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Redbirds Take On Evansville For Senior Day Matchup

Written by on October 9, 2021

Photo courtesy of Ashley Piraino

NORMAL, Ill.- The Illinois State soccer team (4-9 overall, 2-2 MVC) are back home as they host Missouri Valley Conference action on Saturday, October 9 against the Evansville Purple Aces.

The last time out for the Purple Aces they suffered a defeat on Sunday, October 3 against Indiana State 4 to 1. Evansville were outshot 18 to 15 and couldn’t handle the fast pace pressure of Indiana State’s offense.

With this loss, their record now stands at 5-3-4 overall and 1-2-1 in MVC play.

On the other side of the ball, the Redbirds suffered a heartbreaking extra-time loss on Sunday, October 3 against the Northern Iowa Panthers 2 to 1.

In last Sunday’s matchup, the first half ended in a 0-0 tie which was the Redbirds fifth straight match with an opponent where the first half was scoreless.

The Redbirds were outshot 11 to 4 with their lone goal coming from sophomore forward Haley Glover (First goal of collegiate career) in the 65th-minute of play.

Both teams are now at a crucial point in their season as the Redbirds and Purple Aces are third and fourth respectively in Missouri Valley Conference standings with only three matchups left for both squads before the MVC Tournament.

Glover expands on what the Redbirds are working on leading to Saturday’s match.

“Throughout the season we’ve tried to be consistent,” said Glover. “Some of the results we didn’t really expect. We’re trying to move forward, learn from silly mistakes and prior games, and get a little better each day to prepare for what’s next. This team has so much potential that we’re just trying to get where we wanna be.”

Here are some major storylines you know need to know before Saturday’s game:

EXTRA TIME STRUGGLES

With last Sunday’s matchup ending in an extra-time loss, the Redbirds are now 1 and 4 in games that head to overtime. Their only win in OT came on Wednesday, September 29 against Missouri State.

SERIES HISTORY

Illinois State has led the all-time series over Evansville with 20 wins, eight losses and three draws. At Adelaide Street Field, the Redbirds have 11 wins, two losses and two draws over the Purple Aces. The last time these two teams met was on 2/27/21 where the visiting Redbirds defeated Evansville 1 to 0 with current fifth-year senior Ashley Santos netting the game winner.

HOME FIELD DISADVANTAGE

The Redbirds have struggled at Adelaide Street Field losing five out of their six home games this season. Their lone win at home came against Southern Illinois on Saturday, September 25 where they outshot the Salukis 24 to 13 with the final score ending 2 to 1.

MVC SCORING MACHINE

Illinois State is the only team in the MVC with six players with two-plus goals as fifth-year senior Natalie Vaughn-Low has five goals, senior Riley O’Brien has three goals, and fifth-year senior Sarah LaFayette has two goals. In addition to the seniors, redshirt junior Indianna Asimus, junior Allison Baker and junior Katherine Felton each have two goals.

SENIOR DAY

Before Saturday night’s matchup, the Redbirds will honor Sarah LaFayette, Ashley Santos, Logan Ziegler, Natalie Vaughn-Low, Riley O’Brien, and Alissa Ramsden. This collective group of seniors have contributed heavily to the Redbird soccer program as they combined for 21,649 minutes played, 401 matches played, 266 matches started, 40 goals, 323 shots, 13 game-winners and 34 assists.

Glover expanded on what this group of seniors have meant to her personally.

“For this being my second season, I’ve been around them for a little bit of time but enough time to know that each one of them are incredible leaders,” said Glover. “They are each individual role models of mine that I look up to and I just wanna do my best so that I can help support the team in a way that we can get the results that they’re wanting.”

FOLLOW ALONG

Kickoff between the Redbirds and the Purple Aces is set for 6pm at Adelaide Street Field with live game updates being provided by the official Redbird soccer Twitter account @RedbirdSoccer.