OVC LEADING SOCCER TEAM KEEPS ROLLING WITH 1-0 VICTORY AT BELMONT
October 21, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team generated its third straight shutout of an Ohio Valley Conference opponent while leading scorer Saphyra Coombs-James found the back of the net in the ninth minute to give the Skyhawks a 1-0 victory over Belmont this afternoon.
UT Martin (9-5-3, 6-1-1 OVC) now carries a three-point advantage in the league standings over Eastern Kentucky and Austin Peay heading into the final weekend of regular-season play. Today’s win was also the first over the Bruins since the 2005 campaign and second time under head coach Phil McNamara that the Skyhawks had shut out three straight conference foes (also happened on Oct. 1-10, 2010).
The Skyhawks outshot Belmont by an 11-7 margin today, putting six of their attempts on goal. Coombs-James’ goal occurred at the 8:02 mark and was the eighth of the season for the freshman out of Brampton, Ontario.
Mariah Klenke played all 90 minutes and made a pair of saves to keep the advantage in UT Martin’s favor. Today’s result was the sixth career shutout for the sophomore out of Highland, Ill., just one shy of tying the all-time mark for shutouts in Skyhawk history.
Alyssa Curtis helped UT Martin apply pressure on the offensive end early, firing a shot on goal just 67 seconds into the match that Belmont goalkeeper Nicole Berner saved.
Coombs-James then got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard. She launched a high shot from the right corner of the box that drifted past Berner to give UT Martin the 1-0 lead.
The Skyhawk defense did not allow Belmont to take its first shot of the match until the 14th minute, as the shot veered wide. UT Martin’s Kendyl Wilson then nearly added an insurance goal, as she hit the crossbar and had a shot on goal attempt in the span of 20 seconds.
Both Mary Thompson (36th minute) and Hannah McGowen (39th minute) tallied shots on goal late in the first half but Berner recorded a pair of saves.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Midori Sera unleashed a shot on goal attempt that forced Berner to make the save.
A little over a minute later, Klenke notched her first save of the afternoon, keeping the score at 1-0 in UT Martin’s favor.
Neither side could manage a shot on goal attempt for nearly 20 minutes until Klenke kept the Bruins off the scoreboard with another save in the 67th minute.
Skyhawk sophomore Ashlie Watson hit the crossbar at the 71:53 mark, but ultimately that would be the last shot attempted for either team. UT Martin’s stingy defense held Belmont without a shot for the last 23:50 of the match.
UT Martin concludes the regular season this weekend. The Skyhawks travel to Jacksonville State on Friday, Oct. 26 (7 p.m.) before returning home for Senior Day at 2 p.m. against Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Oct. 28. Before Sunday’s match, UT Martin will honor Wilson and Sera for their career contributions to the Skyhawk soccer program.