UTM soccer clinches first-ever OVC title share
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 5:00 pm
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Freshman Kendyl Wilson converted on her team-leading fourth goal of the 2009 season in the 81st minute against Eastern Illinois Saturday night, leading The University of Tennessee at Martin to a share of its first Ohio Valley Conference championship in program history and a 1-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Skyhawks improve to 9-6-0 (6-2-0 OVC), and will receive the first-round bye in this week’s OVC Tournament at Jayne Stadium in Morehead, Ky. UT Martin now will play on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time, facing the winner of the No. 3 Murray State and No. 6 Eastern Kentucky match. The Skyhawks went 2-0 against Murray State and Eastern Kentucky during the regular season, defeating both teams by 2-0 margins.
Head coach Craig Roberts and his Skyhawks appear to enter the OVC Tournament playing the best soccer of the season, winning six of its last seven.
The Skyhawks got the first shot of the match at the 38:12 mark of the first half, when Katie Imperiale attempted a shot that sailed high from the top of the box. Both teams attempted corner kicks in the next 14 minutes but no goals resulted.
An Eastern Illinois foul set up a UT Martin free kick from midfield, which set up a shot by Jenni Duffy from straight on around 20 yards out, but Jenny Williams was there for the save to keep the match scoreless.
UT Martin kept its relentless offensive attack going through the end of the first period, as Duffy took another shot from about 20 yards out straight on goal, but Williams was again there for the save. Freshman Kristen Nichols then joined in, attempting a shot from 30 yards out on the left flank to try to beat the buzzer, but the shot hooked wide left with two seconds left.
At the half, the Skyhawks had out-shot EIU by a 4-1 margin, but neither team converted.
UT Martin matched its first-half shot output in the first 12:05 of the second stanza, as Wilson attempted two shots and Melissa Govea and Duffy each got off a shot. Although three of the shots were put on goal, Williams was there for all three saves.
Eastern Illinois got its first shot on goal with 29:15 left to go in regulation, as a Skyhawk foul gave EIU a free kick opportunity from 40 yards out. Danielle Flynn sent a pass into the center that found Laura Ridolfi, who took a shot from 15 yards out that Skyhawk goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler scooped up.
At the 26:20 mark Kelly Ann Hutchinson attempted a shot from 20 yards out on the left but the shot swerved wide. Hutchinson was in the middle of the Skyhawks’ next offensive opportunity, as she lofted a ball into the box, but the Skyhawks were flagged for their second offsides call of the night.
A little over six minutes later, UT Martin had two chances in 40 seconds to get on the board, but Williams stopped shot attempts by Nichols and Duffy.
An Ashley Streid header at the 18:30 mark went wide off a flip throw-in by Rachel Hamilton.
Shots by Imperiale and Brooke Robertson both went wide in the 75th minute, which was followed by a Skyhawk corner kick.
Six minutes later, the stage was set for Wilson’s goal, which came from the right flank and found the back of the net.