LATE STRIKE IS NOT ENOUGH TO KNOCK OFF DEFENDING OVC CHAMPS AS SKYHAWKS FALL 2-1
October 2, 2016
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team scored a late goal against defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Murray State but it would not be enough as the Skyhawks dropped the decision 2-1.
The Skyhawks (3-9, 0-4 OVC) got off to a slow start once again, allowing an early score in the 20th minute before facing a 2-0 deficit going into halftime. The home squad would rally however, outshooting the dangerous Racers 12-6 in the second half while posting a pair of key saves and a late goal to trim the deficit to 2-1. With less than a minute to play, the Skyhawks would look for the equalizer but time would not be on the team’s side before ultimately dropping their fourth league match.
“I thought it was a great contest considering Murray played to double overtime on Friday night and we played most of the contest with just 10 players,” said UT Martin head coach Phil McNamara. “I think our girls showed a lot of purpose at times and certainly was a little unfortunate on the day. Sadly, I think we have been unfortunate the past four games. It is tough on the girls for their confidence, but we feel arguably that we were the better team in each of the past four games but we weren’t able to put any points on the board. We’ve got to learn how to win quickly, keep improving the next six games and look to find a way into the OVC tournament.”
Murray State (3-4-2, 2-0-1 OVC) remained undefeated in league play by jumping out to an early lead while leaning on the team’s defensive effort. The Racers would get on the board in the 20th minute as a double pass from Aaron Lankster and Taylor Richerson would set up Harriet Withers nicely for her sixth goal of the season.
The Racers would get another goal on the board just before halftime in a peculiar way. A corner kick by Withers would place a ball into the box where Nyomi Devine would rifle an attempt which would be blocked at the line. Following the deflection off the block, the Skyhawks would look to clear the threat but an errant header would find the back of the net for an own goal to make it a 2-0 deficit.
With less than a minute left in the contest, the Skyhawks would get on the board to discard the shutout. With congestion inside the box, Katelyn Colvin would push the ball out to find Shannon Grattan for a 14-yard strike to cut the margin in half with 42 seconds to play. The Skyhawks would look for the equalizer in the final seconds but the Skyhawks would ultimately fall 2-1.
UT Martin will return to action on Friday, Oct. 7 with a road contest at Belmont.