September 22, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – After playing one of the most difficult non-conference schedules of any team in the Ohio Valley Conference, the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer program now turns its attention to league play starting with two games this weekend. The Skyhawks travel to Edwardsville, Ill. to take on SIUE on Friday, Sept. 23 before heading to Charleston to square off with Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 25

After a tough opening stretch, the Skyhawks bounced back to finish the non-conference slate with a 3-5 record, including wins over Troy, Evansville and at Chattanooga. Despite a tough loss to Memphis, the Skyhawks have shown promise down the stretch, getting more offensive production from all three lines.

Saphyra Coombs-James is the leading goal scorer for UT Martin, putting away four goals thus far. Danae Kaldaridou scored the first two goals of her Skyhawk career against Troy, both coming in the final six minutes of the game to lead UT Martin to the 2-1 victory. Kaldaridou was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts.  Amy McGivern, Maggie Burkett, Sophia Sharos and Katelyn Colvin all have tallied goals for the Skyhawks as well.

UT Martin holds a 6-3 advantage all-time against the Cougars (2-4-2) and are looking to pick up their first win in Edwardsville since 2010. The Skyhawks notched a 1-0 win last season in a game where Burkett landed six shots on goal and Coombs-James picked up an assist on the lone goal of the game. UT Martin has proven to be very solid defensively against SIUE with a 0.88 GAA in nine meetings and never having allowed more than two goals in any contest.

The Cougars are first in the OVC in assists per game averaging 1.50 per contest and will look to underclassmen Avery Anderson and Caroline Hoefert to lead the way offensively, as each has scored four goals. Juli Rossi has got the start in net for SIUE in six of the eight games, allowing 15 goals and a 2.33 GAA.

This Sunday will mark the 22nd time the Skyhawks have faced off with the Panthers (3-5) on the pitch. EIU holds an all-time series lead 12-8-1, but UT Martin has won the last five meetings dating back to 2011. During the win streak, the Skyhawks have posted a 0.80 GAA, including a 3-1 win in last year’s contest. Burkett and goalkeeper MaKenzie Crawford each picked up an assist in the UT Martin victory.

The Panthers are coming off back-to-back shutout victories against Northern Iowa and Marian. Emma Scaro leads the way in points with four, while seven different Panthers have each scored a goal. Sara Teteak has started every game in goal for EIU, allowing a 1.49 GAA and stopping 51 shots.

Kickoff in Edwardsville is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Sunday’s match against Eastern Illinois will start at 1 p.m. Both games can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network or can be tracked by following the live stats link above.

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