Rachel Tejada's third career hat trick, and the 'Birds second victory against a ranked team in history, made for a successful weekend at Adelaide Street Field. After shutting out the SEMO Redhawks 4-0 on Friday, the ISU soccer team rallied for an early lead on Sunday to carry them to a win against No. 22 Marquette.
Despite a few showers dampening the field for Sunday afternoons match-up, the sun is shining on the Redbirds as they head into game three of their four game home stint against Saint Louis on Tuesday.
ISU 4, SEMO 0
A strong defensive effort and an amped up offense gave ISU the advantage on Friday. Junior forward Tejada recorded the third hat trick of her college career, to lift the Redbirds over SEMO on Friday. This marks the first time that Tejada has scored three goals in a game since her freshman season, when she did it against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 16, 2011. Sophomore Ali Farkos added the fourth goal to complete the Redbirds first flawless victory of the year.
Play was even through the first 20 minutes of the match until Tejada fired her first shot past SEMO keeper Ashton Aubuchon in the 23rd minute. Farkos tallied from the same spot in a straight-on shot in 38th minute, taking an assist from Hannah Leinert. In the 43rd minute, Tejada received a pass from Gabbi McArtor roughly 30 yards out. She turned to the box and sprinted between two defenders to put the Redbirds up 3-0 at halftime.
Her activity level these last three matches has been as good of a three-game stretch she has had in her career here, Roff said. Shes defending well, playing with a lot of energy, creating things for other players and making herself available as a target player so we can play through her.
Tejada sealed the deal on her hat trick in 57th minute, when Kyla Cross played it into the box and Aubuchon stumbled it to one side. Tejada rounded up the loose ball and slid it into the empty net to close the book on a clean sheet victory. The Redbirds outshot the Redhawks with a season best 19 shots to five, and keeper Aryn Newsom made two saves to solidify the shutout.
Im just trying to come out here and do my best every game, Tejada said. Weve been preparing all week, and playing the Big 10 schools and Big 12 schools has really helped us. Overall this was a great team effort.
ISU 3, Marquette 2
In a strike of vengeance, ISU took it to No. 22 Marquette on Sunday, who knocked the Birds out of the NCAA tournament last season. Recording their second victory against a top-25 team in program history, ISU snapped into a quick start that would set the pace for the game. Freshman midfielder Dagny Olson netted her first goal on the season in the games second minute, after Anna Stinson rolled the ball on a free kick to Cross, who sent in a cross to Olson waiting at the back of the post.
Tejada then put the Redbirds up 2-0 with her team-leading sixth goal of the season. McArtor shot a ball into the box which Hannah Leinert then set-up for Tejada to double ISU's advantage. Allie Newsom then racked up her first goal of the season in the 29th minute when she launched a ball unassisted past Marquette's keeper to put the Redbirds up 3-0.
The Golden Eagle's rallied in the second half for two goals, but it was not enough to recover, and the Redbirds sealed victory. Keeper Aryn Newsom was at the center of this defensive effort, making 10 of her 13 saves in the second half.
Against a team like Marquette, you can never have too big of a lead, Roff said We knew what they were going to bring in the second half. They threw numbers forward, and they were very dangerous. Fortunately, we were able to hang on. It was a very gritty performance for us there in the second half.
To beat a ranked team or win a huge game, your goalkeeper is going to have to come up big once or twice, Roff said. I wish that wasnt the case, but in reality, great teams find ways to create chances. Your last line of defense has to be very solid when things break down, and theyve got to save you at times. I thought Aryn had a couple of big-time saves, and some of the saves that looked routine but werent easy, she was very clean with.
The Redbirds soccer team will continue their home stint on Tuesday against Saint Louis at 4 p.m.