Martin, Tenn. - The Georgia State women's soccer team (0-1) fell 2-0 at UT-Martin (2-0) in the Panthers' season opener Sunday afternoon.
Despite shots on goal by junior forward Sarah Bennett and senior defender Bri Cagle, neither player was able to find the back of the net. GSU had a difficult time generating the necessary amount of scoring opportunities during the 90 minutes of play, getting outshot by UT-Martin 19-6.
"It was a very physical game," said head coach Domenic Martelli. "It was our first game so we had a lot of cobwebs to shake and get rid of. We had a lot of players play a lot of minutes so hopefully they got that out of their system, both returners and new players."
Less than three minutes into the match, Bennett booted the first shot of the game but missed wide right. She fired back three minutes later with a shot on goal but was denied with a save from UT-Martin goalkeeper Mariah Klenke.
UT-Martin's first goal came midway through the first half in the 29th minute. The Skyhawk's Alyssa Curtis took a straight shot from 25 yards out that senior goalkeeper Kellianne Collins was unable to stop, giving UT-Martin a 1-0 lead to end the first half.
"UT-Martin is a talented team that does a lot of things very, very well," said Martelli. "They executed a lot of the things they we wanted to do and eventually did later in the game. I thought we did enough to get a better result in the end."
Just over 10 minutes into the second half, Cagle attempted to even the score with a shot on goal, yet the ball could not penetrate the hands of Klenke
"In the second half I thought we did some good things," commented Martelli. "We were able to somewhat neutralize them and create a few scoring chances."
In the 58th minute, Curtis tallied her second goal for UT-Martin to extend the Skyhawks' lead by two. Despite shot attempts from forwards Jewel Evans, Nikki Fedele and Whitney Ravan in the remaining half hour, the Panthers could not get any points of the scoreboard, leaving UT-Martin to claim victory with a final score of 2-0.
"We shake this off and get back to it," said Martelli. "We have one of the best teams on our schedule, Villanova from the Big East, and in-state rival Mercer this upcoming weekend. We have to rebound and get back at it."
The Georgia State women's soccer team returns to action this Friday, Aug. 26 when it takes on Big East foe Villanova at 7 p.m. in the home opener at Panthersville.