SKYHAWKS PICKED FOURTH IN OVC PRESEASON POLL
August 8, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Oho Valley Conference head soccer coaches and sports information directors have picked the University of Tennessee at Martin to finish in fourth place for the 2016 season. The preseason standings were released earlier today.
UT Martin received two of the 22 first-place votes while picking up 140 points overall. Only Murray State (18) received more votes to finish in first.
Head coach Phil McNamara returns 11 players from what was the youngest team in Division I soccer in 2015. Despite their inexperience and youth, UT Martin managed to wrap up the No. 4 seed in the OVC tournament finishing regular season conference play 5-4-1.
Junior Saphyra Coombs-James led the way in 2015 with a team high in goals (seven), assists (five), points (19) and shots (65). She was named to the Second Team All-Conference team. The 2012 OVC Freshman of the Year heads into her final season as a Skyhawk looking to build on her already record setting career. Coombs-James is third in Skyhawk history with 22 career goals and she is currently tied for first with eight career game-winning goals. She also ranks in the top 10 in Skyhawks history in points, assists and shots.
Several newcomers also made an impact in their first year with UT Martin. Freshmen Maggie Burkett and Rebecca Starnes were both named to the All-OVC first team and both were also selected to the OVC All-Newcomer team. Now sophomores, both players are setting their sights on bigger things for the 2016 season.
The Skyhawks began preseason practice Aug. 3 and will play their first exhibition game Aug. 12 as they take on Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark. UT Martin will officially begin their 2016 season Aug, 19 as they host Western Kentucky at Skyhawk Field.
2016 OVC WOMEN’S SOCCER PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(As selected by the OVC Women’s Head Soccer Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. Murray State (18 first-place votes) - 198
2. Southeast Missouri - 150
3. Tennessee Tech (One first-place vote) - 147
4. UT Martin (Two first place votes) - 140
5. Jacksonville State - 137
6. Morehead State (One first-place vote) - 134
t7. Austin Peay - 84
t7. SIUE - 84
9. Belmont - 67
10. Eastern Kentucky - 49
11. Eastern Illinois - 21