DEFENDING OVC CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCE 2014 FALL SOCCER SCHEDULE
May 12, 2014
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2014 Soccer Schedule
MARTIN, Tenn. – Coming off the team’s fourth conference championship in the past three seasons, the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s soccer head coach Phil McNamara has announced his team’s schedule for the fall campaign.
Fresh off an 11-9-1 mark, including an 8-2 finish in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Skyhawks won their second consecutive regular season championship in 2013. With the championship the Skyhawks sealed their place in conference history. UT Martin strung together four consecutive OVC titles – including two season and tournament crowns each – marking the first time in conference history that a team has accomplished such a feat.
The Skyhawks return 13 players from last year’s squad. Included amongst that group is 2013 All-OVC performers Mariah Klenke, Alyssa Curtis and Ellie Myrick.
“We are delighted with the quality of competition that we have obtained for our 2014 schedule,” said McNamara. “Our goal every year is to test our players in the non-conference season to encourage learning opportunities, build character and provide individual experiences against the best teams possible.”
UT Martin will open its season for the third straight season with an Aug. 15 exhibition contest against Western Kentucky. The Skyhawks will then officially being the 2014 slate against Atlantic-10 foe Saint Louis under the lights on Friday, Aug. 22 before returning to action just two days later in a non-conference matchup against OVC rival Southeast Missouri on Sunday, Aug. 24.
The Skyhawks will continue their four game homestand to open the season with another pair of home matches against Missouri Valley Conference foes Indiana State on Sunday, Aug. 31 and Evansville on Wednesday, Sept. 3 vs. Evansville.
“I like the fact that we start the season with five home games including a preseason contest with Western Kentucky,” said McNamara. “We visit some big name programs including some of the best college soccer facilities in the country. It all provides the opportunity for our players to learn and become the best team possible before our conference season begins.”
UT Martin will then leave the friendly confines of Skyhawk Field as they hit the road for a decisive six game road swing beginning at national powerhouse Missouri on Sunday, Sept. 7. The Skyhawks will then travel to Tulsa on Friday, Sept. 12 before making the trip to Big 12 foe Oklahoma State on Sunday, Sept. 14.
From there the Skyhawks will travel east for a pair of games, opening at Kennesaw State on Friday, Sept. 19 before making the short trek to Georgia State on Sunday, Sept. 21.
“National powerhouse programs such as Missouri and Oklahoma State will offer massive challenges for our team but also a great opportunity to measure ourselves against two of the very best teams in the country,” said McNamara.
The defending OVC champions will cut their teeth on the road to open the conference slate with a trip to Jacksonville State on Friday, Sept. 26 before returning home to host Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Sept. 28.
UT Martin will then alternate home and away the next two weekends, traveling to Southeast Missouri on Friday, Oct. 3 before making a stop at SIU Edwardsville on Sunday, Oct. 5. The Skyhawks will complete the home portion of the split when they play host to Eastern Kentucky on Friday, Oct. 10 before playing defending OVC Tournament champion Morehead State on Sunday, Oct. 12.
The Skyhawks will hit the road for their final road swing of the season when they travel to Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Oct. 19 before closing out the road slate at Belmont on Friday, Oct. 24.
UT Martin will conclude the regular season with back-to-back home matches against OVC foes. The Skyhawks will play host to Austin Peay on Sunday, Oct. 26 before wrapping up the regular season against OVC rival Murray State on Friday, Oct. 31.
The OVC Tournament is slated for Nov. 6-9. Once again, the league’s regular season champion will host the postseason event. The Skyhawks have hosted the last two OVC Tournament Championships.
“Our win percentage in conference has been very good in recent years which allows for a stronger non-conference schedule,” said McNamara. “The schedule is a huge challenge and we look forward to it with great excitement and purpose to succeed.”