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Skyhawk soccer extends season with OVC tourney win

Skyhawk soccer extends season with OVC tourney win
Skyhawk soccer extends season with OVC tourney win | UT Martin Skyhawks soccer, UTM, Sophie Cox, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Martin, Tennessee, Skyhawks

Pressure — Skyhawk junior midfielder Sophie Cox (center) beats her defender and closes in on the Tennessee Tech goalie during UT Martin’s 2-1 victory over the visiting Tech Golden Eagles in the quarterfinal round of the OVC Soccer Tournament.
The 2008 postseason started off on the right foot Tuesday for the University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawks, as they took a 2-0 lead in the first half and the defense held strong in the last 21 minutes to defeat Tennessee Tech, 2-1, in front of 411 fans at the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Skyhawk Field. With the win, the Skyhawks will advance to the semifinals to face Eastern Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. in Murray, Ky.
The win also gave UT Martin its 10th win of the 2008 campaign, which ties an all-time program record for wins that was set last season.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Skyhawks head coach Craig Roberts said. “Our finishing and our accuracy was much better today and was the best of the season so far. We had a couple of players step up and play well today in Devan Lowe up front and Alex VanSise gave her strongest performance of the season.”
The Skyhawks outshot Tennessee Tech 19 to 9, and started the first half off aggressively. Sophomore Jenni Duffy hit Sophie Cox with a pass right in front of the goal and Cox put it in from point blank range, giving UT Martin an early 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
UT Martin came back with another goal a little over 15 minutes later, when a Tennessee Tech foul set up a free kick by Skyhawk sophomore Danielle Rogers. Rogers sent the ball into the box and found freshman teammate Brooke Robertson for a header that snuck past TTU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Thacker and gave the Skyhawks a 2-0 advantage.
Tennessee Tech kept fighting strong in the second half, getting on the scoreboard in the 70th minute when Ashley Smith found the back of the net off an assist from Tara Mahan and Lia DiGrappa to cut the UT Martin deficit to 2-1.
As UT Martin scrambled to get another insurance goal and Tennessee Tech battled to even the score, the clock kept running and the final 2-1 margin was decided, sending the Skyhawks to Murray State’s Cutchin Field for the third time this season. UT Martin played two games in Murray earlier this season at the Racer-Hampton Inn Classic, and also played their regular season match with Murray State at Cutchin Field.
Roberts thought that today’s match, as well as last season’s OVC Tournament run, will help the Skyhawks bring the right mentality into the OVC Tournament semifinals.
“The time is now,” Roberts said. “We are playing with total confidence. Our experience from 2007 is showing through and our leadership is good. We played very, very strong today.”

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