Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s soccer finished its home season defeating Jacksonville State 5-1 Sunday afternoon in Ohio Valley Conference action at Korte Stadium.
Five different players scored a goal for the Cougars, while seven different players figured in the scoring to help SIUE improve to 10-3-3 overall and 4-2-1 in the OVC. The 10 wins are the most since SIUE finished with 13, in its last season at the NCAA Division II level.
SIUE Head Coach Derek Burton said everyone is contributing for the Cougars.
“I think that’s kind of the way we’re built. It is something that has come to fruition over the last few games,” Burton said. “We’ve been able to put some balls in the back of the net. It’s something of a team-wide thought and feeling. It can be anybody and it has been anybody as the season’s gone on.”
Jacksonville State dropped to 4-11-2 overall and 0-7-1 in the OVC with the loss.
SIUE dominated play from the outset Sunday, and it didn’t take long for the Cougars to get on the scoreboard. In the ninth minute of play, Cory Levels found Tory Pitts with a long pass over the top of the defense. Jacksonville State goalkeeper Cate Eden came off her line, allowing Pitts to chip in the goal from the top of the box to make it 1-0 SIUE.
Senior Kourtney Price made it 2-0 SIUE in the 26th minute. Hope Jones and Cassidy Sherman connected in the midfield, before Sherman found Price on the left wing. With no one near and the wind at her back, Price let a left-footed shot go from 25 yards which carried over Eden and into the goal to make it 2-0 Cougars.
Price and Sherman connected again just three minutes later on a corner kick. Price found Sherman at the back post. Sherman headed home her fourth goal of the year to make it 3-0 SIUE. The Cougars carried the lead into halftime.
Freshman Kayla Delgado scored her team-leading eighth goal of the year in the 62ndminute. Pitts found Delgado running through the JSU backline. Delgado finished with her left foot from 15 yards out.
Redshirt freshman Caitlyn Obrock scored her first career goal in the 84th minute. Hope Jones hit a corner kick from the right side. Obrock finished with a side volley from the penalty spot to make it 5-0 SIUE.
The Gamecocks lone tally came with just 31 seconds to play. SIUE failed to clear a ball from the defensive end. When a pass came straight up in the air, Jacksonville State’s Kelsey Bright headed the ball over the back line to teammate Brianna Boutziouvis who then chipped it in over Cougar goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley.
For the game SIUE outshot JSU 13-4. Jackie Rush led the Gamecocks with three shots. Pelley made three saves for SIUE. Cate finished with just a single save for the Gamecocks.
Seven Cougar seniors were honored prior to the final regular season home game.
“One of the things I have always liked about college sports is that everyone has their own story,” Burton said. “We have a sixth year senior (Pitts) who is playing her one and only season with us and having a tremendous impact. We have a fifth-year senior (Erin DiGiovanni) who redshirted after an injury and then a handful of people who have played four years straight through. It takes all kinds to make a team.”
Seniors Sarah Doggendorf and Chelsea Smith were unable to play because of injury. DiGiovanni, Jones, Pitts, Price, and Mary Kate Reed all started the game. Burton was able to remove each one late in the game to allow them to be recognized by the SIUE fans.
“It’s definitely nice to get a quality win and have some of them score some goals along the way,” Burton said. “It was good to take a little bit of time to recognize them as they came off the field. It was nice that we were able to do that today.”
SIUE finishes its regular season with three road games, beginning with a Friday game at Southeast Missouri.
“Our work is definitely cut out for us,” Burton added. “The good thing moving forward is we’ve gotten results on the road. That doesn’t mean that it’s any easier. If anything as you go down the stretch in conference games it gets tighter and tighter. We’ll get back to work this week and be ready this weekend for Friday at SEMO.”