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EKU Soccer Advances to Finals with Penalty Kicks Win

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EKU Soccer Advances to Finals with Penalty Kicks Win

Posted on 04 November 2016 by Bret Shroats

Cassie Smith

Murray, KY – The two seeded Eastern Kentucky Lady Colonels soccer team defeated the three seeded Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles in penalty kicks 4-1 on Friday afternoon. The two teams battled for 110 minutes but neither team could put one in the net.

Both teams had great opportunities in regular time but with the two best goalkeepers in the Ohio Valley Conference squaring off neither team would win in regular time.

In extra time it was more of the same. Both teams struggled to put any real scoring threat on the goalkeepers.

Between the two teams in regular time and extra time both goalies made seven saves. However, Tennessee Tech outshot EKU 14-13.

With the 0-0 draw after extra time Anna Hall got her 4th straight shutout and the 11th shutout of the year.

Emmy Carroll started off the shootout by perfectly placing a ball in the upper corner of the goal to give the Colonels a 1-0 advantage. Anna Hall then patiently waited and dove to save the first PK by Tennessee Tech to give EKU a big advantage going into the second round of penalty kicks.

Kacy Eckley put the ball in the same spot as Carroll to give the Colonels a huge 2-0 advantage. With the pressure on Rachel Blow out the first ball past Anna Hall in the OVC tournament.

Allison Werner for the Colonels switched it up to throw off the TTU goalkeeper as she rolled a ball into the net to give the Colonels a 3-1 lead. Now with mounting pressure on TTU to score Anna Hall makes another diving save to keep the lead at 3-1.

Larissa Heslop put the game away with the fourth PK to give the Colonels a 4-1 victory.

This was the first postseason victory for the EKU Soccer program.

They will face the winner of the Murray State vs SIU-E game Sunday at 2 pm on the campus of Murray State.

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OVC Champions

Posted on 28 October 2016 by Bret Shroats

Richmond, KY – For the first time in program history Eastern Kentucky soccer is Ohio Valley Conference Co-champions.

It was a two step process for EKU to win the OVC and they only controlled the first step. In step one, Eastern Kentucky took care of Tennessee Tech with a goal by junior Jordan Foster in the 68th minute. Then the Colonels had to wait and watch Austin Peay tie Murray State to help the Colonels win the OVC championship.

EKU soccer is a true Cinderella story. The EKU soccer program had only won 13 matches in the past three seasons prior to the 2016 season. Eastern Kentucky was picked to finish 10th in the OVC this season.

In 2016 EKU soccer went 13-4 overall and 8-2 in the OVC.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the players and what they’ve been able to accomplish so far this season,” first-year head coach Nick Flohre said. “Today felt like a tournament game with how well both teams defended. We were fortunate to take advantage of our chance to score. The players deserve to be very proud of themselves and their teammates. They worked their tails off for today’s win.”

Since Murray State won the match vs EKU in the regular season they get the 1 seed. EKU will get the 2 seed in the OVC tournament for the first time since 2008. Eastern will get the winner of the Belmont vs Tennessee Tech Friday November 4 at 11 am on the campus of Murray State.

List of accomplishments from this EKU soccer team.
1. Most OVC wins in a season (8)
2. Most wins total (13)
3. Most goals in a season (30)
4. Shut out every OVC opponent in Richmond, KY
5. Most shutouts in a season (10)
6. Tied the Longest winning streak (8)

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Anna Hall voted the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week

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Anna Hall voted the OVC Goalkeeper of the Week

Posted on 30 August 2016 by Bret Shroats

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky junior Anna Hall was voted the Ohio Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday.

Hall recorded a pair of shutouts last week. Anna Hall made five saves on Thursday in a 2-0 win over Northern Kentucky, a team picked to finish third in the Horizon League. On Saturday, Hall made three saves in a 2-0 road victory at Virginia Military Institute. VMI entered the match with a perfect 2-0 record.

