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Austin Peay Governors battle Bruins to draw in conference opener

APSU Sports Information

APSU Soccer - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University  (APSU) women’s soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw with Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference home opener, Friday, September 14th at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.

The Govs (5-2-1, 0-0-1) wasted no time in attacking with Claire Larose [1] having a shot that went high in the first minute of the game.

Austin Peay Women's Soccer gets 1-1 draw against Belmont Friday night at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field. (APSU Sports Information) [2]

Austin Peay Women’s Soccer gets 1-1 draw against Belmont Friday night at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field. (APSU Sports Information)

The two sides were feeling each other out until the 20th minute when Katie Costantino [3] had a shot blocked and Morgan Drawdy [4] had her follow-up effort saved. The Bruins (2-3-2, 0-0-1) came right down the field on a counter, but shot wide.

The Govs were whistled for a foul a couple minutes later and Belmont’s Jessi Boozer struck a beautiful free kick into the top corner to put the Bruins in the lead.

Larose continued to be the main source of offense for the Govs, the sophomore forward firing wide a couple more times after wriggling free from a couple defenders each time. The Govs went into the break down 1-0 for the second consecutive match.

The second half started a little slowly, but the Govs gradually started to gain control of the match. In the 61st minute, a pass from Amber Bateman [5] released Larose, who beat Belmont’s offside trap, who coolly finished into the corner to bring the Govs level.

The Govs smelled blood, but could only watch as their efforts simply could not find the net. McKenzie Dixon [6] unleashed a laser beam of a strike in the 72nd minute that beat Belmont’s keeper but went just wide. Just five minutes later, Dixon hit the crossbar with a high-arching shot and Brice Bement’s [7] rebound shot was blocked by a Belmont head.

The Govs were all over the Bruins in the waning stages of the second half, but the Bruins nearly stole it in the final seconds. Mary Parker Powell [8] crucially denied Julie Garst with seconds left to force overtime.

Despite the possible drama that could have unfolded in overtime, nothing really occurred in terms of scoring chances. The most threatening either side was looked was when Bateman sent a teasing ball in from the left side that was attacked by a flying Bement. The ball was eventually cleared by Bement’s mark and the match ended with a 1-1 draw.

APSU Notably

This was the first overtime match under head coach Naomi Kolarova. [9]

For the first time this season, an unchanged starting lineup from the previous game was used.

Larose now leads the team in goals with four.

The Govs are now unbeaten in their last three OVC home openers.

The Govs are on a 13-match conference unbeaten streak at home and a 20-match unbeaten streak at home overall.

The Govs are now 6-4-3 against the Bruins.

 

Naomi Kolarova’s Thoughts

On the team’s gameplan
“We started the game wanting to play high pressure. That didn’t work, so we switched to allow them to play along their back line a little bit more and then draw in the long ball. At halftime, I mentioned to mark tight and win those long balls out of the air. Overall, I think we did a good job making those adjustments and the girls did really well themselves to adapt to them.”

On the match
“Getting some fresh bodies in there of girls who had not played as much in recent matches came in and brought a different level of energy and I think we needed that, especially toward the end. I was really proud of the girls for coming back from a goal down. We’ve been there before plenty of times now, but in the end we could not quite finish it, so I was a little bummed by that, but hopefully we can get the next one.”