Regular Season Title at Stake as Women's Soccer Heads to Evansville
Oct. 26, 2011
The Missouri State women's soccer team (11-3-2, 4-0-1) is looking to clinch its first-ever regular season conference title at Evansville (1-11-4, 0-4-0) on Thursday (7:00 p.m.) in the season finale. If the Bears beat Evansville, they are assured of at least a co-championship.
"The team is very focused right now," said head coach Rob Brewer. "We are excited to be playing for a chance at a championship or co-championship. It has been nice to have senior leadership on the field and in the locker room to relay that sense of urgency to the younger players."
Missouri State has already secured a bye into the semifinals of the State Farm MVC Tournament that will be held at Cooper Family Soccer Plex on November 4 and 6. All scenarios determining if the Bears are the one-seed or two-seed hinge on the outcome of the Illinois State-Creighton match also being played on Thursday.
Missouri State is currently on a team-record 11-match unbeaten streak dating back to September 6. During the streak, the Bears have pitched eight shutouts and allowed just four total goals.
Freshman forward Bethany Smith leads the Bears with eight goals, the most by a Bears since Caroline Sweeney scored nine in 2006. She has scored at least one goal in five of the Bears' last six matches including three game-winners. Her four game-winning goals this season are the most by an MSU player since 2004 when Kate Blair tallied four as well.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Teahan will make her 54th consecutive start in net for Missouri State. She shut out the Purple Aces last season and has 19 clean sheets in her career. She earned the Prairie Farms/MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honor for the third time this season earlier today.
Missouri State has finished second in the Valley each of the last two seasons. The Bears needed to win in their final game last season and get some help. This year, a win is all that is needed.
Despite an 8-12-3 mark against the Purple Aces all-time, Missouri State has won the last two meeting. Last season at Plaster Field, MSU got an 85th minute goal from Tiffany Laughlin to record a 1-0 shutout win. In 2009, the Bears scored early and added two second half goals in a 3-1 MSU win.
Following Thursday's match, Missouri State will host the State Farm MVC Women's Soccer Tournament. The tournament consisting of two semifinal matches and a championship match will take place on Friday, November 4 and Sunday, November 6. For more information on the MVC Tournament, visit missouristatebears.com/womenssoccer.