USI wins second straight and posts third shutout on Thursday


MACOMB, Ill. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer secured its second Ohio Valley Conference win of the season and three more valuable points Thursday in a 1-0 road victory at Western Illinois University.

With Thursday’s win, USI posted its third shutout of the season to improve to 3-6-4 overall and 2-1-1 in conference play. Picking up a second consecutive victory, the Screaming Eagles also moved up to the top half of the conference standings, sitting with seven points. Thursday was also USI’s sixth result in the last seven matches. Western Illinois dropped to 2-5-4 this season and suffered its first conference loss to move to 0-1-3 in OVC action.

After some early battles for possession, USI gained control of the ball and earned multiple set-piece opportunities off corner kicks in the first half. Southern Indiana’s first shot of the match came from freshman midfielder Grace Bamber (Chesterton, Indiana), who whipped a ball to the near post that was caught by Western Illinois’ goalkeeper Isabel Navas Rodriguez. Midway into the first half, freshman midfielder Pilar Torres (Chula Vista, California) had a roundhouse attempt that hit off the crossbar.

As the back-and-forth battle between the Leathernecks and Screaming Eagles went on, USI converted a golden chance in the 41st minute. Following a handball inside the penalty box, USI sophomore midfielder Peyton Murphy (Bargersville, Indiana) stepped up to the spot and put USI ahead, 1-0, with a penalty-kick goal, her first of the season. The USI defense played solidly, as Western Illinois had only one shot in the first half. The Eagles carried the 1-0 advantage into halftime.

Southern Indiana was assertive on the attacking end out of the intermission, getting a shot from junior midfielder Adriana Berruti (Berwyn, Illinois) and two more attempts by Murphy within the first ten minutes of the second half. Berruti took another shot a few minutes later that was saved by Rodriguez. The Eagles made Rodriguez work even more in the middle of the half to make a couple of saves.

Meanwhile, USI’s defense continued to be tough and kept Western Illinois’ chances to a minimum. After holding the Leathernecks to only one shot in the first stanza, the Eagles’ defense saw only two shots by WIU in the second half, both of which were saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Anna Markland (Hoover, Alabama). Southern Indiana’s defensive unit sealed the 1-0 win and the clean sheet.

Southern Indiana totaled 11 shots, placing six on goal in the match, while its defense held Western Illinois to only three shots and two on goal. USI also had six corner kicks in the contest. Individually, Murphy recorded three shots with one into the goal on the penalty kick. Berruti put one of her two shots on target, and senior midfielder Avery Schone (Galena, Ohio) also had two shots in the game.