MURRAY — Murray State women’s soccer traveled to Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday afternoon to take on the Bulldogs of Samford University in their first road match of the 2019 regular season. Behind a pair of goals from Miyah Watford and a clean sheet from Jenna Villacres, the Racers earned a 2-0 victory over Samford, who received top-25 votes in the most recent United Soccer Coaches Poll earlier this month.
Both sides engaged in a physical battle in a first half that would remain scoreless until the 39th minute, when senior Miyah Watford gave the Racers a 1-0 advantage after she neatly tucked a ball into the bottom corner for her second goal of the 2019 campaign.
Murray State would fire five shots overall while landing three on target and tallying three corners heading into halftime.
The Racers and Bulldogs traded a few opportunities early in the second half before Murray State doubled their lead with 22 minutes left to play.
Miyah Watford carried the ball into the attacking third before slotting a ball to freshman Parker Greer who was fouled in the penalty area in the run of play. It would be Watford once more who converted the ensuing penalty kick for her second goal of the afternoon as Murray State took a commanding 2-0 lead.
“Everyone really put in a great shift. It was one of those results where you really have to grind it out because that is a great team. Todd [Yelton] does a great job there, and it’s a really good win,” said MSU head coach Matt Lodge.
The pair of goals for Miyah Watford against her former team are her second and third goals in just two games to begin 2019, while freshman goalkeeper Jenna Villacres collected 13 saves to earn her first career shutout for Murray State.
“She [Miyah] was ready to go. I knew she was going to perform, and to get two was great. She’s got three in two games and she’s really starting to make some strides. I expect her to get more and more,” added Lodge.
As a team, Murray State turned in nine shots while earning five corner kicks on the afternoon.
The Racers, who improve to 1-1 in 2019, will be back in action on Friday when they host Big 10 opponent Indiana at Cutchin Field in Murray, Kentucky.