SKYHAWK SOCCER OUTMATCHES BELMONT IN SECOND HALF TO MOVE INTO FIRST PLACE
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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team used two second half goals to knock off Ohio Valley Conference in-state rival Belmont 2-0. With the victory the Skyhawks move into a two-way tie for first place in the conference standings.
The Skyhawks (8-7-1, 6-1 OVC) used goals from freshman Ellie Myrick and junior Alyssa Curtis to earn the shutout victory. Myrick paced the Skyhawks with five shots on the afternoon, including three shots on goal. Curtis tallied four shots on the afternoon, placing two attempts on goal. Aoife Lennon, Dominika Conc, Abi Sanvee, Ashlie Watson, Lucy Pater and Hannah McGowen each tallied multiple shot attempts as the Skyhawks fired 24 shots on the afternoon.
After missing Friday’s game with an injury, junior goalkeeper Mariah Klenke notched yet another gem in goal. Klenke, UT Martin’s leading all-time leader in shutouts, tallied her fifth shutout of the season. She tallied eight saves on the afternoon.
Belmont (4-8-2, 2-4-1 OVC) was led by Meg Howard and Katie Proud’s four shot attempts. Howard paced the Bruins with three shots on goal. Goalkeeper Nicole Berner tallied nine saves on the afternoon, while allowing two goals.
“We’re starting to peak at the right times, having a couple clean sheets in the past few games,” said UT Martin head soccer coach Phil McNamara. “We’re looking good as we glance forward. I thought we were a little safe in the first half but I’m very pleased that we were able to get the two goals in the second period. We’re young from last year and we’re still trying to find our footing. We just ask for the players to improve on a weekly basis and we’re starting to see that come through on the field.”
Belmont began the game with the first shot of the afternoon, but UT Martin would respond by tallying five consecutive shots. The Bruins nearly got on the board first in the 24th minute, firing three shots in a span of 15 seconds, but Klenke would register three consecutive saves before eliminating the scoring opportunity by smothering Howard’s final attempt.
Both teams continued their fast-paced play into the second half as the Skyhawks attempted four straight shots coming out of the halftime break. Belmont would quickly respond with a pair of attempts, cutting into the game’s shot margin.
The Skyhawks fired five consecutive shots leading up to the match’s opening goal in the 66th minute. Berner tallied a pair of saves off shots by Myrick and Conc before Myrick found the second rebound, striking for her third goal of the season from 10 yards out.
UT Martin continued on the offensive push, striking for their second goal just 10 minutes later. Myrick fired yet another shot on goal which Berner saved. Belmont’s relief was short lived as Curtis found Berner’s deflection and placed her third goal of the season into the back of the net from eight yards out, giving the Skyhawks the 2-0 advantage.
Belmont would make their final push of the game in the final minutes, attempting three shots. Klenke would preserve the team’s third shutout in its previous four matches by tallying two saves to end the threat.
With the win, UT Martin moves into a first place tie on top of the OVC standing with Eastern Illinois. The two OVC powers will meet next Friday with major conference implications on Friday, Oct. 25. Action from Skyhawk Field is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m.