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Freshman Ashley Runion earned OVC Tournament MVP honors after scoring the game-tying goal in Sunday's OVC Championship match against Samford
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Soccer Wins Second Straight OVC Tournament Championship with Shootout Win over Samford

Nov. 11, 2007

Box Score

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Top-seeded Southeast Missouri State bounced back from a 1-0 second-half deficit to battle second-seeded Samford through 20 minutes of overtime in Sunday's Ohio Valley Conference Soccer Championship final at Houck Stadium before settling on penalty kicks to decide the winner. The Redhawks (12-2-3) outscored the Bulldogs (15-4-1) by a 5-3 margin in penalty kicks to win their second consecutive OVC tournament crown and claimed the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Both teams battled through a scoreless, defensive battle in the first half, similar to their first meeting of the season on Oct. 28, with each team recording five shots.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the 59th minute when sophomore Cindy Spiker converted a successful penalty kick after Southeast was called for a foul inside the 18-yard box. The visitors would hold on to the lead for a 25-minute span until the Redhawks managed to tie the score at 1-1 in the 84th minute thanks to a header by freshman forward Ashley Runion (St. Peters, MO/Ft. Zumwalt South) off a pass from senior forward Alaina Lacopo (Troy, IL/Triad). It was Runion's team-leading 11th goal and Lacopo's ninth assist of the season. Both teams then closed regulation with the score deadlocked at 1-1 and headed into overtime for the fourth straight meeting.

Southeast held a 7-1 shooting advantage during both overtime periods. Freshman midfielder Vanessa Hart (Dubbo, NSW Australia/Dubbo SC) attempted a shot from 25 yards out in the 98th minute that was saved by Samford goalkeeper Cayley Winters. The Bulldogs had a scoring opportunity in the 108th minute on a shot by freshman Colette Nammour which landed right on the fingertips of senior goalkeeper Lindsay Pickering (St. Charles, MO/St. Charles West) for the save. Pickering's stop preserved the tie and sent the match into a shootout which was won by Southeast.

The Redhawks posted a 20-11 leading margin in shot attempts and the Bulldogs held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Sophomore forward Courtney Alexander (Liberty, MO/Liberty) led all players with a match-high six shots, while Pickering recorded four saves on the day. Samford was led by freshman Leah Leppert's three shot attempts and Winters' five saves in goal. Runion claimed the tournament's Most Valuable Player award and was selected on the all-tournament team along with Lacopo, Pickering and Hart.

The Redhawks will find out who they will face in the NCAA Tournament when the NCAA Selection Show is aired live on ESPNews tomorrow night at 7 p.m. A reception open to the public in support of Southeast soccer will be held at Buffalo Wild Wings beginning at 6:30 p.m.

All-Tournament Team
Kathleen Hayes, Eastern Illinois
Michelle Steinhaus, Eastern Illinois
Katie Beherns, UT Martin
Jamie Price, UT Martin
Heather Birdsell, Samford
Cindy Spiker, Samford
Cassie Applegate, Samford
Vanessa Hart, Southeast Missouri
Lindsay Pickering, Southeast Missouri
Alaina Lacopo, Southeast Missouri
Ashley Runion, Southeast Missouri (MVP)

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