The East Central University soccer team will start a five-match road trip with matches at Northwestern Oklahoma State and Southwestern Oklahoma State this weekend. The Lady Tigers will first face Northwestern, Friday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. and then travel to battle with Southwestern, Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats and live video (if available) on ECUTigers.com. Go to the soccer schedule page.
The Rangers are 1-12 overall and 0-5 in the GAC this season. They have struggled to earn goals, with a 7-44 disadvantage with their opponents. While Northwestern has just 85 shots to 350 by its opponents, they have a slightly better shots on goal percentage, .471 to .457.
Emily Whitty is the team’s offensive leader with three goals. Four other players, including the team’s shots leader (11) Emily Hostetter, have one goal each. The Rangers have used three netminders, with Caitlin Thorpe starting in nine matches. Thorpe has a 3.71 goals against average and 71 saves this season.
Against the Rangers
In the first meeting between ECU and NWOSU this season, the Lady Tigers claimed their first win of the 2013 season, with a 2-0 victory.
Junior Katie Glutz tallied one goal for the Lady Tigers and ECU earned a second goal after a shot was deflected into the net by a Ranger defender. Red-shirt freshman Taylor Lowe earned her first win in net with the shutout and five saves.Caitlin Thorpe had a good day in the net for NWOSU, with nine saves.
The Lady Tigers had strong control of the game, with 27 shots to five by NWOSU. ECU also earned four corner kicks and allowed none by the Rangers.
The first match in the all-time series was Sept. 13, 2007, when ECU earned a 2-1 overtime win. The teams have meet on seven previous occasions, with the Lady Tigers holding a 4-1-2 advantage, with the series knotted at 1-1-1 when played in Alva.
The Bulldogs are 7-2-2 overall and 3-1-1 in the GAC, putting them just one spot above the Lady Tigers in the standings. Southwestern will face Southern Nazarene on Friday before hosting ECU.
The Bulldogs have tallied 23 goals in 2013 and allowed 13. While they have an advantage in shots taken (184/100), they are trailing their opponents in shots on goal percentage (.467/.530).
Southwestern has three players with four goals each on the season. Alexis Russell has garnered four goals and one assists, while leading the team with 15 shots on goal. Samantha Nunez has also tallied four goals and an assist, while Miranda Balezentis has four goals on the year.
The Bulldogs have seen three goalies in the net this season, with Courtney Flores seeing most of the action. Flores has started nine matches and has a 0.64 goals against average and 34 saves.
Against the Bulldogs
Last year ECU suffered a road loss, but then spoiled SWOSU’s perfect season with a tie at LadyTiger Field.
Senior Ashley Bradford scored the Lady Tigers returner’s lone goal and added four shots on goal in the series.
Cori Kelly and Charlotte Eastman and the top returners for the Bulldogs. Kelly earned a goal and an assist, while Eastman tallied two goals.
The all-time series with SWOSU is one of the longest, dating back to 1998. The Lady Tigers currently own a 10-5-2 lead in the series, including a 5-2-1 mark when playing in Ada.
Ranking in the Nation
The NCAA has released their latest set of national soccer statistics and ECU is currently ranked 36th in saves per match (6.55). The Lady Tigers are the top team in the conference in the category.
Double Senior Honors
After going 2-0 over the weekend, two ECU soccer players have earned GAC Player of the Week honors. Senior Ashley Bradford was named the Offensive Player of the Week and senior Susana Galvez picked up the Defender of the Week awards.
Bradford scored both game winning goals for the Lady Tigers over the weekend. She helped ECU hand OBU its first GAC loss of the season. She totaled five shots, four on goal, and a .800 shot on goal percentage for the weekend. She entered the weekend with only one goal on the year.
Galvez helped the Lady Tigers pick up a pair GAC victories over the weekend. She helped the team block four shots by Harding. She added a shot on goal while playing all 90 minutes. In the overtime win against Ouachita Baptist, she played all 94 minutes and helped the team block four shots – including two in overtime. She added goal in the OT victory.
Lowe Earns Recognition
Redshirt-freshman Taylor Lowe had a strong game in the net for the Lady Tigers in their first win of the 2013 season and was named the GAC Goalkeeper of the Week for Oct. 1. Lowe earned her first career shutout with a 2-0 win over Northwestern. She stopped all five shots sent her way.
Southwestern Match Postponed
Due to officiating scheduling conflicts the match against Southwestern Oklahoma State, originally scheduled to be played Sept. 29 was forced to be postponed. The match is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5. Watch www.ecutigers.com for more information.
Heavy Home Schedule Early
This season those wishing to see the Lady Tigers in action at home will have to come to Lady Tiger Field early, as the season is lopsided on home and away matches. ECU will play all of its eight home matches by Oct. 13, with the first home contest scheduled for Sept. 10 against Northeastern State at 4 p.m. The Lady Tigers will play their final home matches Oct. 11 (Harding) and Oct. 13 (Ouachita Baptist) before finishing the season with six straight road matches.
The Lady Tigers will continue their regular-season ending road trip with a match at Southern Nazarene, Friday, Oct. 25. The match is the lone outing for ECU next week.