RICHMOND, Ky. – The No. 5 seed SIUE women's soccer team closed out its season Sunday, falling 4-3 in a penalty shootout against No. 4 seed Eastern Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
The Cougars finish the season with a 6-9-2 (4-5-1 OVC) record.
"Today was a great example of how we wanted to play and how we are capable of playing," SIUE Head Coach Derek Burton said. "We showed desire and pure joy to play with purpose for one another today, and it made the coaching staff extremely proud."
SIUE had a few good looks on goal in the first half. In the 26th minute, Becca Jostes received a pass right outside of the eighteen-yard box and rifled a shot in that was saved by EKU goalkeeper Zoe Aguirre.
The score was tied 0-0 going into halftime. SIUE outshot the Colonels 5-4 in the half.
"EKU is hosting for a reason," added Burton. "They are a very solid team that made the game tough on us. We stood up well and created a lot of positive soccer."
It was much of the same story in the second half. Each team had a few looks on goal, but couldn't put one away.
The score ended 0-0 in full-time, penalty kicks followed.
In the shootout, SIUE made three of their five shots while EKU made four out of five, advancing the Colonels into the semi-finals.
"I would like to acknowledge our two outgoing seniors (Avery Anderson, Ashlyn Walter) who leave us with OVC championship rings and an NCAA Tournament win," said Burton. "They are both great players and even better teammates."
Despite the heartbreaking loss, coach Burton is optimistic about the team's future.
"Our team returning will be better for having had this opportunity," Burton added. "This is the youngest team I've ever coached and the growth and buy-in has been remarkable. Our program continues to move forward and has an extremely bright future."