MURRAY  Murray State women’s soccer team Arkansas State in a non-conference battle at Cutchin Field on Friday.

The Racers earned their third win of the season with a 3-1 victory on a hot afternoon in Murray, Kentucky.

The Racers owned 58% of possession while outshooting their opponent 8-5 through the first 45 minutes of action, however the game would be scoreless as it entered the halftime break.

In the second half the Red Wolves broke the tie in the 53rd minute, but the Racers answered almost immediately when freshman Lauren Payne recorded her first career goal after she finished a cross from Miyah Watford in the 54th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

Reclaiming the momentum after tucking away the equalizer, Murray State would continue to race forward and never looked back.

Watford found the net in the 69th minute – getting in behind the back line when Abby Jones sent a header beyond the last Arkansas State defender. With blazing speed, the senior forward from Indianapolis, Indiana carried the ball forward before placing the ball towards the far post to give her side a 2-1 lead with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Watford would seal the deal when she found the net once more in the 86th minute, receiving a ball from Elizabeth Tilton before creatively beating the goalkeeper to put away her second goal of the afternoon and her eighth of the season.

Watford has now contributed to the last seven goals for the Racers, by either assisting, scoring, or earning a penalty kick. Meanwhile, her performance on Friday moved her into fifth place on the all-time points list in Murray State history.

“I thought we controlled the ball reasonably well. We had the ball for the majority of the game and we were relaxed, sometimes too relaxed, but scoring three goals is always a bonus,” said MSU head coach Matt Lodge.

17 different players made an appearance for Murray State in the 3-1 victory that saw the Racers hold 60% of the possession while outshooting their opponent 15-10 on the day.

“We have some depth…That’s big when we’re getting ready to go into conference and we’re playing two games a weekend. Just having that depth and the ability to move people around to different areas is going to bode well for us,” concluded Lodge.

Miyah Watford’s impressive performance gives her a team-high 18 points (eight goals, two assists) on the season, while Jamie Skarupsky notched her first win between the posts – recording five saves on the afternoon.

The Racers return to action on Sunday when they travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on the Missouri State Bears– kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

The Bears hold a 2-1 advantage over the Racers in the all-time series. The Racers will look to even that overall series after the Bears earned victories in the last two encounters, including the most recent – a 4-0 game in Murray during the 2007 season. 

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