August 15, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – A total of five University of Tennessee at Martin soccer players along with head coach Phil McNamara have been recognized as All-Ohio Valley Conference preseason selections, College Sports Madness announced today.

The Skyhawks boast defenders Amy Maksimowicz and Lucy Pater on the preseason first team, while Ellie Myrick, Alyssa Curtis and Mariah Klenke took home second team honors. Madness also projects Phil McNamara as OVC Coach of the Year.

Maksimowicz and Pater, a pair of senior defenders, proved to be a defensive power in the backfield for the Skyhawks yet again, starting in all 21 matches. Both helped lead a Skyhawk defensive line which produced eight shutout performances, including a stretch which saw opponents score just two goals over the course of seven matches. The defensive unit came up especially tight in overtime, holding their opponents scoreless in seven overtime periods. The duo also combined to play nearly every single minute this season.

Myrick proved to be a dynamic player for the Skyhawks as a freshman, earning OVC All-Newcomer honors. She saw action in all 21 games, while earning the starting nod in 15 matches, including a stretch of nine consecutive games. She tallied three goals along with three assists for a total of nine points to rank third on the team. Her goal against Belmont on Oct. 20 proved to be a game winner after placing three of five shots on goal.

Curtis is coming off her second consecutive All-OVC honor after scoring four goals on the year. She played and started in all 21 games on the season while tying for the team lead with four goals, notching eight points on the season. She had a stretch of games in which she tallied a goal in three consecutive contests against the trio of Tennessee Tech, Belmont and Eastern Illinois. Curtis was also named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Klenke continues to add upon her stellar Skyhawk career after becoming the school’s fourth player to be tabbed to the All-OVC first team on multiple occasions. She continues to rewrite the UT Martin record book, ranking amongst the career leaders in multiple categories. Her seven shutouts last season not only led the league but tied for the program’s single season shutout mark. She currently ranks in the top five in 11 statistical categories while ranking first in career shutouts (15), career victories (31) and single season victories by goalkeeper (12 in 2012). She tallied five or more saves on eight occasions and tallied a 0.96 goals against average last season. She made five or more saves in nine games, including a season-best 10 save performance against Colorado.

Entering his fifth year at the helm of the Skyhawks, McNamara is looking to add some extra hardware to a trophy case which is growing rapidly. Prior to last season’s OVC Tournament, the Skyhawks had won four consecutive championships handed out by the OVC – including two regular season and tournament crowns. Last year saw McNamara lead the Skyhawks to their second consecutive regular season championship while guiding four players who were All-OVC performers. All in all, six of McNamara's players earned All-OVC or All-OVC Tournament accolades in 2013.

For the third year, is featuring full soccer coverage. The website covers all aspects of college sports, from recruiting right up through the draft. The service has unveiled in-depth previews and rankings over the last few weeks. During the season, College Sports Madness will feature a weekly Bracketology projection, Player of the Week honors on a national and conference basis, and rank incoming recruits.

McNamara and the Skyhawks will look to test their 2014 squad with an exhibition contest against Western Kentucky on Friday, Aug. 15. Action between the Skyhawks and Hilltoppers is slated for 7 p.m. from Skyhawk Field.

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