Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO soccer falls to Eastern Illinois in Donate Life Game

Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sophomore defender Alayna Jakul dribbles down field to opposing goal. Jakul is intercepted before she had a chance to take her shot at the goal.
Photo by Kate Haussman ~ Staff Writer

SEMO soccer was defeated 2-0 by the Eastern Illinois Panthers in their annual Donate Life Game on Sept. 24.

This is the 10th annual Donate Life Game held by SEMO soccer in tribute to former Redhawk Meg Herndon. Herndon lost her life in an accident near campus in 2012. Before the game began, a moment of silence was held on the field for Herndon.

Herndon’s family chose to donate her organs and tissue after her passing. The Donate Life Game also gives SEMO the chance to honor that decision and the impact of the donations.

Herndon’s mother Cindi Silvey was in attendance at the game to present a check to the Meg Herndon Scholarship Fund.

“We talk a lot about the organ donation and tissue donation. Part of my goal after losing Meg was increasing awareness of that to save other people,” Silvey said.

Despite the tough loss, sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Elfrink said the game has made an impact on her and it’s a game the team looks forward to every year.

“We talk a lot about it,” Elfrink said. “It’s really important for us that people learn and hear about this message that Meg so graciously donated and saved 17 lives and affected many more after that.”

Donate Life was SEMO’s second conference game of the year. They tied against Western Illinois on Sept. 21 to open conference play.

During the game, SEMO registered 15 shots, seven of them on goal, compared to only three and two respectively from EIU. However, the two shots on goal from the Panthers resulted in scores, with SEMO unable to capitalize on any of their scoring chances.

“We just got to work on the little things and were gonna wok on that in practice as much as we can,” senior midfielder/defender Emma Brune said.

The Redhawks were able to keep the ball near the Panthers’ goal for most of the second half. The first Panthers’ goal came off of a penalty kick from Cami Lummus, the second was scored by Alex Tetteh from 18 yards out at the 76th minute.

“It was a disappointing performance for us compared to how we had been playing in non-conference,” head coach Heather Nelson said.

SEMO will travel to Lindenwood University on Thursday, Sept. 28 for their third conference game of the year.

“I think we can use this as kind of a wake-up call, we held on to the ball and it’s not going to win you games if you can’t put it in the back of the net. So I hope that seeing that today motivates us to score and come out ready to attack next game,” Elfrink said.