The Southeast Missouri State soccer team picked up a thrilling win on senior night.
Junior Jacey Boyko's goal 3 minutes, 39 seconds into sudden-death overtime lifted the Redhawks past Eastern Kentucky 1-0 on Friday at Houck Stadium.
Boyko headed a crossing feed from the left side into the top corner of the net to end the Redhawks' three-match losing streak. Sophomore Kasey Crowden and freshman Paige Luehmann earned assists.
Southeast improved to 3-9-3 overall and 2-3-1 in Ohio Valley Conference play. EKU (7-5-2, 3-1-1) suffered its first league loss.
"We are very pleased with our performance against an excellent opponent tonight," Southeast coach Heather Nelson said in a release. "The team played hard and did a very good job of tackling all night. They played with a little more calmness and maturity than they have shown recently, which is great to see on senior night."
The Colonels had a 12-5 advantage in shots through the 90 minutes of regulation. Southeast senior keeper Renee Kertz recorded seven saves.
Southeast wasted little time going on the attack in the extra session.
After an EKU run was thwarted, Kertz launched the ball to midfield, where Luehmann directed a ball to Crowden down the left sideline.
Crowden, a Jackson High School graduate, played a perfect high ball to Boyko, who put it in the net.
"As soon as we went out for overtime, I said to the team, ‘Let's get this over with quickly with a win,'" Boyko said in the release. "As soon as Renee punted the ball, Kasey got down the line, she crossed it and I got a head on it. I thought the ball was going over the net at first, but once I headed it someone screamed that it was in the net.
"We really needed this win, it was a big one for us. Hopefully we can start getting some more after this."
Kertz notched her third shutout of the season.
Southeast honored its six seniors before the game: Kertz, Hayley Abbott, Ali Bauer, Notre Dame Regional High School graduate Courtney Luehmann, Central High School graduate Sarah Uptmor and the late Meg Herndon.
All six seniors were announced as starters as Southeast participated in a 10-man salute for Herndon. Southeast played with 10 on the field during the first minute in honor of the Redhawks' defender who died last month in a motor vehicle accident.
The Redhawks play their final home game today when Morehead State visits for a 1 p.m. contest.
Southeast recorded a pair of top-20 finishes in their heats at Saturday's Pre-National meet in Louisville, Ky.
Southeast's men placed ninth, while the women were 19th. Indiana and Utah Valley claimed the men's and women's title, respectively.
"This is the most competitive meet of the year other than nationals," Southeast coach Ryan Lane said in a release. "Being competitive here is an encouraging result. The team ran tough, smart and aggressive. I think we are in a good position to peak well in two weeks at the conference meet."
Southeast's men were paced by senior Nate Shipley, who took 41st with a season-best time of 25:07.7 in the 8-kilometer race. Also scoring for the Redhawks were Tyler Mullen (79th; 25:33.8), Alex Zisser (111th; 25:48.2), Brent Collins (114th; 25.49.0) and Craig Munie (119th; 25:51.4).
"Nate had a pretty solid day overall," Lane said. "It's his best time of the season, and he is improving at the right time. In two weeks, I think he'll be ready to put together a faster time and challenge for first-team all-conference. Tyler Mullen also took a big step forward with a great performance."
Rebekah Lawson was Southeast's top runner on the women's side, placing 29th in 22:00.5 in the 6-kilometer race. The Redhawks' other four scorers were Gloria Westlake (126th; 23:15.8), Jenny Govero (137th; 23:20.7), Laura Chavez (155th; 23:30.4) and Mary Dohogne (173rd; 23:48.3). Chavez and Dohogne are Central High School graduates.
Southeast returns to action Oct. 27 at the OVC meet in Jacksonville, Ala.
-- From staff reports