COOMBS-JAMES, STINGY DEFENSE LEADS SOCCER TEAM TO 3-0 WIN OVER EASTERN KENTUCKY
October 14, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – Freshman Saphyra Coombs-James recorded the first multi-goal outing of her career this afternoon, while The University of Tennessee at Martin defense shut out its second straight Ohio Valley Conference opponent in a 3-0 victory at Skyhawk Field. With the win, the first-place Skyhawks improve to 8-5-3 overall to go along with a 5-1-1 league record.
Coombs-James took over the team lead for points this afternoon, also adding an assist on Midori Sera’s goal in the second half. The forward out of Brampton, Ontario struck in the 11th and 27th minutes for her sixth and seventh goals of the 2012 campaign. It was the eighth single-match five-point performance in program history and first since Coombs-James’ teammate Mary Thompson accomplished the feat against Eastern Kentucky in the OVC Tournament semifinals last season.
Not to be overlooked today was UT Martin’s defensive attack, as the Skyhawks took care of business en route to notching their fourth shutout of the season. In goal, Mariah Klenke (74:51) and Sarah Tompkins (15:09) combined for the shutout, making three saves in all.
UT Martin’s Hannah McGowen got the first clear look for either side, firing a shot from 25 yards out that forced Erika Wolfer to dive to her right for the save just 6:45 into the match.
Four minutes later, the Skyhawks got on the scoreboard. Coombs-James received a header pass from Alyssa Curtis and scooted the ball past Wolfer from 10 yards out to give UT Martin an early 1-0 advantage.
The Skyhawks nearly scored again in the 14th minute off a free kick, but Wolfer corralled a pair of saves off shot attempts by McGowen and Coombs-James.
Klenke tallied her first save of the afternoon at the 20:43 mark, scooping up a sliding save on the right side of the box. A little over two minutes later, McGowen lined a low shot off a free kick that Wolfer saved, but UT Martin’s next shot on goal attempt turned out to be true.
Kendyl Wilson directed a pass on the right flank to Coombs-James, who timed the pass to perfection and headed the ball into the back of the net to give the Skyhawks a two-goal lead at the 26:45 mark.
Less than a minute after Coombs-James’ second goal, Sera unleashed a shot on goal attempt, forcing Wolfer to make a last-second jump punch save. Morgan Brandon almost found paydirt at the 37:18 mark but her shot attempt from the left side hit the right goal post.
Sera was responsible for the first shot on goal in the second half but Wolfer was there for the save in the 58th minute.
Meanwhile, the Skyhawk defense held Eastern Kentucky without a shot for a span of 37:01 midway through the first half through the early stages of the second half.
In the 66th minute, Sera came away with her fourth goal of the season. The senior from San Francisco, Calif. received a pass from Coombs-James and was facing a one-on-one situation with Wolfer. Sera then guided a shot that found the back left side of the net to put UT Martin on top 3-0.
Klenke registered her final save of the day at the 74:43 mark, while Tompkins grabbed UT Martin’s final save of the match in the 80th minute.
McGowen and Curtis each piled on shots on goal in the late minute, helping the Skyhawks double up the Colonels in the shot department (22 to 11).
UT Martin plays one match next week, a road date at OVC newcomer Belmont on Friday, Oct. 21. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.