USI collects third straight win on Senior Day and Alumni Day


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer notched its third straight win on Sunday with a 3-0 shutout victory against Lindenwood University on Senior Day and Alumni Day at Strassweg Field.
In front of senior families, USI Women’s Soccer alumni, and Screaming Eagle fans, Southern Indiana recorded its largest win of the season. Sunday was USI’s seventh result in the last eight matches. Plus, USI is now 3-0-1 in its last four home matches after Sunday’s victory.
Southern Indiana came out of the gates fast, pushing the Lions back. Making early headway into the attacking half, USI launched four shots in the first 25 minutes. Senior midfielder Paige Vanek (St. Charles, Missouri) placed one shot on goal, and freshman midfielder Pilar Torres (Chula Vista, California) put one on target as well.
Later in the first half, Lindenwood applied some pressure toward USI’s defensive end line. The Lions pulled the trigger for a couple of shots on goal following a series of set pieces in the attacking third. However, the Eagles’ defensive unit stayed strong to limit Lindenwood’s push and switch the field position back toward USI’s offensive half. In the 39th minute, freshman defender Kamryn Bea (O’Fallon, Missouri) played a long pass down the left flank toward sophomore forward Payton Seymour (Louisville, Kentucky), who crossed the ball in front of the goal where freshman midfielder Grace Bamber (Chesterton, Indiana) battled through contact to put the ball into the net for her second goal of the season. The Screaming Eagles carried the 1-0 advantage into halftime.
The late, first-half momentum stayed with USI out of the break. Southern Indiana doubled its lead to 2-0 in the 48th minute when an over-the-top pass by senior defender Alexis Schone (Galena, Ohio) led sophomore midfielder Peyton Murphy (Bargersville, Indiana) into the box, slotting the ball past Lindenwood’s goalkeeper Erika Anstine. The goal-scoring play started out of the back by sophomore defender Charli Grafton (Sunriver, Oregon), who tallied her first helper of the season while Schone earned her second assist of 2023. The score gave Murphy a goal in the second consecutive game after scoring in USI’s win at Western Illinois University on Thursday.
The Eagles kept the pressure on despite the efforts from Lindenwood to claw back into the match. Looking for an insurance goal late in the second half, USI extended its lead to 3-0 in the 83rd minute. The ball made its way to Torres in the midfield, who passed it to Murphy making a run left of the center circle. Murphy quickly relayed the ball up ahead through the middle to Vanek making a long, overlapping run. The senior captain dribbled into the box and finished the play with her first career goal on Senior Day to close out the 3-0 clean sheet for Southern Indiana.
In the contest, USI registered six total assists on the three goals. The Eagles outshot the Lions 11-9, including 7-5 in shots on goal. Individually, Torres led USI by placing all three shot attempts on frame, while Vanek also was perfect putting both of her shots on target. Murphy totaled three shots with one on goal in the game. Between the posts, redshirt freshman Anna Markland (Hoover, Alabama) made five saves, including a diving catch in the air in the final minutes to seal the deal. Sunday was Markland’s second consecutive shutout and the fourth this season for her and USI.
Overall, the Eagles improved to 4-6-4 this season and to 3-1-1 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Following Sunday’s slate of games in the OVC, USI climbed to third place in the standings with 10 points. For Lindenwood, Sunday’s defeat moved the Lions to 3-10-1 overall and 1-5-0 in conference action, sitting at the bottom of the league table with Western Illinois.
The Screaming Eagles are back home at Strassweg Field on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Thursday’s game will be the Mental Health Awareness game for USI. All in attendance are welcome to wear green in support.