Kayla Delgado netted a goal and an assist Sunday to lead Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s soccer to a 2-1 road win at Eastern Illinois in the Ohio Valley Conference regular season finale.
With the win, SIUE secured the No. 4 seed in next week’s OVC Championships. Eastern Illinois earned the No. 5 seed. The Cougars and Panthers will meet again Thursday at 4 p.m. in the tournament’s first round.
SIUE finished the regular season with a 12-4-3 overall record and a 6-3-1 mark in OVC play. Both win totals are program highs for SIUE at the Division I level. The 12 wins also were the most overall wins in the Conference.
“This season has been rewarding for our players and for the coaching staff,” SIUE Head Coach Derek Burton said. “Having 12 wins in the regular season is reason to be proud.”
Eastern Illinois dropped to 6-13 overall and 6-4 in OVC play.
After playing a scoreless first half, Kayla Delgado got the Cougars on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the second half. Delgado won a header in the penalty area, and then scored past EIU goalkeeper Cortney Jerzy from five yards out. The goal was the team-best ninth goal of the year for the freshman forward.
“She’s a goal scorer, she has that mentality,” Burton said of Delgado.
Burton said it was important for SIUE to get the first goal of the game.
“It was (EIU) senior day, he said. “Had they scored first, it could have given them a boost.
The first half today was not our best half,” Burton continued. “Holly (Cox) spoke to them at halftime. She set things straight. Whether it was a different voice or different view, it’s what they needed.”
Cassidy Sherman made it 2-0 SIUE in the 60th minute. Kayla Delgado found Sherman with a cross from the left side. Sherman headed the pass home for her fifth goal of the season.
“To score the way she does with her role on the defensive end is impressive,” Burton said. “It speaks to how fit she is. She is extremely fit.”
Meagan Radloff cut the lead in half in the 78th minute with her seventh goal of the year. The goal came following an initial save by Jennifer Pelley. Hannah Miller picked up the assist with a pass back into the box from the endline following the rebound. With Pelley out of the goal, Radloff scored from just in front of the goal.
2013 OVC SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Game 1: #4 SIUE vs. #5 Eastern Illinois – 4 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Game 2: #3 Southeast Missouri vs. #6 Austin Peay – 7 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Game 3: #1 UT Martin vs. Game 1 winner – 4 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Game 4: #2 Morehead State vs. Game 2 winner – 7 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner – 1 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)