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Skyhawks a goal short in OVC soccer championship

Skyhawks a goal short in OVC soccer championship
Skyhawks a goal short in OVC soccer championship | OVC soccer, Ohio Valley Conference, UT Martin Skyhawks, Morehead State, Martin, Tennessee

Craig Roberts
MURRAY, Ky. — A goal by Morehead State’s Bethany Davidson in the 59th minute was the only offense either team could muster Sunday, as the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team came up short of an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship falling 1-0 to Morehead State at Cutchin Field in Murray, Ky.
The UT Martin Skyhawks end the season with a record of 10-5-4, tying the all-time UT Martin record for wins in one season.
The Skyhawks outshot Morehead State 13 to 12, with both teams putting five shots on goal. Jenni Duffy led UT Martin with five shots, while Brooke Robertson, Sophie Cox and Alex VanSise each attempted two shots. Caitlin Smith and Jamie Furstenberg also attempted one shot apiece for the Skyhawks.
Senior Johanna Rathbun notched four saves in net for UT Martin, who capped off a season in which they advanced further than any team in UT Martin history – the OVC finals.
At the postgame awards ceremony, junior Jamie Furstenberg, sophomore Danielle Rogers and freshman Kelly Ann Hutchinson were awarded an All-OVC Tournament medal, as 11 total players were honored for their outstanding performances in the tournament.
UTM’s Duffy attempted a shot on goal from about 40 yards out for the Skyhawks’ first offensive chance, but Morehead State’s Lily Meisner was there for the save at the 36:24 mark.
Two minutes later, UT Martin had the first corner kick of the day. Hutchinson’s kick was cleared by a Morehead defender, but Duffy was there for another clear shot from about the same area as her first attempt. The shot sailed high and wide left.
The Skyhawk offense was operating in full effect, as Cox sent a line-drive shot on goal but it was right at Meisner. It was UT Martin’s third shot of the game, while Morehead State had just previously attempted its first — a free kick by Erin Adams that went high above the goal.
Near the 30-minute mark, Duffy’s third shot attempt hooked just right of the goal.
Morehead State’s first foul of the match set up a free kick for UT Martin’s Rogers from the far sideline. Robertson timed the kick perfectly and was there for a header in front of the goal, but the shot went high at the 25:57 mark.
Six minutes later, Morehead State freshman Devan Jordan almost had a clear shot at the goal, but Kristina Goldstine was there for a clear. Adams then attempted a low shot on goal but Rathbun was there for her first save of the match. Another Morehead State free kick was nearly converted by Bethany Davidson, as Arnold was charging towards the goal, but Rathbun came out several yards in front of the goal for the save.
Soon after a beautiful cross was set up for Cox just yards from the goal, but UT Martin couldn’t convert the chance.
Morehead reversed the field and Adams attempted a shot that drew Rathbun out in front of the goal. A Morehead State forward almost put the ball in the UTM net as she and Rathbun and the ball all met simultaneously, but Rathbun held on for the save.
The teams repeatedly swapped visits to their opponents’ end of the field without any resulting goals.
With about eight minutes left in the first half, Phillip dribbled and attempted a shot that bent left but Rathbun was there for the save.
Two minutes later, Robertson snuck behind the defense off a free kick by Rogers near midfield, but Meisner got just enough hand on it to deflect the ball to the right of the net.
In the final minute of the first half, Cox fired a shot from the left side that forced Meisner to dive to her left, but the ball hit the right goalpost and a Morehead State defender was there for the clear. The UT Martin offense was firing on all cylinders at the end of the first half.
The first half stats were in UT Martin’s favor: nine shots, four on goal as opposed to Morehead State’s five shots and two on goal. Meisner tallied four saves and Rathbun had two saves. UT Martin held a 2-1 advantage on corner kicks, and the Skyhawks also committed six fouls, while Morehead State had three fouls.
UTM had two corner kicks early in the half that did not result in shots.
Then the Morehead State offense went on the attack. The Eagles found several open chances for a shot, but a shot in traffic by Davidson sailed wide. Busch sent a shot on goal but it was right at Rathbun, who corralled the save.
The Morehead defense then intercepted a succession of Skyhawk crossing passes and stopped another Duffy shot attempt.
Finally the scoreless tie was broken when Davidson sent a high kick from about 20 yards out that sent Rathbun backtracking and eventually landed over her head and in the back of the net. Morehead State led 1-0 with a little over 30 minutes left to play in the championship game.
The brisk wind and the Morehead defense continued to stall the Skyhawk offense.
Forwards Alex VanSise, Jody Kiers, and Devan Lowe check in at the 20:50 mark to give UT Martin fresh legs to create some scoring opportunities.
Two minutes later, it was UTM’s Rathbun making a save.
But soon after the Skyhawk substitutes had an impact as VanSise attempted a shot off a Caitlin Smith throw in, but only partially hits the ball. Meisner had time to come out and catch the ball.
The Skyhawks then barely missed a goal, as Smith lofted a shot very similar to Davidson’s goal, as the ball barely grazed off a Meisner’s hand, but it hit the left post and ricocheted away.
At the 13-minute mark, Gildehaus took a corner kick for Morehead State and Adams was there for the header, but Rathbun snatches the ball out of the air to prevent any scoring threat.
With less than four minutes left in regulation, a Morehead State foul set up a free kick for UT Martin, but Rogers’ pass from about 40 yards out sailed past the endline without being touched.
Both teams had shots cleared out from in front of the net in the game’s waning minutes as Morehead State held on for the 1-0 win.

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