Sep 8, 2013
Tennessee improved to 5-1-0 on the year while Mercer fell to 2-3-1. Julie Eckel (5-1-0) and the UT defense posted their third consecutive shutout, surviving 19 shots and seven corner kicks by the Bears.
Mercer had the possession advantage early as the Bears outshot Tennessee, 5-1, through the first 14 minutes.
In the 22nd minute, Wilkinson worked the far side of the box and sent a pass out to Bailey. Bailey dribbled the ball about three yards out from the top of the box and fired a terrific shot to the center of the net past diving Mercer keeper Maggie Cropp. The score was Bailey's second on the year and her first since scoring against Oklahoma on Aug. 23. Bailey now has six goals in her Tennessee career.
Wilkinson had a shot turned away by Cropp in the 25 minute just before a UT line change. Eckel had two big saves in the final 13 minutes of the first half, stopping Stephanie Giangiuli's shot in the 33rd minute and Maddie Clark's attempt in the 43rd minute.
In the second half, Tennessee saw strong play from several bench players, especially Suzanne Capocaccia, who played the final 45 minutes and finished with 59 minutes of strong defensive possessions. Freshman Cali Hutson played 38 strong minutes and even had a chance at a cross deep in the Mercer box midway through the second half.
In the 89th minute, Wilkinson had a breakaway and Cropp collided with her in the box and earned a yellow card. On the ensuing penalty kick, Wilkinson put the ball in the upper right hand of the net to give UT the 2-0 advantage. The score was her fifth on the season and the 13th of her career.
Tennessee next plays at Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 13. UT returns to Regal Soccer Stadium Sept. 15 for a 1 p.m. match against Western Kentucky. Admission to all 2013 Tennessee regular-season home matches is free. The Tennessee soccer program will host a free youth soccer clinic on the field following the UT-WKU match on Sept. 15.