Cougars Open Season with 1-0 Triumph

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Freshman Hope Jones started her collegiate career on the right track as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville blanked South Dakota 1-0 in women's collegiate soccer.

Jones, a Granite City native, scored with 20 seconds to go in the first half, giving the Cougars the only goal they needed. Kristin Dierker provided the assist on Jones' goal that came from six yards out past USD goalkeeper Jen Ogren. The play started with a strong pass from Rachel Brcic, who collected the ball at the top of the penalty area.

"We wanted to play the wings tonight and the space to try and exploit them with our speed and that's exactly what we did," said SIUE Coach Derek Burton of the game's winning goal.

The Cougars kept the ball in their opponent's side of the field for most of the game. SIUE won the shots battle 19-4. Meagan Iffrig and Brittany Bodziak teamed up for four shots each. Alexandria Brazill added three.

"Hopefully as we continue to go forward, we are able to convert a little bit more because I felt like we could have had three or four goals tonight," added Burton.

SIUE goalkeeper Claire Lovercheck collected her second career shutout and recorded two saves. Ogren was a bit busier on the defensive end for the Coyotes with 10 saves.

"It's always great to start off the season on a positive note. It was definitely a good building spot," said Burton.

SIUE continues the homestand next Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against future Ohio Valley Conference opponent Eastern Kentucky.

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