Hall now ranks third all-time EKU with seven career shutouts.

She is the first Colonel to be named OVC Goalkeeper of the Week since Erika Wolfer on August 21, 2012.

Hall and the surging Colonels will look to continue their winning ways this weekend with a pair of matches against The Citadel (Friday, September 2) and Charleston Southern (Sunday, September 4) in Charleston, South Carolina

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Murray named Second team All-OVC

Posted on 03 March 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University junior women’s basketball player Shameekia “Polly” Murray has been voted second team All-Ohio Valley Conference, the league office announced on Tuesday.

The transfer from South Georgia Technical College was also voted to the five-person OVC All-Newcomer Team.

Murray exploded onto the scene in her first season at EKU, averaging 14.0 points-per-game and 4.4 rebounds-per-game. She also shot 46.4 percent (148-of-319) from the field and led the team with 44 steals.

The guard from Claxton, Georgia especially excelled during the OVC season, leading EKU and ranking seventh in the league at 16.1 points-per-game during conference play. She scored 14 points or more in 13 of the Colonels’ 16 OVC games this season. She scored a career-high 22 points twice during the season, once in a loss to Austin Peay on January 3 and once in a win over in-state rival Morehead State on February 21. Her best overall performance, however, came in a win at Murray State on January 22 when she posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Murray also keyed EKU’s defense during conference play, ranking fourth in the OVC at 2.0 steals-per-game.

Murray joined the Colonels after transferring from South Georgia Technical College, where she earned National Junior College Athletic Association Division I second team All-American honors last season.

She joins Tennessee State’s Chelsea Hudson, Jacksonville State’s Destany McLin and Candace Morton, Murray State’s Ke’Shunan James, SIUE’s Tierny Austin and Tennessee Tech’s Samaria Howard on the second team All-OVC.

Murray, James, Howard, SIUE’s Shronda Butts and UT Martin’s Jessy Ward comprise the OVC All-Newcomer Team.

UT Martin’s Kevin McMillan was selected as the OVC Coach of the Year, while UT Martin’s Ashia Jones was voted OVC Player of the Year and Austin Peay’s Tiasha Gray was voted OVC Defensive Player of the Year.

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Walden and Stutz pickup postseason OVC honors

Posted on 03 March 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – After leading Murray State to just the fifth undefeated Conference season in Ohio Valley Conference history, Murray State sophomore point guard Cameron Payne was named 2014-15 OVC Player of the Year while his coach Steve Prohm took home OVC Coach of the Year honors in voting by league head coaches and sports information directors. In additional voting Eastern Kentucky senior guard Corey Walden repeated as OVC Defensive Player of the Year while Eastern Illinois guard Cornell Johnston was named OVC Freshman of the Year.

In the now seven-year history of the OVC Defensive Player of the Year Award, Walden is the second player to repeat as winner, joining Morehead State All-American and NBA player Kenneth Faried (who won three-straight from 2009-11). Entering this week Walden ranks second nationally in steals (3.0/game) for an Eastern Kentucky team that is currently first nationally in turnover margin (+7.6/game). Walden also helped his team rank second in the OVC in scoring defense (63.3 points/game allowed) and hold 21 of the team’s 29 opponents to under 70 points this season. During the final week of the regular season he broke into the OVC single-season steals Top 10 (84 – he now ranks ninth) as well as the OVC career steals Top 10 (221 – he ranks eighth); those 221 career steals is also tied for first place in EKU history. He opened the season with a career-high eight swipes against Savannah State and had three other games where he had five or more steals in 2014-15.

