JSU soccer falls to Eastern Kentucky

Maddy Meadows dribbles the soccer ball down the field during a game.JSU gamecock soccer competes in an exhibition game against the UAB Blazers. (Courtesy of Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Ashley Finerson, Sports Correspondent

With a 3-5 record and a loss against Mercer on Sunday, the Gamecocks were hungry for a win in Friday’s game against Eastern Kentucky, who walked onto the field with a 3-7 record.

Some of the players for the Gamecocks had to sit out for this match-up due to injuries, which posed a set back from the very beginning.

During the first half, both teams were constantly going back a forth across the field. Eastern Kentucky player, Baylee Lanter, made a two shots on goal, but each were saved by JSU goalie Morgan Lerch, who recorded four saves for the game. 

Afterwards, JSU struggled to get a shot on goal. It was at about minute 21 when Eastern Kentucky player, Monica Rios, put a goal on the board for her team. Rios has assisted with one goal and made a total of three shots on goal for the season so far. 

For the remaining time in the half, both teams played an impressive defense not allowing any goals to be scored, eventually ending the first half with a score of 1-0 with Eastern Kentucky in the lead.  

In the second half, both teams continued to show strength in defense. Cephana Deane was able to contribute two shot attempts for the Gamecocks. Briana Eads and Cynthian Bagozzi also attempted a shot each, both saved by Eastern Kentucky’s sophomore goalie Zoe Aguirre who recorded four total saves for the matchup. Marian Wolski and Rachele Manfer both had shots on goal for Eastern Kentucky in the second half. 

With a scoreless second half, the game came to an end with a score of 1-0 and Eastern Kentucky walking away with another win. The Colonels out-shot the Gamecocks 15-6 while the Gamecocks out-saved the Colonels 4-6. This was Eastern Kentucky’s fifth consecutive win against Jacksonville State, dating back to the 2015 season.

“I was pleased with the teams overall performance. Due to injuries, we only have had 12 healthy players. So the girls have played extremely well with no subs/rotation available,” said head coach Neil Macdonald. “Playing at this level without rotation is very difficult due to the physical demands of the game. So the team has showed great character and competed well despite this adversity.” 

The Gamecocks will be playing against SIU Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois on Sunday, September 29. Following that game, they will be playing against Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Illinois on Friday, October 4. 

To stay updated on all things JSU soccer related, follow them on social media at: Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Facebook, “JSUGamecockssoc” on Twitter and “jsugamecockssoc” on Instagram.

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