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Golden Eagles soar to UT Martin for Sunday afternoon battle with Skyhawks

Golden Eagles soar to UT Martin for Sunday afternoon battle with Skyhawks

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team will hit the halfway point in its Ohio Valley Conference slate Sunday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles will travel to UT Martin for the fourth of an eight-match league ledger in the club's only contest of the week. Kickoff from Skyhawk Soccer Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.

Live stats will be available for the match. Click here to view.

A look at Tennessee Tech

The Golden Eagles (4-4-3, 2-0-1) march to Martin riding a three-match unbeaten streak since the start of their conference campaign that has featured a pair of road wins and a home deadlock. TTU unwrapped OVC action with a 1-0 away triumph at Eastern Illinois on Sept. 18 and followed it up with a 4-0 nod at Southern Indiana on Sept. 22. Tech's conference home opener saw the purple and gold play Lindenwood to a scoreless draw on Sept. 25.

The Golden Eagles are the only team in the league yet to yield a goal during OVC play, with sophomore Maggie Conrad collecting three consecutive clean sheets in her first three affairs as Tech's starting goalkeeper in conference action. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa product has captured six saves in the three shutouts, with the Golden Eagle defense showing a knack of holding their opponents at bay.

In fact, Tech has limited its OVC opponents to just 17 shots in the three contests, including a combined five in the last two tilts against USI and Lindenwood. Senior Emily Carlevato, who has played a pivotal role in TTU's recent defensive success, was honored for her efforts after being named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon. Carlevato did not leave the pitch at any point in Tech's two weekly tangles and helped her squad's defensive unit limit the Lions to only one shot in Sunday's scoreless knot.

Carlevato's weekly accolade marked the second-consecutive weekly award for the purple and gold after Taylor Rhodes was honored as the OVC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 20 following her game-winning goal in Tech's victory at EIU. The 5-foot-6 sophomore buried one into the back of the net in the 77th minute to break a scoreless tie and ultimately send TTU into the win column in the league opener.   

Rhodes is one of nine different Golden Eagles to split the pipes in 2022, led by Chloe Smith's four goals. The senior forward is tied for second in the OVC in scores, while her 11 points thanks to three assists as well, places the Cincinnati, Ohio native in a knot for second in the conference in points. Allison Lee joins   Smith as the only other Golden Eagle with more than one score behind two net-finders this year.

Yao Giada Zhou still leads with five assists, two more than any other player in the OVC.

Tech has attempted 62 shots in its three conference clashes, highlighted by a season-best 27 tries in its last contest against Lindenwood, the most taken in a match since 32 shots in a 2-2 draw against Eastern Illinois on Oct. 11, 2014.

A look at UT Martin

The defending regular-season champion, the Skyhawks (2-6-2, 0-2-0 OVC), entertain Tech in the middle affair of a three-match homestand that saw UTM fall 3-1 to Morehead State on Sept. 25 in the first of the three tilts in Martin. The Skyhawks have dropped both of their OVC battles and have been outscored 5-2 in the clashes after being upended 2-1 at Little Rock in their league opener on Sept. 22.

Megan Drake's team-leading four goals ties her with Chloe Smith, Morehead's Hadley Cytron and Lindenwood's Rachel Jackson for the second-most scores in the OVC. Makayla Robinson is the only other Skyhawk with more than one goal thanks to two net-finders to go along with one assist for a five-point campaign.

Poppy Bastock has appeared in 810 of a possible 900 minutes in between the pipes for the Skyhawks and has allowed 17 goals to go along with 49 saves for a 1.89 goals against average and a .742 save percentage.

Inside the series

UT Martin possess a 15-11-1 all-time lead in the series, which includes ending Tennessee Tech's 2021 campaign with a 1-0 win the OVC Tournament semifinals, hosted by the Skyhawks on Nov. 5. The Golden Eagles claimed last year's regular-season meeting behind a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Martin on Oct. 7 in a match that featured a Bailey Taylor game-tying goal in the 70th minute and a Gabby Garcia game-winning goal in the 109th minute.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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