SOCCER SQUAD FALLS IN HEARTBREAKING FASHION, 3-2 TO MISSISSIPPI STATE
August 25, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team held a halftime advantage and was in prime position to force overtime this evening against Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs came up with a late goal that resulted in a 3-2 Skyhawk loss at the MSU Soccer Field this evening.
UT Martin (0-2) led for nearly 38 minutes thanks to a goal by Kendyl Wilson in the 11th minute. It was the seventh career goal for the senior out of Collierville, Tenn.
Mississippi State would then tie the match in the 49th minute and go ahead in the 66th minute before the Skyhawks received a clutch play from a freshman for the equalizer. Making her season debut, Saphyra Coombs-James evened the score at 2-all with a header goal in the 79th minute. Just as momentum seemed to sway back in UT Martin’s favor, Mississippi State’s Elisabeth Sullivan netted her second goal of the match exactly 60 seconds after the Skyhawks tied the match that turned out to be the eventual game-winner.
Overall, UT Martin outshot Mississippi State by a 12-11 margin, putting four of its shots on goal. The Skyhawks displayed a balanced offensive attack tonight, as seven players attempted a shot but no player attempted more than two shots. In goal, sophomore Mariah Klenke made three stops while playing all 90 minutes.
The Skyhawks came out firing – attempting the first two shots of the match. After a Hannah McGowen attempt swerved left in the seventh minute, Wilson found paydirt at the 10:20 mark. Taking a cross feed from sophomore newcomer Melisa Erturk, Wilson snuck a shot that deflected off Mississippi State’s goalkeeper Skylar Rosson to give UT Martin a 1-0 lead.
Klenke made back-to-back snares in a span of 5:21 to keep the score at 1-0 after Wilson’s goal. The Skyhawk offense then seized the pace once again, tallying four straight shots in a 2:33 stretch before settling for a 1-0 halftime advantage.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Mississippi State tied the match. UT Martin attempted its first shot of the second half at the 62:13 mark, as McGowen lined a shot on goal that wound up in the hands of Rosson.
Sullivan then gave the Bulldogs a lead with a goal with 24:47 left to play, but it wouldn’t take long for the Skyhawks to respond. After checking into the match at the 74:33 mark, Coombs-James made an immediate impact, evening the score at 2-all with a header off a right-side cross from McGowen at the 78:49 mark.
After an initial shot on goal by Sullivan was blocked, she recovered to scoot a shot past Klenke for a goal just one minute later, putting Mississippi State ahead 3-0. After multiple substitutions by UT Martin head coach Phil McNamara to keep fresh legs in the match, the Skyhawks could only get off one more shot attempt for the duration of the match. A shot by senior Midori Sera with 1:11 remaining sailed high and time ran out on the Skyhawks’ comeback bid.
UT Martin will wrap up its participation in the Bulldog Classic on Sunday, Aug. 26, when it takes on Mississippi Valley State at 11 a.m.