Sept. 20, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --Caroline Brown scored in the 32nd minute off penalty kick to lift the Tennessee soccer team to a 1-0 home win over No. 20 Texas A&M on Friday in the SEC opener for both teams.
UT (6-2-1, 1-0 SEC) improved to 3-0 all-time over the Aggies (5-3-1, 0-1 SEC). Tennessee has now 2-0 against ranked teams this year.
"I am so happy for our kids," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "They played two things. I thought that their soccer in the first half was very good, I thought that our possession was very good. We knew Texas A&M is a fast, fit team. They are a punch-you-in-the-mouth kind of team. They want to come after you right away. We had a choice, we could to try to punch them in the mouth back or we could sit back. And we wanted to play to prove that we are a good team and to prove that we can compete and battle. We wanted to prove that we could win a real ball and things like that. Our soccer, you saw it on the scoreboard and you saw it in the stats, we were the better team. I thought we deserved to be up one to nothing. So I am very proud of our kids."
In the 32nd minute, a Texas A&M defender fouled Katie Lenz inside the box to set up the penalty kick for Brown. Brown punched in the PK to the upper left.
UT benefitted from a very strong first half in which the Volunteers had great possession and great offensive pressure. In the first half, Tennessee had seven shots to A&M's four and four corner kicks to just one for the Aggies.
Susan Ferguson fired the first shot of the match in the ninth minute from just outside the left side of the box. Aggies keeper Jordan Day had to step out from the far post to corral a shot that was curving inside on goal.
Cheyenne Spade had a good shot in the 17th minute, firing to the upper left to force Day to move to deflect it.
Eckel recorded her first save in the 21st minute when Karlie Mueller booted a free kick from 15 yards out that was right on goal.
Early in the second half, Eckel made an outstanding save to prevent a potential equalizer. Leigh Edwards ripped a shot from outside the box and Eckel leaped to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Tennessee continues SEC play on Sept. 27 against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. UT's next home match is on Oct. 4 against Ole Miss. The first 750 fans at the UT-Ole Miss game will receive a free Tennessee Soccer flag.