Soccer appears in OVC tournament for first time since 2009, team earns first round bye

EARN YOUR SPOT – Abi Gearing battles Morehead State player, Abby Timm, for the ball during Tech’s match Oct. 29 at Tech Soccer Field. The 1-0 victory secured the second seed for the Golden Eagles in the OVC championships and gave Tech a first round bye. Photo by: Jim Dillon

It has been a great year for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, and all of the hard work put into this year has finally paid off with the Golden Eagles making it to the OVC playoffs for the first time since 2009.

The team found out it had secured a playoff spot following the 0-0 tie Oct. 25 against Southeast Missouri but had yet to find out what seed it would be until Thursday night, Oct. 29, during the game against Morehead State.

The Golden Eagles would go on to defeat Morehead State 1-0, finishing the season with a record of (8-7-4, 6-3-1) and securing the second seed in the OVC tournament and a first round bye, which means they will automatically go straight to the semifinals.

Head Coach Steve Springthorpe said he has been satisfied from his team’s effort on the field this season and is excited for the team’s opportunity in the playoffs.

“I am excited for our players to have the opportunity to play in the OVC tournament this upcoming week,” said Springthorpe. “Our team has certainly made a positive step forward in regards to our record and becoming more competitive in our conference. I am certainly proud of our players and thankful that the team has put in the work over the last year to give themselves an opportunity to play for the conference championship.”

The Golden Eagles have really set the mark this year for the future of the program with key contributions from the team as a whole getting them where they are.

“I think one of the main areas we wanted to improve on and begin to develop is a sense of pride in being a member of the TTU Golden Eagle soccer team,” said Springthorpe. “In order to do that, we needed to work on many areas to help us begin to feel that sense of pride.”

He also said the team needs to begin winning to feel good about themselves and believe in what they are doing.

“Having some success on the field helps us move forward and allows us to have pride in what we are doing and who we are,” said Springthorpe.

The Golden Eagles will need to stay focused as the playoffs begin just as it has all season long.

“We just need to keep focused on playing better each game. Improving our play, building team chemistry, and learning how to win in a pressure environment,” said Springthorpe. “We will just prepare like we have for all season going into our first playoff game. Improve each practice, play better than the day before, and be great teammates to each other.”

Tech will have a long layoff in the playoffs with the first round bye and will resume play Friday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. against Southeast Missouri at Murray State.