SKYHAWK SOCCER SET TO KICKOFF SPRING SLATE
March 22, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer head coach Phil McNamara has announced the 2018 spring schedule.
The squad will compete in five matches from March 23 through April 17 and face opponents from six different conferences including two Southeastern Conference matchups, kicking off play this Friday, March 23 at Ole Miss.
Following action at Ole Miss, UT Martin will then head to Mississippi State on March 24 to play the host Bulldogs and Louisiana Tech. The Skyhawks’ next matchups feature regional foe Christian Brothers and Arkansas-Little Rock on April 6 before UT Martin heads to nearby Murray, Ky. to take on Ohio Valley Conference opponent Murray State and in-state rival Lipscomb on April 14.
The Skyhawks round out the spring slate on April 17 with a visit to American Athletic Conference foe Memphis.
“We are really excited about our spring season,” McNamara said. “This might be the highest level spring schedule we have provided our players. With the entire squad returning next year, we wanted to really stretch our players this spring. We need this level of competition to help prepare for next fall.”
UT Martin returns all 23 players from last fall when it made the OVC Tournament for the first time since 2016. The Skyhawks return All-OVC first team forward Danae Kaldaridou (team-highs of seven goals and 18 points) and OVC All-Newcomer defender Kamryn Chappell (team-high 1,796 minutes, 19 starts).
Last season, UT Martin led the OVC in shots (333) and assists (23), thanks in large part to the play of rising seniors Amy McGivern (team-best 71 shots) and Katelyn Colvin (OVC-high eight assists). Alice Adams also looks to provide a scoring punch after netting a team-high two game-winning goals as a freshman in 2017.
The 2018 Skyhawk defense is projected to be led by the rising senior duo of Maggie Burkett (2015 All-OVC first teamer, 50 career starts) and Kaci Mitchell (41 career starts). Returning in goal after a solid freshman campaign is Erica Myers, who tallied 85 saves while logging nearly 93 percent of the squad’s minutes played at goalkeeper.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to get a head start with regard to certain player partnerships and lineups ahead of the new season.” McNamara said. “We need to take advantage of this opportunity to get back to a title challenging program. The players are working hard and certainly look fresh and motivated for a difficult lineup of spring opponents which will only help us prepare for the fall season. We cannot hide any longer behind our youth of the last two seasons. It is time that this group came of age and demand a conference title challenge this fall.”