October 6, 2016

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OVCDN (Belmont)     Live Stats (Belmont)     Live Stats (Jacksonville State)

MARTIN, Tenn. – This weekend will be one of the most crucial two-game stretches of the season for the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team, as it travels to Nashville to take on Belmont on Friday, Oct. 7, and then heads to Jacksonville State on Sunday, Oct. 9.

All three squads are within two games of each other in the standings as each is looking to pick up essential points to qualify for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. With only six games remaining in the regular season, the Skyhawks are looking to end their recent misfortune in close games. UT Martin has dropped three straight one-goal decisions including two heartbreaking losses in the final minutes at Eastern Illinois in overtime and against Austin Peay where they battled back from a 3-0 deficit with only 10 players on the field to tie the game.

The Skyhawks have shown balance on the offensive end with four players scoring multiple goals on the season. Amy McGivern has paced UT Martin in OVC play with two goals on 14 shots, while Danae Kaldaridou, Shannon Grattan and Sophia Sharos each have found the back of the net against conference foes as well. The Skyhawks are averaging 15 shots per contest and have shown the ability to get stronger as the game goes on. UT Martin has outscored its opponents 4-3 in the second half of games during league play and will need their late game success to continue as they look to pick up ground in the OVC standings.

The Skyhawks will be looking to build off their recent history against Belmont (3-6-3, 2-2 OVC), as UT Martin has won the last four contests including a 3-1 victory last season in Martin. The Skyhawks are 4-4 all-time in Nashville versus the Bruins who are led by midfielder and reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Week Emily Whitcomb. The sophomore is tied for the team lead in points (5) and scored the game winning goal to knock off Eastern Illinois on Sunday. Belmont will likely start current OVC Goalkeeper of the Week Stephanie Bukovec in net. She leads the team with a 1.05 GAA, including back-to-back clean sheets last weekend.

UT Martin will make its way to Jacksonville State on Sunday who has dropped three of the last four contests including a 2-1 loss this past weekend to SIUE. The Skyhawks are 7-5-3 all-time versus the Gamecocks with a 2-3-2 mark in Jacksonville. Cheyenne Carden and Nadia Plawiuk (2) are the leading goal scorers for Jacksonville State (4-8-1, 1-3 OVC). Caroline Robertson has started every game in net for the Gamecocks notching three clean sheets and recording 51 saves.

Friday’s match at Belmont is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network. Sunday’s contest against Jacksonville State is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m. Both games can be tracked via live stats by following the above links.

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