» By ANTHONY SHINGLER – ashingler@my.apsu.edu

When good teams look for game-changing plays at key moments, they turn to big-time players to step up. That is exactly what the Lady Govs did Sunday, Oct. 24, against EIU.

In the 103rd minute of second overtime, Tatiana Ariza blasted home the game winner from just outside the 18-yard box for the 1-0 win.

“That was an exciting finish to the weekend and a crucial win for us to get three points at home,” Lady Govs head coach Kelley Guth said in a press release. “I’m proud of our girls. We’re in a tough situation with our numbers the way they are, and these overtime games are physically challenging for our girls.”

With the win, the Lady Govs (9-6-1 overall, 3-3-1 OVC) stay in the OVC Tournament race as they currently sit in a tie for fifth place with UT Martin.

With a trip to “Death Valley,” the Lady Govs will play EKU, who are in second place, and close out the season with Morehead State Sunday, Oct. 30.

“We have a chance right now to determine our own fate,” Guth said. “That’s where you want to be when the season winds down. I’m proud of our girls and how they played this weekend. Now we’ve got to take care of business in these final two matches.”

Ariza’s goal came from an assist by Emily Perkins when she took the ball at midfield running down the center of the pitch. Perkins then passed off the ball, cutting Ariza on the right side, who then fired it into the back of the net for the game winner.

The Lady Govs defense held strong through the entire match, including in the second overtime as EIU fired four shots during the period.

The Lady Gov keeper Haylee Shoaff saved six shots after the half.

The defensive side held strong in the midfield, as EIU did not get a shot off until the 29th minute.

Ariza led the Lady Govs with her one goal and four shots on goal, including the game winner.

Perkins added an assist and two shots. Claire Pultz added two shots and Jocelyn Murdoch added one shot in the winning efforts.

The goal is Ariza’s 15th of the season. TAS