Aug. 15, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite winning the battle of shots, 13-12, and forging a 2-2 deadlock at the halftime break, Tennessee succumbed to No. 16 Duke by a 5-2 count in an exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 15th, at Regal Soccer Stadium. UT started three freshmen to christen the contest (Ali Hall, Amy Harrison & Jayden Barrett) and played five rookies in the match-up.
Lady Vol senior forward Mick Imgram tallied UT's initial goal at the 8:30 mark, while freshman forward Alexis Owens located the twine just before the halftime break at 44:39.
"Credit Duke with a great performance today," Lady Vol head coach Angela Kelly said. "Today's scrimmage did exactly what I expected. We played a great opponent that exposed some of our weaknesses. Now we'll get to work and tighten things up for next week's Saturday home-opener against ETSU (7 p.m.). I thought there were some great individual performances today from Ali Hall in the back and Alexis Owens up front. I think they were today's players of the game, despite being freshman and new to our system. We'll keep things in perspective. We started several freshmen in this match after only seven days of training camp. I scheduled this exhibition to be a good challenge for our squad, and that's exactly what it was."
The Blue Devils wasted little time breaking into the scoring column, finding paydirt in the fourth minute of play. Duke forward KayAnne Gummersall dribbled up the right side and crossed into the 18-yard box to forward Rebecca Allen. She settled the ball and fired a low shot to the left of Tennessee junior goalkeeper Molly Baird to make it 1-0.
The Big Orange got their offense going in the ninth-minute as Hannah Hut worked up the left wing and delivered a perfect arc to senior Mick Imgram. The Clifton, Va., native settled the sphere at her feet in the center of the 18-yard box, turned and unleashed a bending shot past Duke's diving goalkeeper Emily Nahas and into the right side of the net.
After a long stretch of midfield action, Duke midfielder Elisabeth Redmond managed to get just clear of a defender on a mini-break and at the edge of the 18-yard box, fired a low drive into the goal for a 2-1, Blue Devil advantage.
With time winding down in the opening stanza, UT's active freshman forward Owens finished off a solid cross from fellow rookie forward Jayden Barrett to tie the match at 2-2. Barrett fought off a defender and unleashed her assist from just short of traveling over the end line.
Duke managed to outshoot the Lady Vols by a 6-2 margin in the first half, but UT made their two shots count as both found their mark.
Fresh out of the locker room, Duke quickly grabbed back the momentum as Redmond tallied her second goal of the match at the 46:43 mark off a cross from Gummersall.
Tennessee's offense pressured new Blue Devil keeper Tara Campbell over the next few minutes as shots by Hall and Owens forced saves by the keeper.
In the 70th-minute Imgram unleashed a right-footed blast that drifted just high of the goal, part of Tennessee's 11-6 second-half advantage on shots.
Duke's Carey Goodman attempted a cross in the 72nd-minute for the Blue Devils that traveled over a leaping Baird before rattling off the far post. On the rebound midfielder Kendall Bradley cleaned up with a blast from 10 yards out that eluded UT's keeper for a 4-2 lead.
From there Goodman added a score at 86:07 on an assist from Cody Newman as her pass got Goodman ahead of the defense. From there she buried it in the upper part of the twine.
Owens led the Lady Vols with five shots in the contest, while Imgram added four and Hall three. The latter played a significant role for the Big Orange as she won numerous battles in the air during the contest.
Tennessee's 2009 regular-season kicks off officially on Aug. 22nd, when ETSU visits Knoxville for a 7 p.m. ET match-up. Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com.