September 2, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. - In their second home game of the season, the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team overcame an own goal and knocked off Troy 2-1 in dramatic fashion.

The importance of the win against a top program was not lost on head coach Phil McNamara.

“We have a lot of respect for Troy and the program,” McNamara said. “For us to turn this result is a big step forward for us with our team being as young as it is.”

The contest opened with both teams settling in and limiting their opponent’s opportunities. For UT Martin (1-3), that meant keeping the Trojans from breaking through their defense like they had done against previous Ohio Valley Conference opponents in recent weeks. A key to slowing down the Trojans would be the Skyhawk goalkeeper Maya Jamison. The Farmington Hills, Mich. native was making her first start at home in 2016 and was tasked with slowing down one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt Conference.

Jamison was up to the task early, stopping all three Trojan attempts at net in the first half. Troy (4-2) showed its merit on defense as well, limiting the Skyhawk chances and holding UT Martin to just one shot on net during the first half to keep the game scoreless and give UT Martin its first clean sheet half of the season.

Much to the dismay for the Skyhawks, the second half opened with an unlucky deflection from a Skyhawk defender that ended up in the back of the UT Martin net. The own goal gave Troy the 1-0 lead in the 46th minute.

The Skyhawks responded with their best offensive half of the season. After a flurry of attempts including a header that just missed with from senior Saphyra Coombs-James, the Skyhawks found themselves down with just six minutes remaining.

After a Trojan foul, sophomore Shannon Grattan stepped up to take the free kick for the Skyhawks. As the ball floated into the box, sophomore Danae Kaldaridou was able to beat out Trojan defenders to win possession and bury her first goal of the year behind Troy goalkeeper Mikki Lewis.

After a quick celebration, the Skyhawks were forced to play flawless defense in order to maintain the 1-1 tie. The youthful UT Martin defenders stepped up and cleared two Trojan chances, with the second leading to a counter attack. After a deflected ball behind the Trojan net, sophomore Katelyn Colvin came on to take the most important corner kick of the young season. As the Skyhawks crowd came to their feet in anticipation, Colvin delivered her best ball of the night, once again finding Kaldaridou alone on the left side of the net. The standout from Athens, Greece was able to collect the pass and finish off the Trojans 2-1.

McNamara credited Kaldaridou’s ability to accept coaching as to why she was able to make an impact on tonight’s match.

“We really challenged Danae tonight,” McNamara said. “We wanted her to get on the ball more and make more things happen for us. She covered every blade of grass, she worked hard tonight, and she got her reward. She’s a finesse player who has a lot of class about her and she’s got some great individual skill. She won us the game.”

Grattan and Colvin both picked up assists on the goals, while Jamison picked up her first win of the year.

The Skyhawks are looking to build a winning streak as they are right back at Skyhawk Field this Sunday, Sept. 4 when they play host to UMKC. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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