SOCCER OFFICIALLY OPENS 2012 SEASON UNDER THE LIGHTS AGAINST SEC FOE VANDERBILT
August 16, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team kicks off its 15th season of collegiate soccer on Friday night when it takes on the Vanderbilt Commodores out of the Southeastern Conference on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.
The match will be the first official night game at Skyhawk Field and is the second time in UT Martin head coach Phil McNamara’s three-year tenure that the Skyhawks have opened at home against an SEC opponent (also playing Mississippi State in 2010).
This will also be the last time to catch the Skyhawks in action at home for 23 days, as UT Martin hits the road for five straight matches before returning home to take on Lipscomb on Sunday, Sept. 9.
Last Friday, UT Martin passed its only preseason test with flying colors - downing perennial Sun Belt Conference powerhouse Western Kentucky by a 2-1 margin. In that match, the Skyhawks faced an early 1-0 deficit before Ashley Reveiz evened the score with a goal in the 35th minute off an assist from Mary Thompson. In the second half, UT Martin took the lead for good when sophomore Alyssa Curtis found the back of the net in the 59th minute. That goal was more than enough for Skyhawk goalkeeper Mariah Klenke, who made nine stops while logging all 90 minutes.
The Skyhawks, the OVC preseason favorite who return 12 players and eight starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad, are 7-7 all-time in home openers, but are 4-1 in such matches over the last five seasons.
Vanderbilt returns 22 letterwinners and nine starters from 2011, which was head coach Derek Greene’s first year at the helm. Ironically, Greene was head coach at Carson-Newman College before current Skyhawk head coach Phil McNamara coached there from 2002-09.
Four of the Commodores’ top five scorers return from a year ago, including Cherrelle Jarrett, who was an SEC All-Freshman a year ago. Dana Schwartz (three goals), Gena Inbusch (two), Jarrett (two) and CJ Rhoades (two) were each multi-goal scorers for Vanderbilt in 2011.
In goal, Alexa Levick and Brittanie Barbero combined for four of the team’s seven shutouts last fall. The duo combined for 34 saves with a 1.31 Goals Against Average in 14 matches during last year’s campaign.