Women’s Soccer Travels to Illinois State for Critical Match

first_imgNOTE: The time, date, and location of this match have changed since this story was posted. The game is now scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf. The address for the facility is 4850 Competition Drive.NORMAL, Ill. – The Drake University women’s soccer team travels to Illinois State on Thursday for a crucial matchup in deciding Missouri Valley Conference Tournament seeding. The winner will clinch the No. 2 seed, thus securing a first-round bye. Should the teams tie, Illinois State will finish second in the conference and earn the bye. Tournament Scenarios Missouri State Win Missouri State Loss Missouri State Draw Olivia Bruce scored her team-leading third goal of the season, redshirt senior Vanessa Kavan notched her second score of the year, and Hannah Bormann recorded a career-high three points courtesy of a goal and an assist. Kelsie Stone made an incredible leaping save to preserve her fifth shutout of the year, second-most in the MVC. Illinois State leads the all-time series, 8-11-2. Scouting Illinois State Illinois State’s offense has been historically dominant this season en route to an MVC-best 2.18 goals per game. Kate Del Fava has been named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week a record five times, and the Redbirds have earned seven weekly offensive awards as a team, also a record. Drake Draw Fourth Third Third The Redbirds are stout defensively, too. They come in just behind Drake at 1.12 goals allowed per game, and goalkeeper Haley Smith recently collected the 24th shutout of her career, the most in program history. The Bulldogs knocked off the Redbirds, 2-0, last year in Des Moines. Alison Walls and Bruce found the back of the net within three minutes of each other, and Stone stopped five shots to seal the win. Evansville, Indiana State, UNI, and Valparaiso are all mathematically alive for the final two spots in the field. The Redbirds (12-5, 5-1 MVC) enter Thursday’s game with momentum after defeating Missouri State, 1-0, in Springfield on Friday, Oct. 25. Loyola has clinched the top spot in the conference tournament, while Illinois State, Drake, and Missouri State will occupy the second, third, and fourth seeds in some order depending on the results of two games: Drake at Illinois State and Missouri State at Indiana State. Print Friendly Version Kickoff at Adelaide Street Field is slated for 4 p.m., and live stats and a live stream will be available. Smith and her backline recorded five-straight clean sheets earlier this season to set a new program best. That streak came during Illinois State’s nine-game winning streak, which equaled the best run in team history. Vaughn-Low ranks second in the conference behind Del Fava in goals per game (.455) and points per game (1.27), and leads the MVC in assists per game (.364). Del Fava leads the Valley with 14 goals, double the amount of second place. She also paces the conference with 32 points (second place has 15) and five game-winners (second place has two). The Bulldogs enter the match having won their last four games, all via shutout. In its last match, Drake celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 3-0 win over Valparaiso. Below is a table that lays out Drake’s potential landing spots in the conference standings: Del Fava is joined in the attack by two outstanding players in Natalie Vaughn-Low and Abby Basler. Drake Win Second Second Second Drake Loss Fourth Third Third The Redbirds also have the second-leading assister in the conference, as Basler averages .357 assists per game. Her five total assists are tied for tops in the Valley, and she is top-10 with four goals and 13 points this season. Something will have to give between Illinois State’s top-ranked offense when it faces Drake’s defense, a unit that ranks second in the MVC by conceding only 1.06 goals per game.last_img