Illinois State soccers historic season came to a close on Nov. 22 after a 4-0 loss to Pepperdine in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. ISU finishes their best season in program history with a record 16 wins and just six losses.
Entering the match, Pepperdine had allowed just 15 goals all season long. ISU entered the match with the nations seventh-best offense and 58 goals on the season, averaging 2.61 goals per game. The Redbirds also boasted the NCAAs active scoring leader, Rachel Tejada (74 career goals).
The Pepperdine attack didnt take long to push through the Redbirds defense. In the sixth minute, Pepperdine forward Amanda LeCave beat goalkeeper Aryn Newsom to give Pepperdine an early 1-0 lead.
In the 25th minute, Pepperdine star Lynn Williams increased the lead to 2-0. Williams along with Bri Visalli created a two-on-one for the Waves. Newsom came outside the 18-yard mark to challenge them but came up short as Williams blasted the ball past her.
ISU entered the half down 2-0 and trailing Pepperdine in shots 7-4.
To begin the second half, the ISU offense came out hungry. In the first ten minutes of the second half, Tejada attempted two good shots, however Pepperdine goalkeeper Hannah Seabert made two great saves to stop Tejadas attack and any ISU attempt to trim the lead.
Seabert and Pepperdines stingy defense would be the name of the game for the entire night. Any effort from ISU was shot down by tough defense and excellent saves from Seabert.
Pepperdine continued their offensive dominance with Williams leading the way. She netted her second goal of the night in the 69th minute. She beat Newsom to the upper left corner for her 14th goal of the season. In the 86th minute Williams assisted Kristen Rodriguez for Pepperdines fourth goal of the night. The assist was Williams 10th of the season and wrapped up a dominant night for the Pepperdine offense.
In the stats department, ISU fell short in shots 16-7. Newsom was credited with four saves while Seabert made three in net.
Newsom ends her ISU career as one of the best goalkeepers to ever play in net as a Redbird. She is just the second keeper to made over 300 saves and she finishes with a program record 50 wins.
Tejada finishes her career as one of the most decorated Redbirds to ever step foot on the pitch. She was a four-time MVC Player of the Year, four-time First Team All-MVC and a two-time MVC Tournament MVP. She finishes her ISU career with 190 points, which ranks 25th all-time among Division I players. In four years, Tejada netted 74 goals and dished out 42 assists, both of which are MVC records.
Gabbi McArtor also leaves her legacy on the field as one of the stingiest Redbird defenders. She has instilled knowledge to the underclassmen that goes beyond the field. She was part of a defense that allowed just two goals in MVC regular season play.
ISU finishes the 2014 season 16-6-0, 6-0. ISU won its 10th regular season conference title, and captured their sixth MVC Championship. It was their second consecutive year advancing to the round of 32.