Missouri State’s late goal sinks Aces in MVC women’s soccer opener
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (WFIE) - Missouri State University sophomore forward Grace O’Keefe scored a tough-angle goal in the 79th minute Sunday to snap a scoreless deadlock and propel the host Bears to a 1-0 victory over the visiting University of Evansville women’s soccer team in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both schools at Allison South Stadium in Springfield, Missouri.
O’Keefe was able to loop a shot over a leaping UE goalkeeper Myia Danek (Laingsburg, Mich./Laingsburg) and just inside the far post from near the end line on the right side of the penalty area to score the match’s only goal on Sunday. For O’Keefe, it marked her team-leading second goal of the year.
Evansville, which out-shot Missouri State 5-3 in the first half of play, tried to answer back, but could not get a chance on goal in the final 12 minutes, as the Bears held on for a 1-0 victory.
Offensive chances were tough to come by for both teams for most of the day, as defense was the name of the game in the conference opener. UE’s best chances came in the first half, as sophomore Ryleigh Anslinger (Evansville, Ind./Memorial HS) had a shot blocked away in the 30th minute from out top to provide a corner kick. Then, four minutes later, senior Monique Landrum (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual HS) stole a ball in the Missouri State defense and fired a shot from the top of the penalty area that was punched away by MSU starting goalkeeper Camielle Day.
Missouri State had three chances hit off of the woodwork in the match, but UE’s defense and Danek stood tall until O’Keefe’s goal in the 79th minute. It was one of only three shots which made it on target for the Bears on the afternoon. Overall, MSU out-shot UE, 10-6.
With the win, Missouri State evens its record at 4-4-1, and stands at 1-0 in the MVC. Evansville, meanwhile, sees its record slip to 1-4-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The Purple Aces will try to end their current five-match road trip on a positive note on Thursday night, as UE will travel north to Terre Haute, Indiana to take on Indiana State.
Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. central time in a match that can be seen live on ESPN+.
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