Otahkians edge Xavier, improve to 3-1

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Through four games of the 2004 season, Southeast Missouri State University's women's soccer team is 3-1 -- and coach Heather Nelson couldn't be happier.

"I'm delighted," Nelson said following Sunday's 3-2 victory over Xavier in front of more than 200 fans at Houck Stadium. "I knew our non-conference schedule would be very tough and to be 3-1 against the teams we've played so far, I'm very happy."

Nelson was particularly pleased Sunday the Otahkians were able to bounce back from Friday's 2-0 loss to nationally ranked Illinois.

"I think we were physically and emotionally drained from Friday, but what pulled us through was our depth," Nelson said.

Sophomore Molli Beard had two goals, including the game-winner with 15:47 remaining in the second half. Beard scored from right in front after receiving a pass from junior Ashley DeRoy.

After Xavier (0-4) took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, Southeast tied it with 10:19 left in the period as junior Lisa Schweppe headed in a centering pass from freshman Alaina Lacopo. Senior Marla Gianino also earned an assist on the play.

Southeast went ahead 2-1 just 6:05 before halftime as Beard headed in a perfect corner kick from Gianino, whose two assists on the day increased her school-record career total to 21.

Xavier tied the score on a penalty kick early in the second half before Beard's winning goal.

"All three of our goals were excellent plays," Nelson said.

The Otahkians outshot the Musketeers 13-8. Southeast senior keeper Amanda Wrzos made two saves, tying her with current assistant coach Beth Guccione for first in career saves at Southeast with 153.

Southeast's non-conference schedule continues Sunday with a noon game at Northwestern of the Big 10 Conference.

"It should be another tough game," Nelson said.

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