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Otahkians blank Arkansas St.
Southeast netted three first-half goals in a 4-0 victory.
By Mark Unterreiner ~ Southeast Missourian
Southeast Missouri State women's soccer team had no trouble putting away the Arkansas State Indians in a 4-0 rout Sunday afternoon at Houck Stadium.
"It's been a very good start to the season, considering the strength of our schedule " Southeast coach Heather Nelson said.
Southeast (5-2) scored three goals in the first half behind two assists from Alaina Lacopo. The Otahkians scored just over 16 minutes into the game after an Arkansas State foul about 25 yards out. Lisa Schweppe's free kick was knocked down by ASU goalie Brielan Smiechowski, and Southeast's Heather Reding put the rebound in the net for her first goal of the season.
Arkansas State (2-6) nearly returned the favor about a minute later off a corner kick, but Otahkian goalie Amanda Wrzos made a diving save. From that point on, scoring chances didn't get much better for ASU, which managed only seven shots, four of which were on goal.
With just under 16 minutes to play in the first half, Megan Hejlek scored on a header from Lacopo's corner kick, and with 5:07 left Lacopo sent a cross to Michelle Frossard, who gave it to Diana Poovey for the tap-in.
Southeast scored the final goal at 21:44 in the second on Lacopo's third assist of the game. Marla Gianino and Lacopo teamed up to put a ball over the Arkansas State defense and on the foot of Emily Newsham, who put it by the keeper for her third goal in two games.
The Southeast defense shut down Arkansas State's leading scorers Stephanie Ray and Shawna Sparks, allowing very few good scoring opportunities.
"Our defense is one of our strengths," Nelson said. "They played well tonight."
Southeast had six shots on goal, and Otahkian goalkeepers Wrzos and Carina Souza combined for four saves.
"We played a solid game. We got to play the entire lineup and get everybody some rest," Nelson said.
The Otahkians begin Ohio Valley Conference play Sept. 24 at Tennessee Tech. The squad will return home Oct. 3rd to take on Morehead State.
"Conference rivalries are everything," Nelson said. "We had a tough schedule early on to get us prepared, and now every game will mean something."