August 28, 2016

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STARKVILLE, Miss. – This afternoon the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team gave Southeastern Conference opponent Mississippi State all they could handle before ultimately falling 3-1.

UT Martin (0-3) was looking for a faster start for their third game of the year after having a week off before traveling to play the Bulldogs. However, MSU was the aggressor early, putting 11 shots towards the Skyhawk net in the first period.  The UT Martin defense was successful in clearing multiple corner kicks and sophomore goalkeeper Maya Jamison was up to the task early. The Farmington Hills, Mich. native was getting her first start of the season and made several diving saves to keep the Bulldogs off the board.

It did not take long for the Skyhawks to take advantage of their stellar defensive play. After a MSU foul in the 15th minute, sophomore Shannon Grattan played a beautiful free kick into the penalty area. There awaited senior, and third ranked in UT Martin career goals, Saphyra Coombs-James to take the pass and deposit it into the back of the net. The header was Coombs-James’ second goal of the year and it gave the Skyhawks an early 1-0 lead.

UT Martin staved off a wave of MSU opportunities before Bulldog forward Makayla Weldner was able to collect a ball from a free kick and beat Jamison on the right side in the 30th minute to tie the game. Building off the momentum of their first goal, MSU took the lead with just minutes remaining in the first half as Mallory Eubanks was able to get free from Skyhawk defenders and score to put the Bulldogs up 2-1.

The Skyhawks opened the second half looking to be more aggressive and find the equalizer early. However, despite pushing the pace and having multiple set piece attempts, UT Martin was not able to find the back of the net. The Bulldogs added an insurance goal in the 80th minute to take a 3-1 lead and pick up their second win of the season.

Jamison played all 90 minutes in net for the Skyhawks and finished with nine saves on 12 Bulldog shots.

UT Martin returns home for two games this weekend. The Skyhawks take on Troy, Friday Sep. 2 at Skyhawk Field, where kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. UT Martin will then host the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Sunday with a 1 p.m. scheduled start time.  

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