Payne becomes the first sophomore to be named OVC Player of the Year since Austin Peay’s Drake Reed took home the award in 2006-07, and the second MSU sophomore to win the award (joining the legendary Popeye Jones in 1989-90). He is the 13th Murray State player to take home the honor and first since Isaiah Canaan won back-to-back awards in 2012 and 2013. After leading the Racers to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) Championship a season ago, Payne was named Preseason OVC Player of the Year heading into this season and backed up those predictions. He enters the postseason ranking 13th nationally in scoring (20.2 points/game), 21st in assists (5.7/game) and 39th in steals (1.97/game). Among OVC players the Memphis native ranks first in scoring and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4), second in assists, third in steals, fifth in 3-pointers made/game (2.2) and seventh in free throw shooting (78.9%). Payne has scored 30 or more points in three different games this season (all coming on the road) and scored in double figures in all but one contest. He dished out a season-high nine assists twice and also pulled down 10 rebounds in a victory over Eastern Kentucky. He was named OVC Player of the Week five times during the year but more importantly he helped his team win, as the Racers have reeled off 24 consecutive victories which established a new OVC record for longest winning streak (topping a mark the 2011-12 MSU team set). The Racers also became the first team to go through the OVC season undefeated since 2003-04 and this week jumped into both the USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 24) and the Associated Press Poll (No. 25), becoming the first OVC team to be ranked since the 2011-12 season.

Prohm picked up his second OVC Coach of the Year honor and first since his inaugural season with the team in 2011-12. After taking that club to a 31-2 overall record and Top 10 national ranking, Prohm did it this season by relying on Payne, the sophomore point guard, and a great shooting offense. After starting the season just 2-4 overall, Prohm’s club made some adjustments and have not lost since, reeling off 24-straight victories entering the week; that streak is the second-longest active streak nationally and is the longest in OVC history (breaking a mark of 23 set by the Racers in the 2011-12 season). The team also completed a perfect 16-0 league mark, marking just the fifth time in league history a team had gone through League play undefeated, and also entered the national Top 25 polls this week, becoming the first OVC team to be nationally ranked since the Racers were in 2011-12. During the season Prohm also posted his 100th career victory, becoming the fastest coach in Murray State’s prestigious history to reach that plateau; he enters the postseason with a 101-27 (.789) records in four years at MSU. Overall Prohm is the sixth different Murray State coach to win a pair of OVC Coach of the Year Awards; overall the program has had 10 different coaches take home the league’s top honor a total of 16 times.

Johnston helped the Eastern Illinois team to just its second overall winning season since 2001, as the Panthers made a five-game improvement from last season to finish with 16 overall victories. The Panthers also started Conference play 6-0 and finished with nine overall league victories in the third year under head coach Jay Spoonhour. Along the way the diminutive point guard set the Eastern Illinois freshman record for assists (130 and counting) and he enters the postseason ranked third in the OVC in assists (4.5/game). He has also torched the nets from 3-point range, leading all OVC players with a 52.2 percentage on the season; that number is even better over the final 13 games of the regular season as he connected on 66 percent (31-of-47) over that time period. He scored a season-high 22 points in a victory at Morehead State and was named OVC Freshman of the Week four times and OVC Player of the Week once. He is the fourth different EIU player to be named OVC Freshman of the Year and first since Romain Martin shared the award in 2006-07.

ALL-OVC TEAMS
This year’s first and second-team All-OVC squads include 10 players from six OVC schools. Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State and UT Martin (the top four seeds in this week’s tournament) each had two selections apiece. The first and second-teams included six seniors, two juniors and two sophomores.

Payne, the OVC Player of the Week, was the top vote getter and earned his second-straight All-OVC first-team selection. He was joined on the All-OVC first-team by two players who were second-team selections a season ago in Belmont junior guard Craig Bradshaw and Murray State senior forward Jarvis Williams. The team also includes the Eastern Kentucky senior guard Corey Walden, the OVC Defensive Player of the Year, and Eastern Kentucky senior forward Eric Stutz.

