Redbirds Drop Season Opener, 3-2
Aug. 19, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - A pair of second-half goals doomed the Illinois State soccer team (0-1-0) in its 3-2 loss to visiting Southeast Missouri State (1-0-0) Friday afternoon at Adelaide Street Field. Jessica Crabtree scored the game-winner on a penalty kick midway through the second half for one of her two goals on the day.
"I give Southeast Missouri State a lot of credit," head coach Drew Roff said. "They have a style of play that they like to play, they drew us into playing that same style and we couldn't match it. They were a hard-nosed, physical team and they won the balls in the middle of the park. Today we were just a step slow and lost a lot of the balls in the air."
The Redbirds controlled possession early and made good on an early scoring chance, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Rachel Tejada in the 12th minute. Junior Heather Sterling sprinted her way past a SEMO defender and sent in a deep cross from the right side that Tejada headed into the back of the net.
Southeast Missouri State wasted no time finding the equalizer, as Crabtree finished a cross from Lauren Bozesky in the 17th minute. The score would remain tied after 45 minutes with ISU outshooting the Redhawks, 9-1, in the first stanza.
The Redbirds regained the lead in the 56 th minute, getting a goal from junior Rachel Bostick. Illinois State took advantage of a free kick opportunity from 25 yards out, as fellow junior Kristin Cooley delivered a free kick to the head of Bostick, who finished the chance at the back post.
Once again, SEMO responded quickly to an ISU goal and pulled even at 2-2 less than a minute later. Erin Shulman collected a loose ball just outside the 18-yard box, before dribbling in and finishing a one-on-one opportunity with ISU goalkeeper Aryn Newsom from 10 yards.
The Redhawks continued to apply the pressure midway through the second half, reversing the ball on a cross from right to left and earning a penalty kick when Bozeksy was brought down inside the box. Crabtree's penalty shot was true and SEMO took a 3-2 lead in the 61st minute.
Illinois State sent players forward and earned free kicks from inside 25 yards, but could not convert as Southeast Missouri State keeper Ashton Aubuchon saved the only Redbird shot that was on target to earn the win in goal.
"This result is a reality check for us," Roff said. "Every season has its fair share of adversity and things that are a bit unexpected, and I hope this helps us in the long run, because we need to be better."
Illinois State will return to the pitch Sunday afternoon when it hosts Bowling Green for a 1 p.m. match at Adelaide Street Field.
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