Perfect league record at stake for Skyhawks
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 12:02 pm
The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team will play in front of the home crowd for the first time in four weeks when it hosts Ohio Valley Conference rivals SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Friday’s match will begin at 4 p.m. while Sunday’s match is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
After one weekend of OVC play, the Skyhawks (6-3-2, 1-0-1 OVC) are one of three unbeaten programs in the league. In a pair of road matches, UT Martin tied Murray State 2-2 in double-overtime before downing Austin Peay 2-0.
Last weekend, the Skyhawk offense continued to roll, posting its third and fourth consecutive multi-goal performances. UT Martin enters this weekend as the league’s leader in shots (16.27 per match), led by OVC shot leader Rosaelia Loza (36 attempts).
Loza struck for goals in both league matches last weekend and now has eight goals in 11 matches. The senior from Biscoe, N.C., has also added three assists to rank second in the OVC in points (19).
UTM has also received an offensive boost from freshman Alyssa Curtis, who has tallied four goals — three of which have turned out to be game-winners for the Skyhawks. In all, eight different UT Martin players have scored a goal in 2011.
Not to be overshadowed, the Skyhawk defense produced its fourth shutout of the season against Austin Peay — the league’s top offensive team — last Sunday. In 2011, UT Martin’s defense has limited the opposition to 1.27 goals per match.
Lauren MacKenzie has made five of the last six starts in goal, recording 35 saves over that span.
This will be the fourth straight year that UT Martin will square off against SIU Edwardsville, with the Skyhawks holding a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series, although last year’s contest in Edwardsville went into overtime before UT Martin won 3-2.
Competing in its first year as a full-fledged member of the OVC, SIU-E (3-3-1, 1-1 OVC) is coming off its inaugural OVC victory, a 3-1 triumph over Tennessee Tech last Sunday. In that match, the Cougars held a 17-9 shot advantage.
The Skyhawks have won three of the last four meetings against Eastern Illinois and have not lost to the Panthers at Skyhawk Field since 2005.
Although Eastern Illinois sports a 3-6-2 overall record, the Panthers are 2-0 in league play, picking up a pair of 2-0 home victories against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State last weekend.
Published in The WCP 9.29.11