Bradshaw took over as Belmont’s leading scorer after the graduation of last year’s OVC Player of the Year J.J. Mann. He enters the postseason averaging 17.9 points/game, which ranks third in the OVC and 49th nationally. The junior also ranks 29th nationally in 3-point percentage (41.7%) while ranking second in the OVC in 3-pointers made (2.5/game), eighth in steals (1.6/game) and ninth in assists (3.2/game) among league players. Earlier this season he scored 42 points in a road victory over Ohio, which is the fifth-most points by a Division I player this season; that performance earned him National Player of the Week honors. He was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American for his work in the classroom (3.51 grade point average in public relations).

Williams helped Murray State to the OVC regular season championship by ranking third in the OVC in rebounding (8.3/game), fourth in field goal percentage (57.1%) and sixth in scoring (15.4 points/game) while also netting 10 double-doubles, which was the third-highest total in the league.

Walden and Stutz were a one-two combination for the defending OVC Tournament Champion Colonels, leading the team to first place in the East Division and the No. 2 overall seed for the OVC Tournament. While Walden led the team in scoring and shot 54.1 percent from the field while also being the team’s defensive stopper, Stutz has been one of the most improved players in the league. Entering this season he had career averages around 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds/game but blossomed this season in averaging 15.5 points (5th in the OVC) and 5.8 rebounds (11th in the OVC) per game while hitting 61.7 percent from the field, a percentage that ranks sixth in the nation.

The All-OVC second-team included one repeat selection in Southeast Missouri State senior swingman Jarekious Bradley. He was joined on the team by a pair of UT Martin senior guards in Deville Smith and Marshun Newell, Eastern Illinois junior swingman Trae Anderson and Belmont sophomore forward Evan Bradds.

The OVC All-Newcomer Team is was comprised of first-year players (freshman and transfers) in the league. Included in the selections was Johnston, the OVC Freshman of the Year, as well as Anderson and Smith, who were also second-team selections. The other selections on the team were Tennessee Tech junior center Charles Jackson and UT Martin junior forward Twymond Howard.
2014-15 Men’s Basketball All-OVC Teams and Awards
OVC Player of the Year: Cameron Payne, Murray State
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
OVC Freshman of the Year: Cornell Johnston, Eastern Illinois
OVC Coach of the Year: Steve Prohm, Murray State

ALL-OVC FIRST TEAM
Cameron Payne, Murray State
Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
Jarvis Williams, Murray State
Eric Stutz, Eastern Kentucky

ALL-OVC SECOND TEAM
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Marshun Newell, UT Martin
Jarekious Bradley, Southeast Missouri
Deville Smith, UT Martin
Trae Anderson, Eastern Illinois

ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM
Deville Smith, UT Martin
Trae Anderson, Eastern Illinois
Charles Jackson, Tennessee Tech
Cornell Johnston, Eastern Illinois
Twymond Howard, UT Martin

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Walden earns OVC Co-Player of the Week honors

Posted on 02 March 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – After scoring a career-high 35 points to help Eastern Kentucky clinch first place in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division and the No. 2 seed in the league tournament senior Corey Walden was chosen as the adidas OVC Co-Player of the Week on Monday.

EKU needed to win three games in six days to claim first place in the OVC East and Walden made sure it happened. The senior guard shot 63 percent from the field and had 11 steals in three wins last week.

After playing a limited number of minutes against Austin Peay while still recovering from a late season ankle injury, Walden put the Colonels on his back the next two games. He finished with a team-best 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals against Jacksonville State. He hit big shot after big shot in a tight game against Tennessee Tech on his way to a career-best 35 points to go along with five steals. Walden had a lay-up, a key rebound and two free throws in the final 25 seconds to secure the victory.

With his 11 steals, he tied the EKU career record and moved onto the OVC top-10 lists for single season steals and career steals.

In three games, the Daytona Beach native averaged 17.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game.

Walden connected on 11 of his 14 attempts from the field against Tennessee Tech and went 13-for-15 at the free throw line.

EKU (19-10, 11-5 OVC) won eight of its final nine regular season games. As the No. 2 seed in the OVC Tournament, the Colonels will play in the semifinals on Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game, at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, will air live on ESPNU.

