Grafton and Markland receive OVC weekly honors


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer sophomore defender Charli Grafton (Sunriver, Oregon) and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Anna Markland (Hoover, Alabama) received Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week honors on Tuesday.
Grafton captured OVC Defensive Player of the Week laurels for the second time this season, and Markland garnered OVC Goalkeeper of the Week accolades for the third time in 2023. USI Women’s Soccer has claimed six OVC weekly awards this season.
Last week, Grafton and Markland helped lead USI to a 0-0-2 record, as the Screaming Eagles recorded a 0-0 tie at home last Thursday against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a 1-1 tie on the road on Sunday at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Southern Indiana is 4-6-6 overall with a 3-1-3 conference record, sitting in a tie for third place with 12 points. USI clinched its OVC postseason berth for the second consecutive season with the tie at UT Martin.
Additionally, with Grafton and Markland leading USI’s defensive unit, the Eagles have earned a result in nine of the last 10 matches. Before UT Martin’s goal in the 10th minute on Sunday, the Screaming Eagles’ defense had not been scored on in the previous three full matches and 290 minutes. USI is also 3-0-2 in the last five home matches after the scoreless tie with SIUE last Thursday. USI Women’s Soccer is also enjoying a season-best unbeaten streak of five matches.
Individually, Grafton had another strong week leading Southern Indiana’s defense in the centerback position, playing every minute between the two matches. Grafton guided Southern Indiana to another shutout against SIUE and held the Cougars to only eight shots. After the early goal by UT Martin on Sunday, Grafton and USI’s defense held the Skyhawks scoreless the rest of the way which allowed USI to come back and tie the game in the second half.
In goal, Markland continued her solid stretch of goalkeeping in recent weeks, recording the fifth clean sheet of the season against SIUE. In the two tough matchups last week, Markland totaled 10 saves, grabbing five in each match. In the latter minutes of Thursday’s contest, Markland made four big saves within a minute after quick shots by the Cougars. Markland’s stout goalkeeping led USI to Sunday’s tie despite facing 20 shots from the Skyhawks.
On the season, Grafton has started every match and played every minute in 15 matches. Markland has also started every match, posting a 1.12 GAA with 62 saves. She ranks third in the OVC in GAA and fourth in saves. Her five shutouts are tied for second in the conference.
Grafton, Markland and the Eagles conclude the regular season this week with a home matchup Thursday at 7 p.m. against Southeast Missouri State University and a road contest at Eastern Illinois University at 1 p.m.
Both matchups this weekend can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+. Additional coverage links are on the USI Women’s Soccer schedule page on