Oct. 7, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In what will surely go down as one of the wildest matches in Regal Soccer Stadium history, the #15 Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team (10-3-0, 3-2-0 Southeastern Conference) fought back from a three-goal halftime deficit to register a thrilling, 4-3 (OT) triumph over Ole Miss (5-7-1, 1-4-0 SEC) in front of 1,215 fans on Fri., Oct. 7.
The final blow came just 1:33 into the initial "sudden victory" overtime period as UT senior forward Chelsea Hatcher blasted home her second goal of the year on a drive into the upper left corner of the twine from a position just inside the right edge of the 18-yard box. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native took a school single-match record 14 shots during the contest, while putting a staggering eight of those on frame.
The Big Orange began its rally behind the second score of the year from junior midfielder Amy Harrison at 58:27. The Lady Vols completed their comeback to force extra-time behind the ninth tally of the campaign from senior forward Emily Dowd at 60:24 and the team-leading 10th goal of 2011 from sophomore forward Caroline Brown at 79:53.
Seeing her first SEC action this season after dealing with an injury, senior midfielder Emily Shore recorded her initial assist. Brown was credited with her squad-high seventh helper of the campaign via Dowd's 61st minute score, and junior midfielder Kylie Bono delivered her fourth assist on Hatcher's match-winner.
For the match Tennessee out-shot the Rebels by a staggering 30-8 count, including 14-2 in the second stanza and had a 13-4 edge on corner kicks. UT also forced Ole Miss into 10 saves in the contest, nine of those coming courtesy of freshman net minder Kelly McCormick.
"I want to credit Ole Miss," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "They had six shots in the first half, three goals and Dylan Jordan (Palmyra, Tenn., native) with the hat trick. Tennessee kids always play so well at Regal Stadium. More power to them, and I'm glad that this stadium brings out the best in all of them. I'm really proud of the way our team executed. In order to have any sort of comeback in a limited amount of time, it has to be methodical and it has to be well executed. You actually beat pressure through possession. The team (Tennessee) understands that, and they now completely understand that there's never too little time to score a goal."
Both teams came out pressuring early on, as Bono had shots blocked out front at 5:09 and 5:43, while Ole Miss forward Alix Hildal got her try blocked by the UT defense at 11:53.
It turned out to be a set piece that hurt Tennessee in the 13th minute as the Rebels nabbed a 1-0 lead. Off a short corner delivered to Rafaelle Souza, the forward fed a ball to Emily Reid in some space on the right wing. The UM midfielder crossed a ball to the far post where it was headed home from five yards out by Jordan.
Suddenly down a score, the Big Orange began firing away at the Ole Miss goal. Hatcher forced a McCormick stop at 14:46 and then launched a drive from 25 yards out at 17:01 that ricocheted off the left post.
During the 30th minute Bono had a great chance as the Yorba Linda, Calif., native raced in marked towards the left upright and fired a shot that McCormick snagged out of the air.
Just 1:06 later it was Jordan again for Ole Miss as "The Volunteer State" product received a long free kick off a UT foul inside the 18, settled it and scored her second goal of the night, this one from 16 yards out to make it 2-0.
Lightning struck for the Rebels another 43 ticks later at 31:20 as Jordan drove a long free kick from 30+ yards out on the right wing on frame. The ball seemed to keep drifting farther in on net as Tennessee freshman goalkeeper Julie Eckel managed to get her fingertips on the shot. Unfortunately, the ball just managed to elude her leaping save attempt giving Jordan the natural hat trick and UM a stunning 3-0 advantage.
The Lady Vols had little choice but to keep firing away and that's just what they did the remainder of the opening half.
Hatcher fired a right-footed shot from just out on the left wing that forced a diving save by McCormick at 34:17. Then at 39:46 a shot from deep out front by Harrison started all sorts of chaos inside the 18 as a save by UM's keeper rebounded right back out front. A follow-up try from Bono was going in except an Ole Miss defender had retreated to the goal line and managed to clear the ball away from the net. A follow-up by junior defender Ali Hall traveled wide left as UT missed a golden chance to get on the board before the break.
A truly inspired Tennessee squad erupted from the halftime locker room as UT posted the first 11 combined shots of the second stanza.
With shot after shot going towards the Ole Miss net, it seemed just a matter of time before the Big Orange would score. At 56:28, the woodwork taunted UT once again as Bono fired a rocket off a free kick through a crowd out front that was deflected and hit off the right post.
Finally in the 59th minute the Lady Vols got on the board via the first corner of the night taken by Shore. A perfect ball to the far post was headed in from approximately five yards out on a leap by Harrison to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Only 1:57 later it was 3-2 as a shot from the right wing by Brown was deflected out front by Dowd. The ball from eight yards out beat McCormick and settled inside the left upright at 60:24.
The woodwork again came into play for the Lady Vols at 66:51 as a shot from the left wing by junior forward Alexis Owens was deflected by a defender and hit off the crossbar.
The comeback was complete in the 80th minute as an individual effort by Brown paid off with the tying goal. The Hershey, Pa., native made a move to beat her marker near the right end line, dribbled in towards the right post and roofed a shot into the net to dead-lock the match at 3-3.
Once overtime began it took just 1:33 to finish the contest as a pass from Bono was finished by Hatcher into the upper left corner of the twine to set off Big Orange jubilation.
The #15 Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team is back in action on Sun., Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. ET by hosting Mississippi State at Regal Stadium.