#17 USC Edges Soccer, 1-0, In OT

Oct. 6, 2013

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- South Carolina's Raina Johnson scored from the left side in the 93rd minute on Sunday as Tennessee fell to the Gamecocks, 1-0, in overtime.

Tennessee fell to 7-4-2 and 2-2-1 in SEC play on the season. South Carolina improved to 11-1-1 and 4-1-0 in conference matches.

The Gamecocks had a 14-4 shot advantage. UT found a 10-minute stretch in the first half where it had the momentum, but neither team managed to find the back of the net in regulation.

South Carolina's Chelsea Drennan fired the first shot of the day in the seventh minute, sending the ball from the far side of the box before UT keeper Julie Eckel moved over to make the save.

Tennessee applied good pressure early in the first half, but could not get on the scoreboard before the break. In the seventh minute, Susan Ferguson played a ball into the box for Katie Lenz but South Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo beat her to the ball from about eight yards out. In the 13th minute, Caroline Capocaccia had a nice cross along the back line that was just a little too high for Hannah Wilkinson to head in.

In the 23rd minute, Wilkinson pushed her way inside the box and took a shot towards the center before D'Angelo dove to knock out of the front right side.

In the 29th minute, Daniel Bay took a shot that Eckel dove to her left to knock away from the left post.

By Brian Canever, UTSports.com

It can be one of the most exhilarating moments in a game when an opposing player shoots on an open goal only to be denied at the very last second by an outstretched defender.

For Tennessee, that has been a regular occurrence over the last four SEC games. Against USC, the game could have been over way before regulation time elapsed if it had not been for defender Megan Erskine. In the 60th minute, she rushed in to clear the ball just off the goal-line after Raina Johnson looked to have a certain goal following a fingertip save by Julie Eckel that left no one between her and the goal.

On Friday night, it was Katie Lenz who played the hero, keeping the game against Ole Miss at 0-0 with a goal-line clearance in the 58th minute that galvanized the Lady Vols. Within ten minutes, Tennessee turned things around and eventually won 3-0.

Michele Christy has made herself somewhat of a specialist in this department, providing a headed clearance in the 15th minute of the Alabama game to keep the Lady Vols in it before succumbing to a 4-2 loss. The freshman midfielder made her first goal-line save of the season against LSU, crucially heading the ball away in the 110th minute to help Tennessee to a 1-1 tie.

It may not bring the same drama as a stunning goal, but the last-ditch clearance is a beautiful soccer tool that Tennessee has mastered in SEC play.

The teams took a scoreless match into the half.

In the 60th minute, South Carolina played a ball into the box and, after a deflection, Eckel was out of position with an open net. Johnson tried to flick it in from the right side with an open net but UT defender Megan Erskine made an incredible sliding kick save in front of the net to prevent the goal.

With two minutes remaining in regulation, a ball played forward from the midfield found Wilkinson, who sprinted ahead and, after getting past a defender, missed out on a 1v1 opportunity when the ball got away from her just inside the USC box.

In the 93rd minute, USC's Elizabeth Sinclair sent a ball in from the far side and Johnson finished about seven yards in front of the net to the lower far post.

Tennessee next heads to Lexington, Ky., to face Kentucky on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. UT returns to Regal Soccer Stadium on Oct. 18 for a home match against Auburn at 7 p.m.





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