TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Freshman Kendyl Wilson converted on her team-leading fourth goal of the 2009 season in the 81st minute against Eastern Illinois tonight, leading The University of Tennessee at Martin to a share of its first Ohio Valley Conference championship in program history and a 1-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Skyhawks improve to 9-6-0 (6-2-0 OVC), and will receive the first-round bye in next week’s OVC Tournament at Jayne Stadium in Morehead, Ky. UT Martin now will play on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time, facing the winner of the No. 3 Murray State and No. 6 Eastern Kentucky match. The Skyhawks went 2-0 against Murray State and Eastern Kentucky during the regular season, defeating both teams by 2-0 margins. Head coach Craig Roberts and his Skyhawks appears to enter the OVC Tournament playing its best soccer of the season, winning six of its last seven matches.
That’s the team news, and at the heart of it is a senior captain who has started and played in every game of her college career with the Skyhawks. #7 Sophie Cox, an outside defender and Senior majoring in Exercise Science, is a former Rolla Bulldog and Southwest All-Star, Class of 2006.
This season Sophie has started and played in all 14 games, playing a total of 1212 minutes this season, 1 of 3 players on the squad with 1200+ minutes. She has scored 1 goal and has a pair of assists for 4 points this year and is reaping the rewards of her hard work the past four years by helping lead the team to their first Ohio Valley Conference title and a top seed. I asked her Coach for the past 4 years, who came to the program at the same time as Sophie although he did not recruit her, to offer some feedback on her role:
Sophie has developed into an impact player for UTM. I have respect for her ability to embrace the challenges put in front of her. Each day my players are challenged to be better in practice and improve on each game performance. Sophie constantly sets new heights. She has an outstanding work ethic and leads by example. This year she was given the honor of being one of our team captains. She has embraced this responsibility.
Her leadership has inspired so many of the results this season. She is currently playing left back for the team but is versatile enough to play anywhere on the field. She is a true athlete. Her ability will be very hard to replace but most of all her character will be missed greatly.
Here’s the complete background. Congrats Sophie!
2008: One of three returnees to have started all 19 matches…Tallied seven points, with two goals and a team-high three assists…Ranked in the top-10 in two Ohio Valley Conference statistical categories: shots attempted (ninth) and assists (tied-fourth)…Broke the 3-3 tie in the penalty kick shootout against Eastern Kentucky in the OVC semifinals to send the Skyhawks to its first ever OVC Championship appearance…Had back-to-back matches with an assist on Oct. 19 at Morehead State and Oct. 24 vs. Tennessee Tech…Was named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll…Was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas College All-American Scholar.
2007: Appeared in all 19 matches for the Skyhawks, starting 17…Earned her first Ohio Valley Conference player of the week award, Oct. 23 after a pair of matches over Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri…Tallied six goals on the season, which was tied for second on the team and eighth in the OVC…Scored her first collegiate goal against Bacone College on Sept. 14…Followed that up with her first multiple-goal game only two days later on Sept. 16 against Christian Brothers…Scored three goals in two games at the PUMA Skyhawk Invitational, leading all participants in scoring at the PUMA Skyhawk Invitational…Her six goals ranks in the all-time top-10 for single season goals…Was named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
2006: Started all 19 matches for the Skyhawks, presenting an additional offensive threat on the front line for the Skyhawks, to balance defensive pressure…Attempted nine shots on the season, putting five on goal for a .556 shots on goal percentage…Also attempted a penalty kick on Sept. 8 against East Tennessee State, but was unable to convert.
BEFORE UTM: Prepped at Rolla Senior High School in Rolla, Mo., where she was a two-sport athlete…In addition to soccer, was also a member of the basketball team as a freshman…Prior to beginning high school, Cox was part of a record-setting 800 meter relay team…On the soccer field, helped lead the Bulldogs to three consecutive district championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005…As a freshman, netted nine goals and chipped in 10 assists on the year…Her accomplishments earned her team midfield MVP, district offensive MVP, all-district, all-conference, and all-regional accolades along with honorable mention on the all-state squad…As a sophomore, netted 13 goals with 21 assists, again earning team mid-field MVP and district MVP honors while also collecting all-district, all-conference and all-region awards for the second year…In her junior season, served as team captain and scored 16 goals with 12 assists, while helping her squad to a 24-3-1 record and ranking of No. 9 in the state of Missouri…Led her team to the state quarterfinals where she scored a goal, but the Bulldogs were eliminated by the No. 1 team in the nation (Nerinx Hall)…Was named team MVP along with district MVP in addition to being named all-district, all-conference, all-Ozarks, all-region, all-state and regional player of the year…As a senior, again served as captain and netted 21 goals with 20 assists on the year, again earning her all-district, all-conference, all-region and all-state honors…Also was named regional player of the year, team and district MVP…Also played for the Rolla Dolphins U-10 through U-13 and Busch U-14 through U-20 teams, helping lead her club squads to second place finishes in the Missouri State Cup in 2001, 2003 and 2005, with back-to-back Missouri State Championships in 2006 and 2007…Played in the Olympic Development Program for the Missouri 88 from 2001 through 2003 and advanced to regional camp in 2002 and 2003.
PERSONAL: Born Sophie Anna Cox on April 5, 1988…Daughter of John and Martha Cox…Has one brother, Ryan (22) and one sister, Olivia (15)…Ranks in three Skyhawk career top-10 record categories…Majoring in exercise science.