SOCCER SQUAD CLINCHES AT LEAST A SHARE OF OVC REGULAR SEASON TITLE IN 3-1 WIN AT JSU
October 27, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team sealed at least a portion of the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference championship crown tonight with a 3-1 triumph at Jacksonville State.
The win signifies the second OVC regular season title for UT Martin, who also shared the championship with Morehead State in 2009. With a victory or a tie in the regular season finale on Sunday against Tennessee Tech, the Skyhawks (10-5-3, 7-1-1 OVC) can win the league outright for the first time in their 15-year history.
Tonight’s victory was the fourth straight for UT Martin, who also clinched the right to host the 2012 OVC Tournament. The tournament will take place on Nov. 1-4 at Skyhawk Field.
UT Martin outshot the Gamecocks by an 18-10 margin this evening, with a trio of Skyhawks finding the back of the net. Alyssa Curtis got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard in the 15th minute, followed by second half goals off the feet of Midori Sera (57th minute) and Saphyra Coombs-James (89th minute).
The Skyhawk defense conceded their first goal in four matches tonight, but goalkeeper Mariah Klenke once again delivered an outstanding performance. The sophomore out of Highland, Ill. made seven stops – five of which came in the second half – to pick up her ninth victory of the season.
Klenke was put to the test early, making a save just 4:30 into the match to keep Jacksonville State off the scoreboard.
UT Martin’s first shot of the match was on target, as Curtis guided a shot from straight on past Gamecock goalkeeper Katelyn Geddings at the 14:24 mark. The goal was the fourth of the season and ninth in the career of the Franklin, Tenn. native.
The Skyhawk defense then tightened up, not allowing Jacksonville State to get off a shot for a span of 21:26. The Gamecocks were able to attempt one more shot on goal in the first stanza but Klenke registered the save in the 40th minute.
Mary Thompson and Hannah McGowen each attempted shots early in the second half for UT Martin, but Jacksonville State accounted for the first two shot on goal attempts. However, neither shot made it past Klenke, who racked up two more saves in a 75-second stretch to keep the score at 1-0.
Shortly thereafter, Sera came up with her fifth goal of the season. She found herself in perfect position after a deflection by Geddings and scooted the ball past the Gamecock goalkeeper at the 56:48 mark. It was the ninth career goal for the senior midfielder out of San Francisco, Calif.
Klenke made two more saves in a little over two minutes of action, while UT Martin’s Abi Sanvee placed a pair of shot on goal attempts in the 72nd minute.
Soon after Sanvee’s second attempt, the Gamecocks scored on a goal by Kelsey Bright at the 72:27 mark to make the score 2-1.
Dominika Conc and Saphyra Coombs-James then accounted for three shot on goal attempts in just under eight minutes, but Geddings came up with three saves to keep UT Martin’s lead at one.
However, the hard work of the Skyhawk duo would soon pay off, as Conc found Coombs-James for a huge insurance goal with only 1:17 remaining in regulation. The goal was the ninth of the season for the freshman forward, ranking her second in the OVC in that category.
Klenke provided one final save at the 89:50 mark to close out the Skyhawks’ seventh win in their last eight tries.
UT Martin returns home in the aforementioned regular season finale against Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Oct. 28. The match will begin at 2 p.m. and will serve as Senior Day, as the career contributions of Sera and Kendyl Wilson will be recognized before the match.