Skyhawks make sure OVC title stays put

Skyhawks make sure OVC title stays put

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:00 pm

For the second straight season, the UT Martin soccer team clinched the Ohio Valley Conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Austin Peay in the league championship Sunday afternoon.
In front of a record-setting crowd of 773 fans at Skyhawk Field, UTM (13-5-3) scored both goals in the second half.
Alyssa Curtis broke the scoreless tie in the 73rd minute while Midori Sera added a big insurance goal just nine minutes later. For the match, the Skyhawks outshot Austin Peay by a 13-11 margin.
Once again, UT Martin’s defense came up strong, compiling its sixth shutout in the last seven matches. In goal, Mariah Klenke came up with four of her five saves while the match was scoreless on her way to OVC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Along with Klenke, Lucy Pater, Amy Maksimowicz and Mary Thompson also were named to the OVC’s All-Tournament team.
The first half featured three shots on goal on each side.
Klenke made stops in the 20th, 30th and 44th minutes, while Kendyl Wilson, Curtis and Dominika Conc were responsible for UT Martin’s shots on goal.
In the 73rd minute, Hannah McGowen delivered a pass into the box off a free kick from 30 yards out. Curtis rushed in from the left side for a header that cleared Austin Peay goalkeeper Haylee Shoaff at the 72:41 mark. The goal was Curtis’ fifth of the season and 10th in less than two years.
UT Martin’s next shot attempt was also true, as Sera registered her sixth goal of the year at the 81:36 mark.
Jessica Horvatich dribbled the ball near the end line on the right side and sent a pass toward the middle of the box for Sera, who fired a shot into the upper left corner.
UTM 1, SEMO 0
The Skyhawks earned the chance to play for the league title thanks to the familiar heroics of a postseason hero.
Thompson, who struck for a pair of goals in last year’s OVC Tournament semifinals against Eastern Kentucky, received a pass off a corner kick by McGowen and nailed the upper right corner of the net at the 66:13 mark. It was Thompson’s third career goal, all in the postseason.
UT Martin outshot the Redhawks by a 12-4 margin, putting five of its attempts on goal. Sera led the way with three shot attempts, while Thompson and McGowen each put two shots on goal.
In goal, Klenke notched her fourth shutout of the season for UT Martin. She made three big saves, including one in the 85th minute, to pick up her 11th victory.
After Thompson’s goal, the Skyhawk defense took care of the rest. UT Martin’s back line did not allow a Southeast Missouri shot for a stretch of 51:08 until Klenke made her save in the 85th minute. Published in The WCP 11.6.12

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