ISU Soccer Advances to MVC Championship; Bests Drake, 1-0
Nov. 6, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. - For the fourth time in program history, the Illinois State women's soccer is set to play in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game after shutting out Drake, 1-0, in the semifinal game Friday in Omaha, Neb. Redbird sophomore Jessica Carlson scored her sixth game-winning goal and tenth goal of the season to give the Redbirds the win. The Redbirds will face the tournament host No. 3 Creighton Sunday in the tournament final at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on FSN Midwest.
"I knew this game was going to be hard battle," said head coach Drew Roff. "Nothing comes easy at this point in the season. The seeds go out the window during tournament play and anything can happen. Drake really defended well, but we made the plays that we needed to make. After that goal, I had a good feeling that we were going to lock up the game and we got the shutout win."
Carlson's goal came at the 59-minute marker off an assist from Shannon Eccleston. Eccleston's shot was mishandled by the Drake goalkeeper with Carlson putting the ball away for the Redbirds. The assist marked Eccleston's first point of the season.
The Redbirds (11-6-1, 6-1-0 MVC) are 11-0 when scoring first, while the goal gave Carlson 25 points on the season. Carlson leads the team in points on the season, moving her to fourth place for points in a season at Illinois State. Carlson is also tied for second at Illinois State for career game-winning goals with eight.
The Redbird offense dominated play in the game, outshooting the Bulldogs 18-5 with 11 different Redbirds with shots. However, the game remained scoreless at the half. Melissa Lewis had Drake's best chance for a goal 40 minutes into the first half, but ISU's Sasha Reiber came through with the save.
With the win, Reiber is 8-5-1 overall this season, recording her fourth conference shutout and sixth shutout on the season. Reiber ranks third at Illinois State for career shutouts with 12.
Illinois State is 6-10-5 all-time in the State Farm MVC Tournament, including a 3-2-1 mark as the No. 1 seed. The Redbirds have tied five MVC Tournament games and advanced on penalty kicks three times. Illinois State and Drake have played four times in tournament history with Drake tying Illinois State in the tournament series, 2-2-0.
Drake and Illinois State are also tied in the all-time series between the two teams, 5-5-2, while Drake ends its season going 9-9-3 overall and 3-4-0 in MVC play.
Illinois State will try to win its second Valley title on Sunday. The Redbirds won the championship as the No. 2 seed in 2003 to earn a bid to the only NCAA Tournament in school history.
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