SOCCER SKYHAWKS OPEN SPRING SCHEDULE WITH STRONG SHOWINGS
March 26, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team wrapped up its first weekend of the spring schedule as it went 1-1-1 over the three-game span, claiming a 1-0 victory over Louisiana Tech, tying Southeastern Conference opponent Ole Miss 1-1 and dropping a narrow 1-0 decision to Mississippi State.
“We had a really positive weekend going toe-to-toe with a pair of SEC opponents,” head coach Phil McNamara said. “This was a good step forward for this group. We were fortunate to have the same group of players from the fall and play the same group of classes and see the production they could give us playing the same three classes from our opponents. That allowed us to see what we will have in the fall.”
The Skyhawks kicked off the spring slate on Friday with a trip to Ole Miss and forced a 1-1 draw with the Rebels. UT Martin scored the first goal of the match with 25 minutes left in the bout but conceded a goal in the waning moments of the match. Rising senior Kaci Mitchell netted the goal for the Skyhawks as she took a header off of a free kick from teammate Danae Kaldaridou deep in the Ole Miss half of the field. Coming off her freshman campaign, Erica Myers logged all 90 minutes in goal against the Rebels.
Just a day later, UT Martin played a doubleheader on the campus of Mississippi State against the host Bulldogs (falling 1-0) and Conference USA foe Louisiana Tech (winning 1-0).
The Skyhawks saw a strong outing from MaKenzie Crawford in goal before an injury forced her to be pulled from the match after the first half. Myers came on to close out the bout. UT Martin rotated its players after playing a full 90 minutes the day before.
In the 1-0 victory against Louisiana Tech, the Skyhawks found its goal from rising sophomore Vanessa Poku. She received the ball after a nice buildup from teammates Nicole Collins and Bianca McFarland to find the back of the net. Myers played the first 75 minutes of the match before Callie Thomas logged the final 15 minutes of the match in goal.
“Overall, the girls are excited and proud of how they played,” McNamara said. “They will use these outings as a springboard for the rest of the spring schedule. The entire squad showed an immense improvement in maturity over this first weekend.”
UT Martin travels to Christian Brothers on Friday, April 6 for its next spring matchup followed by a stop at Akansas-Little Rock.