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Kentucky Scores In 70th To Edge UT, 1-0

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee soccer team was locked in a scoreless game with Kentucky for the first 69 minutes of Friday night's match, but the Wildcats found an opening on the left side and Kelli Hubly scored from five yards out hand UT a 1-0 home loss.

"I think we've got to become more dangerous in the attacking end," UT head coach Brian Penksy said. "Obviously with a lot of 1-0 games, you're not scoring too many goals. Right now, we're not scoring very many goals. We have three goals in our last five games. That's a problem. The positive side is we've given up two goals in our last five games."

Tennessee (10-4-2, 5-3-1 SEC) and had better offensive pressure in the second half after Kentucky (9-5-1, 4-4-1 SEC) had the edge in the first, but Hubly's lone goal at 69:02 was the difference. Kentucky's Arin Gilliland served the ball to the top left corner of the box and Hubly worked it past two Tennessee defenders on a diagonal run, sending it to the lower right corner of the goal.

The Lady Vols fired 10 shots in the second half, but their best chance at an equalizer was off a Kentucky set piece in the 84th minute. Off a UK free kick at midfield, Katie Lenz got the ball just outside the circle and hit Caroline Brown on a run forward. Brown booted it up to Hannah Wilkinson on a sprint and Wilkinson outran a Wildcat defender to the back line for a cross. Wilkinson sent the ball about shoulder-height high, three yards from the back line, just missing Iyana Moore for a header up the middle.

By Brian Rice, UTSports.com

Tennessee played its fifth-consecutive 1-0 game on Friday night against Kentucky. UT is just 3-2 in those games. But what is overshadowed in the streak is the outstanding defensive effort led by senior Ali Hall and sophomore Allie Sirna.

"We've been having really solid defensive efforts from the whole team but especially the back line," Lady Vol goalie Julie Eckel said. "There's not a flaw in our offense right now, we're scoring goals, just not as many as we would like. The main thing is to keep pushing and keep working."

The Lady Vol defense has allowed just eight goals in 16 games this season. Eckel has seven shutouts on the season, one off from the eight she had all of last season. But the sophomore keeper credits the team for her individual accomplishments.

"It's a whole team effort. I think that we have the best back line in the conference, especially our center backs," she said. "We're all more confident because everyone was here last year, so we're more comfortable and confident."

Kentucky had two shots on goal in the first half. Julie Eckelmade the save off a shot by Kelli Hubly from the left side of the box in the 17th minute and saved a shot by Caitlin Landis in the front center of the box in the 28th minute.

UT and UK had 15 shots a piece and Tennessee had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.

Wilkinson had three shots with one on goal. Kylie Bono had three shots and Tori Bailey had two shots on goal. Eckel fell to 10-4-2 with the loss and had two saves.

Hubly had four shots for UK with two on goal. Gilliland had three shots. Kayla King improved to 8-2 in goal and had three saves.

Tennessee will host LSU on Sunday at 2 p.m. Follow the action live here at UTSports.com.

NOTES: With Hubly's goal at 69:02, UT saw its stretch of scoreless defense end at 415:03 ... seven UT players played the full 90 minutes: Julie Eckel, Tori Bailey, Kylie Bono, Ali Hall, Allie Sirna, Amy Harrison and Brittney Wade ... junior Caroline Brown played 64 minutes off the bench, her longest outing since playing 65 minutes against Kennesaw State on Aug. 31.

 

 

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