Junior standout Rianna Jarrett notched her second hat trick of the season and sixth in school history to lift the University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team to a decisive 4-2 victory at Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont.
The Skyhawks (11-5-1, 5-2-1 OVC) stretched their unbeaten streak to four straight games, closing out the road portion of the 2014 regular season schedule with the victory over the Bruins. Behind the impressive play of Jarrett, the Skyhawks continue to push for a first round bye in the upcoming OVC Tournament, sitting just two points out of second place.
Leading the league in both points and goals – among several other statistical categories – Jarrett tallied three goals to move her season tally up to 15 goals and 33 points. The hat trick is the second of the season for the junior out of Wexford, Ireland, becoming the second player in school history to tally multiple hat tricks in a career, let alone twice in a single season. Ellie Myrick and Ashlie Watson each tallied an assist on the evening.
Along with the impressive play of Jarrett, the senior pair of Dominika Conc and Amy Maksimowicz notched their own respective spot in school history by tying the all-time record for appearances with Hannah McGowen at career 83 games played.
Goalkeeper Mariah Klenke notched career victory No. 42. Klenke has played every minute this season, tallying seven saves on the evening while allowing a pair of goals.
Belmont (5-7-4, 2-4-2 OVC) received goals by Taylor Smith and Allie Hicks while Belicia Mendiola tallied an assist. The Bruins had two goalkeepers split time in goal with Megan Byrd earning the start, tallying one save while allowing a pair of goals. Lindsey Espe played the entire second half, allowing two goals and notching a save.
The game saw its first goal in the 20th minute. With the match still scoreless, a tough bounce off a Bruin defender tallied the first goal for the Skyhawks, giving them the early advantage. The Skyhawks wouldn’t be done in the first half as Jarrett would score her first goal of three just five minutes later off an assist from Watson. Watson would set up Jarrett nicely with a quick touch as the junior would dribble into the box and converted on a 1v1 with the keeper to push the margin out to 2-0.
The Skyhawks would find their third unanswered goal in the game’s 56th minute. Myrick – a sophomore forward – would find Jarrett as the headed pass flew towards the far post before eventually bouncing in to give UTM the 3-0 lead.
Down but not out, the Bruins would make a valiant effort at a late comeback. Hicks would notch her second goal of the season as a high bouncing ball pushed into the back of the net in the 79th minute. The Bruins would notch another shot attempt just minutes later before Mendiola would find Smith for the team’s second unanswered goal and trimming the margin to 3-2 with just over seven minutes to play.
With the margin at its closest since the game’s 25th minute, Jarrett would cap off the historic night with her third goal in the 84th minute. Jarrett would convert the hat trick by pulling Espe out of the net and tallying the strike to end the night’s scoring.
UT Martin will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 26 against Austin Peay. Prior to the 2 p.m. start at Skyhawk Field, the team will honor its eight seniors with Senior Day festivities.