After drawing the second seed in the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, Murray State prepares to travel to face off against Eastern Illinois in the OVC Semifinals on Friday, November 2 at 4 p.m. in Martin, Tennessee.
In September, the first matchup between the two squads saw the Racers take on the Panthers in Charleston, Illinois, at Lakeside Field. EIU and MSU managed to take a 1-all tie into the half. Despite Eastern Illinois effort to limit the Racers’ offensive attack to just five shots in the second half, Marley Hall was able to deliver on the lone score of the second half to secure the Murray State win at 2-1.
Along with Murray State and Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky and UT Martin are the remaining teams to be featured in the semifinal round of the OVC tournament.
This year marks the first year in four seasons that the OVC tournament makes its way out of Murray, as the UT Martin Skyhawks earned hosting rights after claiming the 2018 regular-season OVC crown. Coming into this season, MSU hosted three consecutive OVC Tournaments from 2015 to 2017 at Cutchin Field.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Steigerwald has had an incredible career for the Racers thus far and holds six records in the MSU record books. She now sits tied for career saves at 293 and is one save away from breaking career save record set by Tara Isbell (2007-2010).
Murray State has had a dominant year offensively, a
veraging two goals and just over 19 shots per game. Leading the Racers is Miyah Watford who logged 76 shots, eight goals, and five assists this season while Rebecca Kubin added seven goals and two assists of her own. Freshman Abby Jones has also had a breakout year for the Racers, contributing to the MSU offensive attack with eight goals and eight assists for 24 total points thus far.
This is the 14 OVC Tournament appearance for the Racers in their 19th season. Overall, MSU is 10-10 overall, as they look to gain their first OVC tournament win under Head Coach Matt Lodge’s leadership.
The Racers broke the series tie earlier this season over the Panthers, as they now hold a 9-8-4 record against EIU all-time.
Eastern Illinois does hold the advantage in neutral contests against Murray State after winning 4-0 over the Racers on November 5, 2004.
MSU and EIU have settled matches by a difference of one score on 10 occasions out of their 21-game history, including this seasons battle in Charleston where the Racers won 2-1.
The winner of Friday’s matchup will be set to face the winner of the Eastern Kentucky versus UT Martin game in the OVC Championship game on Sunday, November 4.