Ohio Valley Conference Soccer Championship
Martin, TN – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team has the chance to advance to its second straight NCAA Tournament on Sunday, November 4th, when it takes on the Austin Peay Lady Govs in the Ohio Valley Conference championship at 1:00pm at Skyhawk Field.
The matchup will pit the two hottest teams in the league against each other. No. 1 seed UT Martin (12-5-3) won the regular season title and has won six straight contests, including Friday’s 1-0 victory over Southeast Missouri in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Austin Peay (12-7-1) has gone 8-0-1 since falling 2-1 to UT Martin on September 28th at Skyhawk Field. The Lady Govs defeated SIU Edwardsville 1-0 on a goal by Joceline Quiceno in the 85th minute during semifinals action on Friday night.
The match will also feature the two most prolific offensive squads in the OVC. UT Martin leads the OVC in shots (332), points (119), goals (43) and assists (33), while Austin Peay ranks right behind the Skyhawks in each of those categories (290 shots, 99 points, 36 goals, 27 assists).
In the regular season meeting between the two teams, the Skyhawks outshot Austin Peay by a 21-14 margin, with both teams placing eight shots on goal. UT Martin sophomore Alyssa Curtis came up big for the Skyhawks, scoring the first goal in the 56th minute and later assisting on the game-winning goal by Saphyra Coombs-James in the 83rd minute. Austin Peay’s Tatiana Ariza accounted for the Lady Govs’ goal, striking less than two minutes after Curtis had given UT Martin a 1-0 advantage. In goal, Mariah Klenke claimed the victory by making seven saves for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin will look to keep a couple of strings going on Sunday. The Skyhawks have won seven straight home matches, outscoring the opposition 21-3 during the winning streak. UT Martin has also not lost to Austin Peay since 2006, going 5-0-1 against the Lady Govs in that span.
The Skyhawk offense is led by Coombs-James, the OVC Freshman of the Year and All-OVC first team forward. The Brampton, Ontario native ranks second in the league in points (24), goals (10) and game-winning goals (three). UT Martin is also led offensively by Abi Sanvee (seven goals), Kendyl Wilson (team-best seven assists) and All-OVC first teamer Hannah McGowen (three goals, five assists).
Austin Peay is led by OVC Offensive Player of the Year Tatiana Ariza, who led the conference in shots (72), points (32), goals (12), assists (eight) and game-winning goals (four). Her twin sister Natalia Ariza also made the All-OVC first team as a midfielder, joining All-OVC second teamer Emily Perkins (seven goals, six assists) and Andy Quiceno (six goals, three assists) in the Lady Govs’ offensive attack.
In goal, Haylee Shoaff was an All-OVC second team selection, ranking second in the league in shutouts (seven). She sports an .847 save percentage to go along with an 0.93 GAA while corralling 100 saves for Austin Peay.
Admission is free to Sunday’s OVC championship match. For those who cannot make it out to the match, live stats will be available.