Golden Eagles tie school record for goals scored in 7-0 win over … – Tennessee Tech

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A piece of program history was the story Sunday afternoon, as the Tennessee Tech soccer team tied a ribbon on the first week of league play with a 7-0 victory over Southern Indiana in the OVC home opener.
Tech’s seven-goal output ties a school record for scores in a match, a feat accomplished four previous times in program history and twice in OVC play. The Golden Eagles last put seven on board on Sept. 4, 2009 in a win over Alabama State, and the last time the purple and gold put up a seven-spot at home was Sept. 11, 2002 in a win over UNC Asheville at Tech Soccer Field. The Golden Eagles also put up seven goals in OVC victories over Morehead State on Oct. 6, 2001 and at UT Martin on Oct. 1, 2000.
TTU’s triumph pushes the club’s unbeaten streak to four consecutive in which the Golden Eagles (3-4-3, 2-0-0 OVC) have outscored their 15-3 in the quartet of contests. Tech also runs its OVC regular-season unbeaten streak to 16 straight dating back to the beginning of October 2021. This year’s version of the purple and gold have outscored its conference opponents 10-0 in the pair of affairs.
“Today was just a great OVC home opener for us,” Golden Eagle head coach Steve Springthorpe said. “Our team was excited to play coming off a hard-fought road match at Lindenwood. We came into this afternoon with a fantastic mentality, especially in regards to taking care of our home field. From the opening whistle until the end of the game we played hard, we played smart, we were aggressive and things paid off for us. Our team played great and it was just an awesome day.”
Individually, Yao Giada Zhou picked up her own piece of program history behind a seven-point afternoon in which the senior midfielder scored two goals and added three assists to tie the school’s all-time record for most points in a single match. Chloe Smith secured seven points in last year’s OVC Tournament semifinal win over Lindenwood and TTU Hall of Famer Jill Burns put seven points on the stat sheet against Murray State on Oct. 24, 2003.
Giada Zhou’s trio of helpers tied the second-most assists in a single match in program history. The San Michele al Tagliamento, Italy native was the last Golden Eagle to pick up three assists in a tilt in last year’s 4-1 victory over Furman on Aug. 25.
“Giada is a quality player and everything that she has received in the past as far as accolades has been well deserving,” Springthorpe said. “She is an important aspect of our attack and our play, and does so many things to help us win. Earlier on in the season she had been a bit of a facilitator trying to keep the ball and not getting forward as much, but over the last few games she is really getting forward and creating goal scoring opportunities. She is a great player and I am happy for her performance today, it was well earned.”
Giada Zhou opened the scoring with a penalty-kick goal in the 13th minute, the first of three Golden Eagle scores in a 14-minute span. Selma Askildsen followed up with her first career goal in the 16th minute, before Bailey Taylor split the pipes in the 27th minute. Ashley Wood would go on to cap off Tech’s first-half attack with her first-career net-finder in the 44th minute.
The Golden Eagles put together another surge early in the second half behind three more goals in a seven-minute period a third of the way into the stanza. Neve Renwick tied Bailey Taylor for the team and OVC lead with her fourth goal of the season in the 60th minute, before Katie Toney got in on the action with a 66th-minute score. Giada Zhou capped off the Golden Eagle wave with her second goal in the 67th minute.
Toney ended her afternoon with four points behind two assists, while Taylor took her fourth three-point performance in the last six matches behind an assist on Giada Zhou’s second goal. Gabby Garcia and Katelyn Farmer tallied their first helpers of the season and Renwick notched her second of the year after aiding on Giada Zhou’s second goal as well.
“Our attacking players are getting some confidence first and finding the back of the net, which if you ask any coach about how do you get a player going, they will tell you it’s about seeing the back of the net and building off that,” Springthorpe noted. “Our players are getting into a groove and it’s helped us gain a lot of momentum of late. Our front three and Giada are all clicking very well. Our players that are coming off the bench and getting time are also scoring goals and creating opportunities. Everything and everyone are feeding off each other and hopefully we can sustain it over time. Attacking players get opportunities, but at the same time our defensive players are doing a great job of setting them up. They are winning chances and playing entry balls to our offense, so really it has been an entire team effort.”
Maggie Conrad and Kendall Curran teamed up for Tech’s second consecutive clean sheet behind a combined six stops against the Screaming Eagles (1-6-4, 0-1-1 OVC). Conrad notched four saves in nearly 67 minutes of action, while Curran picked up a pair of stops in just over 23 minutes between the pipes.
USI’s starting keeper Anna Markland allowed four goals and made three halts in the first half, while Zoe Lintner surrendered three goals and tabbed one denial in the second.
Renwick added to her OVC-leading shot total with five more attempts to push the Sheffield, England product to 30 tries this year. The 5-foot-5 freshman has taken 17 bids in her last three matches. Adriana Berruti, Peyton Murphy and Emma Thurston all paced the Screaming Eagles with two shots apiece.
With no Thursday match on tap for Tech, the Golden Eagles will set their sights for another home match on Sunday, Oct. 1. TTU will welcome Eastern Illinois to Tech Soccer Field, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. Admission is free of charge.
“Ultimately we are excited about of first OVC home win and know we have another home match coming up next weekend against EIU,” Springthorpe said. “It’s always nice that our fans are coming out and supporting our team in the way that they are. I hope we are giving them a good look at what our team is like and what they are capable of in terms of exciting play. I know our team is feeding off their energy and are looking forward to the next match in front of our home fans.”  

Photo by Jim Dillon

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