October 9, 2016

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JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Amy McGivern’s overtime goal proved to be the difference as the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team picked up their first Ohio Valley Conference win of the year with a 2-1 victory of Jacksonville State.

The win was the Skyhawks (4-10, 1-5 OVC) first in Jacksonville since 2012 and marks just the third time in history UT Martin has taken down the Gamecocks on their home field.

Jacksonville State (5-9-1, 2-4 OVC) was able to open up the scoring in the contest with a goal from Claire Peterson less than one minute into the game. The Skyhawks almost immediately bounced back and overcame the quick deficit with a tally by midfielder Katelyn Colvin just six minutes later to tie the score 1-1. The goal was Colvin’s second of the year and was set up by McGivern. The midfielder’s ability to create plays and show poise has been a real bright spot for head coach Phil McNamara.

“Amy is playing like a captain and an upperclassmen right now even though she is just a sophomore,” McNamara said. “She is leading by example with her performance and by being smart on the ball and finishing off chances when she gets an opportunity. She has the class and confidence to finish and I am very happy with the level she is playing at right now.”

UT Martin was the clear aggressor in the first period outshooting the Gamecocks 8-5 and out chancing them in corner kicks 5-1. But despite the improved play, UT Martin and Jacksonville State went into the locker room knotted at one.

The Skyhawks were able to keep the momentum going in the second half with good looks by Saphyra Coombs-James and Shannon Grattan at the Gamecock net but ultimately were unable to find the mark. Regulation time ended with the game still tied 1-1 and with both teams looking for the game-winner in the overtime period to earn the three points.

Less than three minutes into the extra time, the Skyhawks earned a free kick off of a Jacksonville State foul. Goalkeeper MaKenzie Crawford, who regularly takes free kicks for UT Martin, was able to play a beautiful ball into McGivern. The sophomore from Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland calmly collected the pass and beat JSU goalkeeper Carolina Robinson to give the Skyhawks the 2-1 win. It was McGivern’s fourth goal of the year and it was the first assist of the season for Crawford.

Crawford finished with three saves, while Colvin and Bianca McFarland paced the offensive attack with three shots each. After losing four straight one-goal decisions, McNamara knew this was a game his team had to have and was happy to see his team and his goalkeeper continue to fight in these situations.

“MaKenzie has been playing well these past few games and she is realizing the effort that she has to have back there to create a big presence and to be a force,” McNamara said. “We’ve been as good as our opposition in four out of the five previous games and unfortunately have come away with nothing to show for it. It was nice to earn this result today and pick up the three points.”

UT Martin will now return home for a huge three game stretch against top Ohio Valley Conference squads in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee Tech and Morehead State. As the Skyhawks look to make a push for the conference tournament, taking care of business at home is crucial.

“I think it’s a huge advantage to have three out of the last four at home,” McNamara said. “We will take it one game at a time and find a way to build off this win, but we want to keep this momentum going down the stretch and come back home and play well.”

The Skyhawks return home this Friday, Oct. 14 to take on Eastern Kentucky at Skyhawk Field. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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