Tory Pitts scored both goals to lead Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s soccer to a 2-1 win over Eastern Illinois Thursday in the quarterfinal game of the Ohio Valley Conference Championships. SIUE now advances to the semifinals for the second consecutive year. The Cougars will meet host and top-seed UT Martin Friday at 4 p.m.
“We came out and established the way we wanted to play,” SIUE Head Coach Derek Burton said. “We did a good job keeping the ball and creating chances when we had it. We limited what Eastern Illinois wanted to do, which was counter-attack.”
Pitts’ first goal of the day came less than nine minutes into the match. She collected a rebound on a shot by Samantha Jones and tucked it home from five yards out to put SIUE up 1-0. It stayed that way into halftime.
Pitts made it 2-0 Cougars with her second tally coming in the 60th minute. She deposited a free kick from 20 yards out into the left corner of the goal.
“It’s nice to see Tory get on the board again,” Burton said. “The free kick goal was especially nice. It’s something that we’ve been working on. It’s nice to see the things from the practice field come to fruition.”
The Cougars finished with a season-high 26 shots and outshot the Panthers 26-4 during the match. Pitts finished with a game-high six shots, five of which were on goal. Kayla Delgado took five shots, including three on goal.
EIU goalkeeper Cortney Jerzy made 13 saves in the losing effort. SIUE goalkeeperJennifer Pelley made just a single save.
Burton added that a good start will be key to a successful game against UT Martin.
“We need to be ready to play from the first whistle,” Burton said. “We need to be prepared to push ourselves to the maximum which is what it is going to take to get a good result.”