Women’s soccer 6-1-2 in North Dakota, set to begin Ohio Valley Conference play

After three weeks at Korte Stadium, the SIUE women’s soccer team traveled to North Dakota, where it won one match and drew another.

Coach Derek Burton said he was pleased with the team’s results, considering the long trip to North Dakota, but would have liked to get a victory on Sunday.

“It was good to see us get out of our comfort zone,” Burton said. “We have been at home for three straight weeks. We didn’t do a bad job dealing with the travel, but we didn’t get the result we wanted on Sunday. We had the opportunities to win that game.”

On Friday, the Cougars earned a victory in the second overtime period over Eastern Washington. In the first half, the Cougars took seven shots to Eastern Washington’s two, but it was Eastern Washington that scored first in the 33rd minute. The Cougars went into halftime down 1-0.

It was not until late in the 70th minute that the Cougars got their first goal of the game off the foot of graduate student midfielder Tory Pitts. Senior midfielder Chelsea Smith assisted Pitts on the goal. The game remained 1-1 after 90 minutes and the teams went to overtime.

In the first overtime, the Cougars did not get a shot off, while Eastern Washington took two. Neither of the shots led to a goal, so the teams headed to a second 10-minute overtime period.

In the 101st minute of the game, freshman forward Kayla Delgado took a shot from 10 yards out that found the back of the net, giving the Cougars the victory. Assisting on Delgado’s sixth goal of the year was senior midfielder Sarah Doggendorf.

Delgado said she took the shot knowing the game was getting late and the team might not have any other chances.

“We were running out of time, and I saw a chance to take a shot,” Delgado said. “It might have been a little farther out and it was with my weak foot. I just thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll try it.’ The worst thing that could’ve happened was that I would miss.”

On Sunday, the Cougars played against Colorado State for 110 minutes, but neither team could find a goal. The Cougars took 18 shots in the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley had three saves in the game, her fifth shutout of the year.

Burton said he was happy the team got the shutout, but said the team was disappointed they could not get the victory.

“We had four or five golden opportunities to score, both in regulation and in overtime,” Burton said. “Since that game was our last game of the trip, it was a little disappointing, but it was also nice to leave with another shutout.”

The Cougars start conference play this weekend at home against Tennessee Tech. Burton said the team has high expectations for themselves within the conference.

“First and foremost, our goal is to win the conference regular season,” Burton said. “I think that is something the girls really want this year. Beyond that, it is to win the conference tournament. Obviously you have to do one before you do the other, so our goal right now is to win the conference regular season.”

The Cougars play Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. Friday at Korte Stadium.

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