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Skyhawk veterans, rookies work well together

Skyhawk veterans, rookies work well together
Skyhawk veterans, rookies work well together | The University of Tennessee at Martin, Skyhawks, UTM soccer, Craig Roberts, Sophie Cox

Craig Roberts
Skyhawk soccer rolls by Rhodes in final exhibition
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin offense got started quickly on Sunday, netting three goals in the match’s first 29 minutes en route to a 4-0 exhibition victory over Rhodes College at Skyhawk Field.
The match format called for three 30-minute periods, and UTM struck for three goals by the time the first period had ended.
The first two goals came off the foot of sophomore Melissa Govea, who led the Skyhawks with 58 shots and 28 shots on goal in 2008. The Hendersonville native streaked towards the goal off a long pass from Sophie Cox to put the Skyhawks up 1-0 just 3:48 into the match. The second goal occurred eight minutes later, when Govea took a feed from freshman Kendyl Wilson and hooked a shot past the Rhodes goalkeeper.
Wilson made her presence felt again just before the end of the first period, as she snuck a shot past the goalkeeper off a pass from Brooke Robertson.
The last goal of the day occurred in the 74th minute, when redshirt sophomore Marissa Wood-Sternburgh took a cross from Cox that provided the final 4-0 score. The assist gave Cox two on the day and three in two preseason matches in 2009.
As sound as the offense was, the UT Martin defense more than held its own, holding the Lynx to limited shot attempts, controlling the ball and keeping it on the Skyhawk half of the field for the majority of the match. In goal, true freshmen Linnsie McMahan and Aubrey Buehler combined for the shutout, with Buehler logging 47 minutes and McMahan playing 43 minutes.
The match served as an effective tune-up in the season’s last exhibition, as 23 Skyhawks played 15 minutes or more.
“We made progress on some items we had been working on since our last exhibition,” UT Martin head coach Craig Roberts said. “Our combinations are coming together and every member of the team was once again very consistent.”
“Some individuals stepped up their games in Melissa Govea and Kendyl Wilson, and Danielle Rogers, as expected, did a great job on the back line,” Roberts added. “Both goalkeepers had solid performances, and we expect that to continue as they gain more and more confidence.”
The match occurred one day after the Skyhawks held a free clinic for local kids on Saturday morning. Over 200 kids ages 4-14 and 50 area coaches attended the clinic, which offered one-on-one interaction with the UT Martin players and a question-and-answer session with the Skyhawk coaching staff.
“The girls did a great job with the clinic,” Roberts said. “Our players do a tremendous job of serving as true role models while showing the leadership qualities that we implement in our program. It was a joy for us to reach out to the community.”
The 12th season in UT Martin soccer history officially starts this Friday, Aug. 28, when the Skyhawks will face Lipscomb at Skyhawk Field at 4 p.m.

True freshman leads UTM
to exhibition win
MARTIN, Tenn. — Freshman Jordan Warnement found a pass in front of the box off a feed from Sophie Cox and fired into the back of the net in the 68th minute to lead the University of Tennessee at Martin to a 1-0 exhibition win against Bethel College Wednesday at Skyhawk Field.
The two teams played three 25-minute periods in the humid weather, taking seven-minute breaks during the two intermissions. The match gave Skyhawks head coach Craig Roberts a chance to get an extended look at his 2009 roster, as 24 Skyhawks logged 20-plus minutes on the field.
“Today was a very consistent performance,” Roberts said. “Every player played equal minutes and we didn’t feel like the level of play dropped off at any time, which was refreshing.”
Twelve Skyhawks attempted at least one shot, and the UT Martin defense proved to be just as solid as the 2008 squad, which advanced to the Ohio Valley Conference championship match for the first time in program history.
“We were looking to implement some tactics that still needed to be tweaked,” Roberts said. “The players did what we requested them to do and they did it very well. I’m very pleased with their progress, work ethic and desire. As usual, it was a total team effort.”

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