BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Head soccer coach Phil McNamara knew that Western Kentucky would be a tough draw, but would look at the exhibition match as a way to learn about his team as the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team dropped the friendly decision 1-0 on the road Friday night.
Before taking to Skyhawk Field a week from tonight on Aug. 23 to play host to Big 12 conference power Oklahoma State in the season opener, the Skyhawks made the short trek to Bowling Green, Ky. for a friendly exhibition against the host Hilltoppers. UT Martin would have 19 players see action with only five Skyhawks playing the full 90 minute duration.
The Skyhawks would outshoot WKU 16-13, but the host Hilltoppers would push across the deciding goal in the 82nd minute to avenge last season’s exhibition loss at UT Martin.
A total of eight UT Martin players attempted at least one shot on the evening, led by five shots by junior Dominika Conc. The Skyhawks would put four of their shots on goal, but could not find the equalizer.
Junior Mariah Klenke tallied two saves, logging all 90 minutes in goal before the Hilltopper offense broke through in the 82nd minute.
The Skyhawks unleashed a barrage of shots in the first half. At the break, UT Martin held an 11-5 advantage in the shots category.
Western Kentucky found the back of the net in the 82nd minute as Lauren Moats scored on a set piece via a corner kick. Chrissy Tchoula lofted a ball which Allie Auscherman would deflect with a perfect header to Moats for the deciding goal.
The Skyhawks will now shift their focus to the regular season, playing host to Oklahoma State on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m., followed by a matchup against new Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee State on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m.