RICHMOND, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin battled but fell by a 2-1 margin to SIUE in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Soccer Championships this afternoon.
UT Martin (6-11-3, 4-5-1 OVC) outshot the Cougars by a 19-14 margin and fired 11 second half shots to SIUE’s five. The Skyhawks were led by Nicole Collins as the Newark, NY native collected the lone UT Martin goal in the bout and tallied a pair of shots, both being on goal. Amy McGivern (three shots, one on goal, one assist), Danae Kaldaridou (four shots, three on goal), Kaci Mitchell (three shots, one on goal), Jaden Hildreth (three shots), Katelyn Colvin (two shots, one on goal), Alice Adams (one shot) and Bianca McFarland (one shot) all chipped in trying to find the back of the net.
Goalkeeper Erica Myers tallied three saves while playing all 90 minutes of the tournament match.
“The game today was very similar to a lot of games this season,” head coach Phil McNamara said. “There was only one goal between the teams, and we had another very strong second half performance from our team. Credit to SIUE as they played really hard today and made it difficult for us. After the halftime break, I thought we created a lot of good opportunities and for some reason could not get the all-important goal. I think having no seniors in our squad showed a little bit today with physical presence and tournament experience.”
SIUE was able to get on the board in just the fifth minute of action as Peyton Roehnelt found the back of the net on a pass from teammate Caroline Hoefert.
UT Martin answered the Cougars’ goal just over three minutes later at the 7:56 mark when Collins took a pass from McGivern to head in the equalizing goal.
The final goal from SIUE came from Hoefert on a header from a free kick by Avery Anderson in the 25th minute.
The Skyhawks reeled off seven shots in the last 20 minutes of play with both McGivern and Mitchell swinging on consecutive touches at the 71:03 mark followed by a Kaldaridou shot with 71:44 on the clock. Mitchell and Colvin made attempts in the 76th and 77th minutes, respectively. Kaldaridou took another swing in the 78th minute but to no avail. Mitchell provided the last opportunity for UT Martin at the 89:39 mark but the strike was just high.
“We have a good group of players that have gained a lot of playing time this season along with some excellent individual performances,” McNamara said. “Too often this season we had many of the stats required to provide wins yet, just like today, failed to get the result. I am proud of the players for their effort this seaon and feel they have taken the program forward in the right direction. With every player returning, I know this group will be a force next season.”