October 14, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team returned home on Friday night as they hosted Eastern Kentucky at Skyhawk Field. The Colonels were able to take down the Skyhawks 4-2.

“Tonight’s game was extremely physical and that’s what our young players have to realize,” said head coach Phil McNamara. “There’s two games in particular that we just have not dealt with the physicality of our opponents. We have to do a better a job of matching that physicality if we want to be successful.”

Lone senior Sapyhra Coombs-James opened the scoring in the fourth minute as she beat a Colonel defender down the far left side of the pitch. The Brampton, Ontario native used her physicality to get past the Eastern Kentucky (9-4, 4-2 OVC) defense and bury her fifth goal of the season in the bottom right corner of the net to give UT Martin the 1-0 lead.

The Colonels answered in the 18th minute as their leading goal scorer Jordan Foster was able to head in the equalizer on a strong cross. The Skyhawks (4-11, 1-6 OVC) then surrendered their first penalty kick goal of the season as Maggie Burkett was called for being tangled up with a Colonel forward in the 18-yard box. Eastern Kentucky’s Cassie Smith was able to beat a diving UT Martin goalkeeper MaKenzie Crawford in the top right corner to give the Colonels a 2-1 lead.

Just six minutes into the second period, another penalty kick was awarded to Eastern Kentucky on a foul at the very top of the box. Mikayla Brillon finished off the try to give the Colonels the 3-1 advantage.

The young Skyhawks responded as Danae Kaldaridou finished off an Amy McGivern cross in the 79th minute for her third goal of the year. The reigning OVC Adidas Co-Offensive Player of the Year picked up her 11th point of the season with the assist, as UT Martin pulled to within one with 10 minutes to play. Burkett also picked up an assist on the goal.

Ultimately the Skyhawks were unable to find the tying goal in the final minutes as they dropped the 4-2 decision. With all the close losses this season, McNamara knows his team can compete with any team in the OVC.

“It can be frustrating because on one hand, we are just as good as any team in this league,” McNamara said. “Unfortunately the results show our inconsistencies and lack of discipline at times.”

UT Martin returns to action this Sunday at Skyhawk Field as it hosts Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m.

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