Freshman midfielder Amy Harrison
Oct. 9, 2009
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite severe weather in the Knoxville area that forced a 50-minute delay at halftime and near constant rain during the second stanza, Tennessee put a season-high three goals in the back of the net to roll past Mississippi State, 3-0, on Friday night at the Regal Soccer Stadium.
Senior forward Mick Imgram continued her amazing 2009 campaign by scoring twice to improve her season count to eight goals through 13 matches. Sophomore midfielder Chelsea Hatcher tallied her second goal of the campaign, while freshman midfielder Amy Harrison contributed her second and third assists of the year and rookie forward Jayden Barrett her initial career helper.
Tennessee out-shot the Maroon & White by a commanding 23-10 total, drew five corners to zero for MSU and became just the second team to hold the Bulldogs scoreless during the `09 campaign.
UT junior goalkeeper Molly Baird picked up her sixth career shutout and third league blanking by recording five saves during the match.
"This was a great result for our team," Lady Vol head coach Angela Kelly said. "Putting the ball in the back of the net three times was exciting, and Mick Imgram and Amy Harrison continue to come up big for us with two goals and two assists tonight, respectively. That pair's efforts along with Chelsea Hatcher's goal early on set the tone, and we were a different class of team coming out of the locker room in the second half. Our group listened to the coaches' instruction at the break and did the things they needed to do to pick up this win. I was very pleased with our performance in the second half. We'll enjoy this effort tonight, and then get prepared to face a very well-organized Ole Miss team live on ESPNU on Sunday."
After a long shot from Imgram drifted well wide at 2:57, the Bulldogs created some early offensive pressure in the attacking third.
At both the 7:08 and 9:26 mark in the opening frame, Mississippi State forward Kat Walsh advanced on goal from the left wing and fired a pair of shots that forced early saves by Baird.
Tennessee responded by turning up its own offensive attack as sophomore midfielders Lara Langworthy and Emily Shore had shots blocked out in front of the Bulldog goal by the MSU backline during the 14th minute.
The scoreless deadlock was broken at 15:15 off a cross from the right wing by Barrett. The Corona, Calif., native's feed found Harrison standing in the middle of the penalty area, and she turned and passed to Hatcher who was racing quickly from behind into the play. The Cincinnati, Ohio, product ripped a quick shot into goal past MSU goalie Taryn Holland from about 12 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
After Walsh again forced a Baird save, this one at 19:01, the Lady Vols came close to adding to their advantage during the 24th minute as Imgram hammered a ball from about 20 yards out that rattled off the crossbar and over the end line for a goal kick.
As the half neared its conclusion, high winds began buffeting the complex and then with 3:43 remaining in the opening stanza, heavy rain struck as both teams struggled in the difficult conditions. In fact, the precipitation was so heavy at times that seeing the players' numbers from the spectator seating became troublesome. After both teams had moved to their dressing areas and the fans were sent to safe zones in the stadium, Knox County was placed under a tornado warning, forcing a delay of about 50 minutes.
Right off the second half kick-off the Lady Vol offense was in high gear as Barrett had a shot blocked out front at 47:29 and then shot high at 50:43.
Just a minute later, Imgram added to Tennessee's lead as the Clifton, Va., native corralled a poor clearance attempt by the Bulldogs and ripped a shot from just outside the top of the 18-yard penalty area that traveled into the lower left corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
With the Big Orange offense relentless as Harrison shot high, sophomore midfielder Emily Shore wide and then Harrison forced a save by Holland, the Bulldogs managed one solid rush on UT's goal during that period. Rachel Wannek has a shot deflected out front at 55:27 and then Baird corralled a shot from MSU midfielder Madison McKee.
The Lady Vols responded quickly at 56:07 with their third goal as Harrison shot from the right side, about eight yards out. Holland made an initial save, but the rebound traveled straight to the far post where Imgram was waiting to tap the ball into the twine for a 3-0 lead.
From there, UT managed eight additional shots at the Mississippi State end, two on frame, while the Bulldogs got high efforts from Walsh at 69:01 and Katy Hoover at 80:22 as Tennessee prevailed with a commanding three-goal victory.
Tennessee's home stand at Regal Soccer Stadium continues on Sunday as UT faces Ole Miss live on ESPNU at 3 p.m. ET. Live stats via Gametracker will be available through utladyvols.com.