SKYHAWKS LOOKING TO HIT THEIR STRIDE AT HOME THIS WEEKEND
August 31, 2016
Troy Live Stats
UMKC Live Stats
MARTIN, Tenn. - The 2016 schedule for the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team has proven to be one of the toughest in recent memory. With two of the first three games taking place on the road, it has been hard for the young UT Martin team to find its rhythm.
However, head coach Phil McNamara and his squad return home this weekend to host two crucial games as the season begins to get into full swing. Under McNamara, the Skyhawks have been a very difficult team to beat at home boasting a record of 31-16-6. The Skyhawks are looking to continue their winning ways at Skyhawk Field this weekend as they play host to two prominent soccer programs.
Friday night, Troy (4-1) makes their way to Martin hoping to take down their third straight Ohio Valley Conference opponent. In their two previous games against Belmont and Jacksonville State, the Trojans did not surrender a goal and were able to control the action on the pitch and come away with wins in both contests.
Troy leads the all-time series against the Skyhawks 2-0-0 (1998, 2015), but this is the first time the two teams will meet in Martin. Last season, the two squads faced off in Troy, where UT Martin fell behind 2-0 surrendering two goals in the first 18 minutes. The Skyhawks defense tightened up quickly and were able to shut down the Trojans for the remainder of the game, as then freshman MaKenzie Crawford was stellar in net for UT Martin. She stopped nine of the 11 shots she faced, including all four Trojans shots in the second half, and gave her team a chance to tie the game late. Ultimately, the young UT Martin squad was only able to score once down the stretch as they dropped the decision 2-1.
This season, the Skyhawks are hoping they can get out to an early lead and set the pace against a good Troy team. UT Martin will be led by their lone senior Saphyra Coombs-James who has already found the back of the net twice this season, and now stands alone in third place on the UT Martin career goals list. Freshman Nicole Collins and sophomore Shannon Grattan each have recorded an assist in the early going this year as the Skyhawks are looking to spark their offensive attack at home.
Troy head coach Jason Hamilton is off to a fast start in his career. Hamilton has led the Trojans to an 18-5-2 record in just over one year at the helm. His teams have become known for their stingy defense and toughness as last year Troy recorded a program best 10 shutouts. Offensively, Brooke McKee has paced the Trojans in 2016 scoring three times, with two of the goals going down as game winners. The Skyhawks will look to best goalkeeper Mikki Lewis who has posted three shutouts for Troy.
Sunday afternoon UT Martin will turn their attention to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (0-2-2) out of the Western Athletic Conference. The Skyhawks and the Kangaroos have met twice on the pitch (2009, 2015), with each team coming out on top once. Last year’s contest was a 4-1 decision in favor of UMKC.
The lone goal this year for the Kangaroos was scored by Kelsey Mothershead, who also scored in the 2nd minute of the 2015 contest between these two squads. Anna Lillig has got the start in goal in every game for UMKC this year and she leads the team with a 0.99 goals against per game percentage. The Kangaroos will travel to Memphis on Friday before making their way to Martin for the Sunday matinee.
Friday’s contest against Troy is set to kickoff at 7 p.m., while Sunday afternoon’s match against UMKC is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Both games will have live stats available by following the links at the top of the page.