April 14, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Collegiate Classic finished with a bang for the Lady Volunteers as they defeated both Tennessee Tech and MTSU on Saturday by a combined score of 9-0.
From the start of their match against Tennessee Tech, the Lady Vols utilized space on the pitch well, forcing balls to the sides and up to forwards Iyana Moore and Alexis Owens. With a first half marked by dominating offensive pressure, it is no wonder as to how the Lady Vols were able to put numerous goals in the back of the net.
Rising senior Amy Harrison started the Tennessee onslaught by finishing off her own rebounded shot from the Tech keeper. Shortly following Harrison's goal, midfielder Caroline Brown rocketed a shot into the back of the net from just outside the PK spot.
Not to be outdone, rising sophomore Iyana Moore collaborated with an assist from midfielder Kylie Bono to bring the score to 3-0. Caroline Brown would tickle the twine for the second time in the first session closing out the half with a 4-0 Lady Vols lead.
The second half would play slightly similar to the first as the Lady Vols continued to utilize space throughout the pitch. Needless to say, the first game was a solid example of crisp passing and team cohesion, which are two pieces of the puzzle that the Lady Vols have been working on this spring.
"I think it is translating well so far," said head coach Brian Pensky. "We are not trying to `change the world' here. We are simply trying to implement some things and it's all pretty simple stuff. All of our kids are smart soccer players, they are good soccer players, so it is all really the mentality of staying with that stuff and keeping it simple, and sticking to what we want to be our principles and trying to carry it out on the field."
The team's second match of the day however, started differently from the first. With Middle Tennessee matching the Lady Vols blow for blow to begin the game, the match would become a much stronger defensive battle than the first.
Forward Alexis Owens would light the spark needed to get the Big Orange train rolling again by cleaning up a loose ball in the box giving the Lady Vols a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
The second half would tell a different story as Owens once again ignited the team finishing strong for the Lady Vols. Forward Emily Dowd would too find the back of the net shortly after extending the team's lead to 3-0. Caroline Brown did her part to close out the evening with the team's final goal as the Lady Vols defeated MTSU 4-0. Head coach Brian Pensky summed up the Lady Vols day at the Classic by describing the outing in terms of "halves."
"We came out in the first half of the first game (against Tennessee Tech) and we looked pretty darn good," said Pensky. "In the next two halves we were a little bit in the average category, and you always want to finish well and I thought we did that in the second half against MTSU. Our possession became good again and as a result of that we scored some goals."
One of coach Pensky's staples throughout this spring season has been competition. Competition in the weight room, on the practice field, and in these spring games will undoubtedly be the team's foundation heading into next fall.
The Lady Vols travel to Wake Forest next Saturday to conclude the 2012 spring soccer season.