Redbirds Set For MVC Title Match Against Indiana State
Nov. 4, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - The Illinois State soccer team will attempt to win its second-consecutive Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Sunday's 3:06 p.m., championship match against the fifth-seeded Indiana State Sycamores. A win would put the Redbirds in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history.
The second-seeded Redbirds come into the match having won four straight, and nine out of their last 11. Illinois State advanced to the title match with a 2-1 victory over the sixth-seeded and tournament-host Creighton Bluejays Friday night. MVC Player of the Year Rachel Tejada scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 81st minute, while Aryn Newsom made eight saves.
Sunday's title tilt will be the 17th meeting between the Redbirds and Sycamores. Illinois State has gone 13-3 previously against the Sycamores, including wins in eight-straight matches. The two squads met earlier this season on Oct. 14, with the Redbirds winning 9-2. The nine goals is a single-game program record, while Kyla Cross also set a new high with four goals.
The Last Meeting
October 14, 2012
The fifth-seeded Sycamores advanced to the championship match by upsetting by No. 1-seed Evansville, 2-1, on Friday, extending their unbeaten streak to four matches. The Sycamore offense is led by Taylor Reed and Sydney Lovelace. Each player has four goals, while Reed also has an assist to lead the squad with nine points. Three players have three assists apiece for the Sycamores.
Defensively, the Sycamores are led by senior Kourtney Vassar. Vassar, an All-MVC Second Team selection, has started all 20 matches this season. Freshman Erin Mitchell has played every minute in goal for the Sycamores, with the exception of 17 minutes in the aforementioned Illinois State 9-2 victory.
The Sycamores are making their second trip to the title match, with the other coming in 2008. A tournament victory would be the first in program history.
The Redbirds are 11-10-6 all-time in the MVC Tournament, and 7-1-2 under Roff. They have gone 2-2-2 in six previous title match appearances, advancing once via penalty kicks and losing once the same way. The Redbirds and Sycamores have squared off three times in the MVC Tournament, with the Redbirds winning two of them. The most recent postseason meeting came in 2010, when Illinois State won 2-1 in double overtime.
Sunday's championship will air live on FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX College Sports Central, ESPN3 (outside of the six-state Valley footprint), DirecTV (Channel 671), Dish Network (Channel 418) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 748) at 3 p.m., with Sean Wheelock and Dave Dir providing the commentary. The match will also be broadcasted on the WJBC/Country Financial Illinois State Radio Network and GoRedbirds.com.
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