MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team extended its season-long seven game win streak as the Skyhawks knocked off Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Illinois 2-0 at Skyhawk Field. With the victory over Eastern Illinois, the Skyhawks move into sole possession of first place with two matches to play.
The Skyhawks (9-7-1, 7-1 OVC) were led by juniors Alyssa Curtis and Dominika Conc who each scored on the evening. Conc led the team with five shots, placing two on goal while freshman Aoife Lennon trailed with four shot attempts and one assist. Curtis tallied three shots along with her eventual game winner.
Defensively, UT Martin tallied their seventh clean sheet of the season and fourth in league play. The Skyhawks have been dominant on defense, shutting out their opponent in two consecutive games and in four of the last five matches overall. Junior Mariah Klenke tallied her sixth clean sheet of the season, notching four saves in 90 minutes of play.
Eastern Illinois (6-11, 6-2 OVC) tallied nine shot attempts on the night. The Panthers were led by Briana Hickman, Meagan Radloff and Karlee Deacon who each tallied two shot attempts. Courtney Jerzy got the call in goal for the Panthers, tallying 10 saves on the evening while allowing two goals.
“It’s good to get another clean sheet at home as we build momentum and close out the season,” said UT Martin head soccer coach Phil McNamara. “One of our goals was to try and host the OVC Tournament and now we need one win over the last two games to achieve that. It’s not over by any means but I like where we’re at right now. We look to peak in October and we’re starting to show our quality.”
Coming into the contest both UT Martin and Eastern Illinois were sitting at the top of the OVC standings with identical 6-1 conference marks. The Skyhawks looked to make their mark on the contest early, firing their first shot attempt at the 1:16 mark by Ashlie Watson. The Skyhawks would tally five consecutive shots to begin the first half before finding their first of two goals on the night in the 8th minute. After forward Ellie Myrick was fouled inside the penalty box, Curtis was called upon to take the penalty kick. Curtis won the one-on-one matchup with Jerzy, placing the ball into the left corner of the net. The goal was Curtis’s fourth of the season and third in the last three games.
The Skyhawks would continue on the offensive, outshooting the Panthers 18-2 in the first period. Klenke would tally her first and lone save of the first period at the 17:09 mark, catching Hannah Miller’s attempt.
The second period got underway as the Skyhawks international tandem of Lennon and Conc connected for the second score of the match. At the 46:19 mark, Lennon found Conc along the left side who then fired the 12-yard attempt past the keeper and into the lower right corner of the net. Conc’s goal was her third of the season and second in her last three matches.
Eastern Illinois would fire seven of their nine shot attempts in the second half before ultimately being outshot 27-9 in the contest. The Panthers had their best opportunity on the evening in the 58th minute, firing two shots on goal but they would be no match for Klenke as she erased the threat.
For the Skyhawks it was Haley Klages, Abby Masters and Ashley Reveiz who tallied the final three shots on goal for the home team.
UT Martin will be back in action on Sunday, Oct. 27 when they play host to SIU Edwardsville at 2 p.m. Fans are encouraged to attend the OVC match and will be treated with a free cookout for those in attendance.