Sept. 27, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Caroline Brown had the equalizer in the 64th minute and Julie Eckel made spectacular save after spectacular save as UT came back for a 1-1 draw with LSU over 110 thrilling minutes in Baton Rouge on Friday.
UT is now 6-2-2 on the year and 1-0-1 in SEC play. LSU is now 5-3-2 and 1-0-1 in conference play.
Tennessee and LSU each had 18 shots and the Tigers had four corner kicks to UT's two. Amalie Thestrup had five shots Brown and Hannah Wilkinson each had four. Katie Lenz had three shots and assisted on Brown's goal.
Eckel (6-2-2) finished the night with eight saves over 110 minutes in goal, shining in the second half and in the overtime periods as both teams relentlessly attacked.
Michele Christy had one of the biggest defensive saves of the day in the 110th minute, heading away a ball with her back near the goal line on an open net. Caroline Capocaccia also had a big save in the overtime periods and Allie Sirna's one-on-one battles with LSU's attackers from start to finish were a thing of beauty.
After Eckel and the UT back line survived a frenzy of LSU shots early in the second half, Brown found the back of the net in the 64th minute firing a missile that deflected off LSU keeper Megan Kinneman and into the back of the net.
Tennessee went on the attack quickly as Brown fired the first shot of the night just 1:24 into the match. The senior forward took the ball to the top left corner of the box and fired high and wide.
LSU went up 1-0 in the 31st minute on Emma Fletcher's free kick from just outside the box. Fletcher booted a ball that went past the UT wall and Julie Eckel made a dive to her left, getting her finger tips on the ball as it found the back of the net.
Tennessee tried furiously to get an equalizer before halftime. After Fletcher's score, Wilkinson tried to knock in a well-placed free kick from Megan Erskine from midfield to the front right side of the box. In the 38th minute, Wilkinson's shot was right to LSU keeper Megan Kinneman in the center of the goal. Thestrup had a shot in the 43rd minute from outside the box that Kinneman got a hold of. Thestrup had a header a minute later that was also grabbed by the Tigers' keeper.
At the half, Tennessee had a 6-4 edge on shots and neither team had registered a corner kick.
In the second half, LSU had a chance to go up 2-0 in the 51st minute when Fletcher broke past two UT defenders and fired a high shot.
Eckel was outstanding during a three-minute stretch where LSU had heavy offensive pressure deep in the UT box. In the 54th minute, Eckel made a diving stop on a shot by Eckel. Following an LSU corner kick, a Tennessee clear and the Tigers re-gaining possession on the attack, Fernanda Pina fired a shot deep in the box that Eckel turned away. Summer Clarke had a shot that was blocked in the box in the 56th minute as LSU continued to hold possession in the UT third.
In the 64th minute, Brown netted the equalizer on a rocketed shot from just outside the box that went off the keeper. Lenz played the ball up to her off of a goal kick to set Brown up for the clutch score to even the match.
Wilkinson had a good chance to put UT ahead in the 81st minute. Brown and Wilkinson were on a 2-on-2 breakaway and Brown found Wilkinson on the left side of the box. The LSU keeper dove and missed the ball and Wilkinson's shot was blocked by an LSU defender on an open net from three yards out.
Eckel made another amazing save in the 88th minute. Clarke fired a shot from the far left corner of the box and Eckel made a leaping poke with her right hand to push the ball over the goal.
The overtime periods where a heart-racing whirlwind of events as both Tennessee and LSU had multiple opportunities to take the win. In the first overtime, UT had four good shots. In the 94th minute, Thestrup had a shot blocked inside the box after it bounced around following a corner kick. LSU came storming back in the 95th minute as Fletcher fired a shot right at Eckel. In the 97th minute, Tennessee drove the ball deep into the LSU box and Cheyenne Spade ad a shot go wide of the left post and Lenz followed with a rebound shot from he ground that went wide as she collided with the keeper. A few seconds later, Thestrup had another shot in the box blocked but an LSU defender.
The second overtime was just as exciting as neither team showed signs of letting up. In the 102 minute, Wilkinson had a shot go wide of the goal. In the 103rd minute, LSU's Summer Clarke broke loose from the UT backs and had a one-on-one with Eckel. From four yards out, Eckel turned away a rocket shot from Clarke. Lenz had a shot sail high over the cross bar in the 109th. With 40 seconds left in the match, Clarke and another LSU attacking player pushed their way deep into the box. Clarke had the ball played to her on the right side from three yards out and had an open net as Eckel dove for the ball. Christy made an amazing header save inches from the goal line to save the day for Tennessee.
Tennessee next heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to play Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m. The match will be televised on CSS with Melissa Lee on the call and Tori Beeler Watson providing analysis. Fans can also watch the game live online on ESPN3. There will be live statistics via RollTide.com and a free live blog on UTSports.com.
UT's next home match is on Oct. 4 against Ole Miss at 7 p.m. The first 750 fans in attendance at Regal Soccer Stadium will receive a free Tennessee Soccer flag.