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OVC Quarterfinals Preview

OVC Quarterfinals Preview

MARTIN, Tenn.- The Belmont women's soccer team is set to play in the OVC Quarterfinals on Sunday at 2 p.m. against the No. 3 seed UT Martin at the Skyhawk Soccer Field. 

Belmont defeated No. 7 seed Austin Peay in Friday's first round matchup, with Julie Garst scoring the game-winning goal in the first minute of overtime. 

"We have continued to grow through the season and I have that UT Martin has continued to grow," head coach Heather Henson said. "It was an even matchup overall. When you move into tournament time, the intensity and the costs increase that much more. I think it's going to be an exciting game. I think it's going to be exciting on the attacking side, exciting on the defensive side. I think everybody watching the game that will be happening tomorrow." 

The Bruins tallied 19 shots in Friday's first round match, the second-highest shot count of the season. Lily Herman collected 10 saves, marking the second time this season where she has recorded double-digit saves. Garst notched her 17th career goal with the game winner, moving her into a tie for eighth in program history with Meggan Harris (1997-2000)

Belmont has carried the momentum to end the regular season into postseason, winning or tying seven of its last eight games. 

"Every time you get a win, you continue to get more confidence," Henson said. "You want to build upon win upon win. You celebrate those wins, but then refocus, as we are doing today, onto tomorrow's game. We've done a great job of staying in the moment, celebrating the wins that we have, moving on, and going into the next moment to make sure that we're living in that moment." 

UT Martin won the regular season match against the Bruins 1-0 on Sept. 22 in Martin, but the Skyhawks' go-ahead goal occurred in the opening minute off a corner kick. The Bruins finished the match with double-digit shots, one of six times they have reached that mark in an OVC match. 

In all of Belmont's conference tournament quarterfinal matches, the Bruins have outscored their opponents 4-1. Despite UT Martin getting a first round bye, Belmont is comfortable with playing a Friday-Sunday weekend set of games in the tournament due to the fact that is the normal conference set up. 

"Our conference rhythm is Friday, Sunday. Staying in a routine is important," Henson said. "For us, that's how we've continued to manage this season and gone into the weekend as a whole." 

Match Notes

Scouting UT Martin 

UT Martin defeated Belmont during the regular season off an opening minute goal to claim a 1-0 victory, earning a No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament. The Skyhawks have cruised through the final five matches in conference play, winning four of them and tying OVC regular season champions SEMO. During that stretch, they have outscored their opponents 14-5. Averaging 14.9 shots per game, the Skyhawks have turned that into 1.72 goals per game.

The Skyhawks have had four players score at least four goals this season, with the offensive assault led by Jill Hildreth with eight goals and two assists for 18 points. Hendrikje Baurmann has added five goals with four assists, with Alice Adams and Bella Roberts coming up with four goals each and combining for six assists. Erica Myers has been one of the best in the net in the OVC, leading goalkeepers with four shutouts on the season. Myers also has 99 saves to go with a save percentage of .780.