Eastern will face the winner of the quarterfinal contest between the No. 3 seed Belmont and the winner of the No. 6 Eastern Illinois/No. 7 SIU Edwardsville first round game.

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EKU Softball Among Preseason Favorites to Win OVC Title

Posted on 21 January 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University softball team was predicted to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference for the 2015 season. The order of finish was voted upon by the league’s head softball coaches and sports information directors, excluding the option to vote for their own team.

The Colonels return seven position starters and three starting pitchers. The returning squad helped record 29 wins in the 2014 season, 15 in conference play. One returnee, senior pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger, received not only All-OVC honors last year, but also NFCA All-Region honors. EKU has also added seven new student-athletes to this year’s roster.

SIUE won the conference title in 2014, and is again deemed to finish first, tallying 238 points. Jacksonville State was tabbed second with 215 points. EKU came in right behind with 191.

The 2015 OVC championship tournament will feature the top eight teams. The tournament will be held May 6-9 on the home turf of the number one seed.

Eastern will begin its season at the Sand Dollar Classic on February 5 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Action on Gertrude Hood field will come early this year, beginning with the Colonels hosting the EKU Invitational with two games on Feb. 21 and two on the 22nd against Kent State, Western Michigan, and Louisville. The conference slate begins March 14.

2015 OVC SOFTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(as voted on by the league’s head softball coaches and sports information directors)

1. SIUE (18 first-place votes) – 238
2. Jacksonville State (Five first-place votes) – 215
3. Eastern Kentucky (One first-place vote) – 191
4. Murray State – 185
5. UT Martin – 156
6. Tennessee Tech – 142
7. Eastern Illinois – 141
8. Morehead State – 88
t9. Austin Peay – 73
t9. Belmont – 73
11. Southeast Missouri – 48
12. Tennessee State – 34

(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. 11 points awarded for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc.)

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Walden Earns Two Player Of The Week Awards

Posted on 12 January 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky senior Corey Walden was chosen as the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Co-Player of the Week. Walden was also chosen as the OVC Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com.

The 6-foot-2 guard shot an amazing 62 percent combined in Eastern’s road wins at Tennessee-Martin and Southeast Missouri last week.

He averaged 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and 1.5 steals in the two games. The Daytona Beach native scored 33 percent of the team’s points and turned the ball over only three times in 78 minutes on the court.

Walden finished with 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals at UT Martin. Two nights later he scored 23 points with five rebounds at Southeast Missouri.

He made 8-of-11 from the field against the Skyhawks and went 10-for-10 at the stripe at SEMO. He missed only one free throw in the two games, going 15-of-16 at the stripe for 94 percent.

The Colonels will face Eastern Illinois (10-6, 4-0 OVC) at home on Thursday. Tip-off in McBrayer Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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Richardson named OVC Co-Newcomer of the Week

Posted on 05 January 2015 by admin

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Denzel Richardson a junior guard from Baltimore, Md. was named OVC Co-Newcomer of the Week.  Richardson averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists/game while hitting 40 percent (6-of-15) from the field, 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from 3-point range and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in a pair of non-conference victories. At Coppin State the transfer from Pensacola State College made just two field goals but that included a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to push the Colonels to the 66-63 victory in his hometown. He finished the week with 18 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist against South Carolina State.

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Walden Named OVC Co-Player Of The Week

Posted on 23 December 2014 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Corey Walden was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Colonels to a 28-point victory at No. 18 Miami on Friday.
Playing in his home state, the senior led Eastern (6-4) with a game-high 18 points. The Daytona Beach native also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
He hit two long 3-pointers from the “U” logo in the final five minutes to squelch any Miami comeback attempt.
Earlier in the week, Walden had 13 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists against East Tennessee.
In both games combined, Walden shot 55 percent (12-of-22) from the field and made 4-of-9 from three-point range. He also averaged three steals and 2.5 assists per game.
The Colonels finish their two-game road trip to South Florida tonight at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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