Redhawks soccer team exacts revenge

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Southeast Missouri State soccer team had extra motivation against visiting Washington University of St. Louis on Wednesday night.

That's because the Division III power Bears routed the Redhawks 4-1 last year in the first-ever meeting between the programs.

"They schooled us last year," Southeast coach Heather Nelson said.

The Redhawks didn't school the Bears in the rematch, but Southeast did come away with a 1-0 victory in front of about 200 fans at Houck Stadium.

"We had a lot to prove," Southeast senior forward Ashley Runion said. "We didn't play well against them last year. ... They are a really good team."

Good enough to be ranked second nationally after finishing as the 2009 Division III runner-up.

"It's a great win. They're a high-quality program and they would beat a lot of Division I teams," Nelson said. "We were lucky to catch them in their first game."

While the Bears were playing their season opener, the Redhawks improved to 3-1 as they bounced back from Sunday's 4-0 loss to powerful South Florida.

Freshman forward Stephanie Palmer scored the game's only goal about 20 minutes into the first half. It was her third goal of the season, tying Runion for team-high honors.

Runion earned an assist, her team-leading fourth of the year. She also paces the Redhawks with 10 points.

Runion threaded the needle to feed Palmer with a perfect pass, and Palmer buried the shot from about 15 yards out.

"I just saw the opening and Ashley made an awesome pass," Palmer said. "It was perfect. She did the work, I just finished it."

Midfielder Lauren Bozesky, a graduate student who transferred from Saint Louis University, also received an assist on the goal.

The Bears turned up the pressure in the second half, but freshman keeper Ashton Aubuchon and Southeast's defense were up to the challenge.

Aubuchon recorded her first shutout as she was credited with three saves.

"I thought our back line and Ashton played very well," Nelson said. "She made great decisions."

Southeast outshot the Bears 19-16, including 12-8 during the first half.

"I thought we dominated the first half and they dominated the second half," Nelson said. "It ended up being a good match."

Southeast continues a three-game homestand Sunday, facing Ball State at 1 p.m.

Runion honored

Runion was named the Ohio Valley Conference's offensive player of the week Tuesday after her huge performance during Friday's 9-1 win over Alabama A&M at the Racer Classic in Murray, Ky.

Runion scored a hat trick and added three assists. Her nine points rank second on the school's single-game list.

Runion has 19 career goals, which ties her for third in program history. Her 14 career assists and 52 career points both are fourth.

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