UTM continues historic ride with OVC title
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:02 pm
The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament Sunday with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship at Houck Stadium.
Head coach Phil McNamara and the Sky-hawks (14-6-2) will play at Memphis (21-0-1) 7 p.m. Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
UT Martin trailed 1-0 at halftime but scored two unanswered goals in the 72nd and 76th minute to clinch its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
The win Sunday was the team’s sixth straight, which is a new program record for consecutive victories.
The result also extended the Skyhawks’ season win total to 14, which is four more victories than any other team in UT Martin’s storied 14-year history.
OVC Defensive Player of the Year Melissa Govea was responsible for the first goal, guiding in a header off a free kick by Hannah McGowen to even the match at 1-all at the 71:20 mark.
A little over four minutes later, freshman Lucy Pater came up with the game-winning goal, a redirected shot off a free kick by McGowen.
It was Pater’s third goal of the season and 10th assist for McGowen, who extended her own single-season assist record.
Mariah Klenke made three saves Sunday in all 90 minutes in goal to improve to 10-2 in her freshman campaign.
After the championship match concluded, Pater was named OVC tournament Most Valuable Player.
Pater joined Govea, Klenke and Rosaelia Loza on the all-tournament squad.
UTM 4, EKU 0
UT Martin defeated No. 2 Eastern Kentucky to advance the finals of the 2011 OVC Soccer Championship. The Skyhawks reached the finals for the second time in program history. UT Martin last played in the championship match in 2008.
Mary Thompson got the Skyhawks on the board with her first of two goals in the game. It marked her first two scores of the season. Thompson also tallied the assist on Lucy Pater’s goal. Hannah Fessenden also scored her first goal of the season.
Heather Bruce and Stephany Ellison each had three shots pace the Eastern Kentucky offense.
UT Martin’s Mariah Klenke and Lauren MacKenzie combined for six saves in the shutout. Eastern Kentucky’s Annie Wickett made five stops.
The Colonels finished the season with a 7-10-3 overall mark.
UTM 2, EIU 1
Third-seeded UT Martin defeated No. 6 Eastern Illinois in the first round of the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Soccer Championship.
Eastern Illinois struck first as senior defender Sam Balek scored her first career goal off an assist by Ashely Eck in the 38th minute.
The Skyhawks would tie the game at 1-1 on a Brooke Robertson goal. It was Robertson’s third goal of the year. UTM’s Rosaelia Loza netted the game-winner in the 79th minute. Hannah McGowen was credited with the assist.
UT Martin’s Mariah Klenke made three saves while allowing just one score. The Panthers’ Jessica Taldone made five stops in the match.The Panthers finished the season with a 5-12-2 mark. Published in The WCP 11.8.11