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UTM women's soccer team continues success in Ohio Valley Conference

By Aimee Bilger, Kara Kidwell
On November 20, 2012

Tying with the Southeast Missouri Redhawks 1-1 in regular season, the UTM women's soccer team proved why a second time tie was out of the question.
UTM triumphed over the Redhawks 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference Semifinals. This win gave UTM an 8-1 overall record at home and a 6-0 record against OVC opponents at home.

UTM and Southeast battled for goals during the first half, but both teams continued to come up short going into half time 0-0. The strategy for both teams seemed to be "keep away" and trust.

Each team had to trust their teammates. With each kick, each player had to trust that their teammate would be in the right position, and their defense would keep the ball away from the goal.

At the 66-minute mark, after halftime, UTM's #7 mid fielder, Mary Thompson scored the first goal for UTM off a corner kick from UTM's #3 mid fielder, Hannah McGowen.

"Scoring that goal felt amazing! We needed to finish it, and the corner shot from Hannah was a great opportunity," Thompson said. This was Thompson's third career goal.

The crowd cheered with excitement when the goal from Thompson was made. First time soccer game attenders where overwhelmed with all the excitement.

"This is my first soccer game, and I'm definitely coming back Sunday for the big win," said Junior Biology major Shanice Robinson.

"This game was awesome, but I can't help but wonder how they hit the ball off their heads and not have bad headaches that would prevent them from studying and getting good grades," said Senior Social Work major Jaime Stiles.

However, this doesn't prove to be a problem for the UTM Women's Soccer Team. They are more than just talented; they are academic achievers as well. Six of UTM women soccer players were honored during halftime for the Commissioner's Honor Roll (3.25 GPA or higher): Junior #3 Hannah McGowen (MF) from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Junior #7 Mary Thompson (MF) from Knoxville, Tenn., Sophomore #8 Dominika Conc (MF) from Maribor, Slovenia, Sophomore #9 Alyssa Curtis (F) from Franklin, Tenn., Senior #10 Midori Sera (MF) from San Francisco, Calif., Sophomore #12 Amy Maksimowicz (D) from Nashville, Tenn., Sophomore #16 Lucy Pater (MF) from Brentwood, Tenn. and Junior #25 Sam Dunn (MF) from Churchville, N.Y.

"Coach McNamara told us we had to take one game at a time. We knew that Southeast was going to come out playing hard in spite of their game yesterday. Coach told us that we were more talented and as long as we worked hard, we would have this game. Now we are ready for our second title," McGowen said.

The good times kept rolling on Sunday as the Women's Soccer team defeated Austin Peay 2-0 in the 2012 OVC Tournament Final.

At the 72:41 minute mark, Alyssa Curtis headed the ball into the goal off a free kick from Hannah McGowen from 30 yards out.

Midori Sera scored at the 81:36 mark with an assist from Jessica Horvatich. The pass was from the right side of the box, and Sera shot it into the upper left corner.

Goalkeeper Mariah Klenke had five saves in the game, with three coming in the first half, and two in the second.

At the awards ceremony after the game, four Skyhawk players were chosen for the all conference team. Lucy Pater, Amy Maksimowicz, Mary Thompson and Mariah Klenke were named to the team, and Klenk was named MVP of the tournament.

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