overtime stanza.
"I felt more comfortable as the match went on because we started settling into more possessions. Once we started settling into a possession-styled game I thought we would take more good opportunities and having a good chance to win," Redhawks head coach Heather Nelson stated.
In the second overtime period, Lacopo found freshman forward Ashley Runion (St. Peters, MO/Ft. Zumwalt South) in the 18-yard box who found Beard on the left side as she one-timed a shot past Winters for the score.
"Alaina made a great run down the side, while Runion just stayed with the ball and just flicked the ball across to me on the far post," said Beard, who also tallied her second goal of the season.
Freshman forward Vanessa Hart (Dubbo, NSW Australia/Dubbo SC) led all players with a match-high five shots for Southeast and Pickering recorded a save en route to posting her seventh shutout of the year. Samford was guided by freshman Hillary Samuels with four shots and Winters tallied eight saves. The Redhawks held a 17-12 advantage in shot attempts, while the Bulldogs posted leading margins in corner kicks (7-1) and saves (8-1).
"We knew coming into the weekend that we had two big matches to win. After Friday's win over Jacksonville State, we came in today's match against Samford knowing what we had to work together and get the job done," added Pickering.
It marks Southeast's third regular-season crown in school history and the program's first since 2002. The Redhawks will be the top seed in next month's OVC Tournament which will be held on Nov. 9-11 at Houck Stadium.