Oct. 12, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On the strength of a goal just over a minute into the second half, Vanderbilt topped the University of Tennessee women's soccer team, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Regal Stadium. Despite out-shooting the Commodores, the Lady Vols snapped a three-game winning streak and fell to 6-8-0 overall.
"This loss is unacceptable," UT Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "All the credit goes to Vanderbilt. They found a way to put the ball in the back of the net and then solidify the win. So, all the credit goes to Ronnie Coveleskie and her squad."
The game's only goal and eventual winner for Vanderbilt came in the 47th minute off the foot of sophomore Megan Kinsella. The midfielder found herself open in the box and placed her shot into the lower left corner to beat UT senior keeper Jaimel Johnson. The goal was Kinsella's third of the season.
Following the goal, the Lady Vols looked to get themselves on the scoreboard, taking six shots over the final 43 minutes of the match. UT put two of their final six shots on goal, while hitting the framework twice in the second half. VU keeper Rachel Bachtel was forced to make two saves and was helped by her backline that blocked two Tennessee shots in the half.
Sophomore forward Devon Swaim had two of Tennessee's best chances to score in the second half. In the 68th minute, the Levittown, Pa., native took a shot from the right side of the box that curled down towards the goal but hit off the top of the crossbar. Just three minutes later, Swaim found an opening in the defense and ripped a shot from 18 yards that clanged off the crossbar and back into play before being cleared by the Commodores.
"I thought that I hit that shot pretty solidly," Swaim said. "It looked like it was going to dip right under the crossbar, but it hit right on the bar. It was just disappointing because I thought that was our opportunity to tie it up."
Despite a concerted effort to put the ball away in the final 20 minutes of the match, the Lady Vols could not seem to find the back of the net. With the one goal lead, Vanderbilt was content to pull back and play defense, as they took just one more shot after scoring.
"The focus wasn't all the way there in the second half, you could see it," Swaim said. "I think after they scored, some of our shoulders dropped a little. It was difficult to get the spirit and momentum back up for us on the field."
A scoreless first half saw Tennessee take 11 shots, forcing Bachtel to make three saves. The Lady Vols controlled the pace in the first frame, holding the Commodores to four shots, two of which were on goal. The Orange and White nearly scored in the 17th minute when senior forward Kylee Rossi took a shot that was saved by a VU defender. The rebound came out to senior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar who blasted a shot that went just high.
UT out-shot the Commodores 17-6 overall, but struggled to get into a rhythm offensively. Rossi led the squad with five shots, including three which were on goal, but snapped her seven-match point scoring streak in the loss.
"We had numerous opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them," Kelly said.
The win for Vanderbilt gives it an 8-6-2 advantage in the all-time series and marks its first win over UT since 2005. Bachtel recorded her fourth shutout of the season, while the Lady Vols failed to score a goal for the fifth time this year. The loss brings Tennessee's record at Regal Stadium to 5-2-0 during the 2008 campaign.
With the four-game homestand behind them, the Lady Vols now travel to the Magnolia State to take on Ole Miss and Mississippi State next weekend. Tennessee will be looking for redemption in Mississippi after coming home from the 2006 trip to the state with a loss and a tie. UT will meet the Rebels on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. CT before taking on the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. CT on Oct. 19.