`Birds to Take on Bears, Aces in Conference Action
Oct. 13, 2005
NORMAL, Ill. - After tallying their first Valley win against Creighton, the Illinois State women's soccer team will travel to Springfield, Mo., to take on the Missouri State Bears on Friday and then return home Sunday to Adelaide Street Field to host their final home game of the season against the Evansville Purple Aces.
Playing at 7:00 p.m. at the Cooper Sports Complex, the `Birds are looking to hand the Bears their first MVC loss. Missouri State is 8-2-2 on the season, and boast a perfect Valley record at 3-0-0, with wins over Indiana State, Evansville and Northern Iowa.
Illinois State dominates the series with Missouri State, 9-3-4. After dueling to a 1-1 tie in double-overtime during the regular season in 2004, the Redbirds had the final word last season, as the `Birds bested the Bears in the MVC play-in game on Oct. 31, 5-4 in penalty kicks, to advance to the semi-finals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship Tournament.
Illinois State head coach Pete Kowall anticipates the competitive conference rivalry to continue.
"Missouri State is doing very well this year," said Kowall. "They had a good recruiting class, so they have a great mix of young and older players. They are 3-0, so a win would obviously help us move up in the Valley standings. It's going to be a great game on the road for us. We always have a good conference game with Missouri State."
Sunday's final home match against the Aces will be played at 1 p.m. Evansville not only boasts a new coach in Chris Pfau, but the Aces have posted an impressive 8-4-2 record this season. However, none of those victories have come in league matches, as the Aces are 0-2 in league play. Hosting Evansville on Sunday, the Redbirds hope to add to their conference wins. Illinois State also leads the series with Evansville, 6-4-1. In 2004, the `Birds shut out the Aces in Evansville 4-0, scoring the most goals in a single game all season.
Kowall and the Redbirds are expecting a solid league match with Evansville in their final home game of the season.
"Sunday will be different, as well, because Evansville has a lot of new players that we haven't met in competition before," explained Kowall. "They are going to be very young and very hungry. Evansville will also be a good challenge for us and as everyone is scrambling to move up in the league, we look to pick up two Valley wins this weekend."
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