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September 25, 2009

Golden Eagles open OVC play with double overtime win over UT Martin

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- After 100 minutes of scoreless play, it took only 20 seconds of double overtime for Kris Cambron to find the back of the net, as the Tennessee Tech soccer team defeated UT Martin 1-0 in both team's Ohio Valley Conference opener.

Tech goalkeepers Kaitlyn Thacker and Megan Polk combined for the shutout. Polk, a freshman, had two saves for Tech, while Thacker, a sophomore had four saves in the second half and overtime. Tech improves to 2-7-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the OVC. UTM, which was picked to finish second in the conference, falls to 3-5-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the OVC.

The Golden Eagles finished with six shots overall, and five on goal. UTM had 16 total shots including six on goal. Cambron had two shots to lead Tech, including her game-winner in the second overtime.

Cambron received a pass from teammate Andrea Meloff about 10 yards away from the net. A UT Martin defender challenged her, and nearly took the ball away as Cambron fell down. But she immediately got back up, got open, and netted the game’s only goal.

“Andrea won the ball from a defender and saw that I was open and got the ball to me,”
Cambron said. “I had to get around the defender, and when I did I just tried to hit it far post.”

The goal was Cambron’s third of the season, which ties her with Meloff for the team lead. It was the first game-winner of her career, and she leads the team in points with seven.

The Golden Eagles were playing their conference opener after a tough seven-game road tip.

“We’re glad to be back home, and the girls were really excited to get the conference season started,” head coach Becky Fletcher said. “We had a great week of practice, and I thought the girls worked really hard and they were playing some really good soccer this week at practice. We were ready to get started. UT Martin is a quality team and we have a lot of respect for their program. They came in here and gave us all we could handle and our girls worked hard to put a full 90 minutes together, and then some.”

The match was the second time this season Tech has gone into double overtime. The Golden Eagles battled to a scoreless tie against Belmont on Sept. 11.

Fletcher has seen her young team, featuring 13 freshmen, 12 of them true-freshmen, grow up and show improvement all season long, which showed on the field Friday.

“It feels great to open conference play with a win,” Cambron said. “This definitely builds momentum for us. We’re excited to continue OVC play, and this is definitely a big step in the right direction.”

“The girls played for each other and we couldn’t be more proud of them,” Fletcher said. “They’re getting to know each other better, and we’ve finally found that right combination with so many newcomers. Now we’re finally figuring each other out, and what it takes to play together.”

The Golden Eagles will welcome Murray State to Tech Soccer Field to continue OVC play on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Racers are the defending OVC regular-season champions, and were picked to win the conference again in 2009.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Fletcher said. “Murray State comes in here ranked No. 1 in the preseason, so we’ve got to get mentally prepared and get our legs back tomorrow and get ready to go again on Sunday, we’re excited.”

Admission to all Tech home soccer matches is free.