Redbirds Advance to MVC Final with 6-0 Win over Evansville
Nov. 4, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Illinois State soccer team (12-5-0) advanced to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament final with a convincing 6-0 win over Evansville in Friday's semifinal contest at Cooper Family Soccer Plex in Springfield, Mo. The Redbirds established a new MVC Tournament semifinal match record with their six goals.
Freshman Rachel Tejada scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to tie an Illinois State and a Valley record with 20 goals in a season and added a pair of assists to push her season-record point total to 48. Sophomore Kyla Cross also scored a pair of goals in the contest, while senior Jessica Carlson and freshman Aimee Wronski netted a goal each.
"We started a little slow in the first half, but Rachel's goal helped changed the rhythm of the game and Jess followed it up with another great goal that allowed us to relax a little bit," head coach Drew Roff said. "Those early goals were huge for us and hopefully that continues into Sunday's final."
Tejada opened the scoring in the 10th minute, finishing a pass from senior Natalie McCabe. The Troy, lll., native dribbled in to the box and beat a defender, before driving a ball inside the far post. Tejada recorded her third point of the match in the 18th minute, when she was credited with an assist on Carlson's goal that pushed the ISU margin to 2-0.
Cross scored the final goal of the first half in the 31st minute, after dribbling through a pair of Purple Aces and finishing with a low drive to the near post. She added the first goal of the second half in the 51st minute for her sixth goal of the season on assists from Carlson and Tejada.
"Our three players up top [Carlson, Cross and Tejada] have been fun to watch lately and they are very active and decisive in the final third," Roff said. "All three of them can put the ball away and we are going to need them to continue to do that. I really liked what our reserves did as well, especially late in the first half."
Tejada collected a loose ball inside the box in the 52nd minute and buried in it in the back of the net for her second tally of the contest. Wronski's goal came under a minute before the final whistle to make the final score 6-0 and give the 2011 Redbirds the single-season record for goals in a season with 51.
Redshirt freshman Aryn Newsom made a save on the only shot she faced to win her sixth-straight decision.
Illinois State will take on the winner of the Northern Iowa/Missouri State match Sunday at 1:06 p.m., for the State Farm MVC Tournament title and the Valley's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"This time of year we are focused on what we have to do against either [Missouri State or Northern Iowa]," Roff said. "When you have good things going on like we have, you don't want to make any big changes. We are playing with a lot of confidence right now and we are just trying to get one more."
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