Oct. 17, 2008
OXFORD, Miss. - On the strength of a 64th minute goal by senior forward Kylee Rossi, the University of Tennessee women's soccer team posted a 1-0 victory over Ole Miss on Friday night. The Lady Vols earned their fifth shutout of the season and improved to 7-8-0 overall and 4-3-0 in SEC play.
The goal came after sophomore forward Devon Swaim took the free kick following a foul at the top of the box. Swaim's kick went over the wall and off the crossbar, but the rebound came out to Rossi on the far post, where she headed it in past Ole Miss freshman keeper Alley Ronaldi. The score marked Rossi's 11th of the season and the fourth time in the last three matches that she and Swaim have hooked up for a goal.
Tennessee out-shot the Rebels in the second half, 9-6, putting three of those shots on frame. Ole Miss had a few quality scoring opportunities in the final 45 minutes, forcing senior keeper Jaimel Johnson to make two saves. One of the Rebels' best chances came on a breakaway that would have resulted in a one-on-one situation for Johnson if sophomore defender Grace Cuenin hadn't made a well-time slide tackle in the box.
The Lady Vols looked for an insurance goal over the final 25 minutes. Swaim had two of Tennessee's chances, forcing Ronaldi to make a save in the 72nd minute before having her shot blocked by a defender 30 seconds later. Rossi led the squad with four shots in the match, however, Swaim notched three shots in the second half, including the free kick that led to the goal.
A scoreless first frame saw Tennessee control the pace for most of the half. Though the Lady Vols only had a one-shot advantage over Ole Miss, they forced Ronaldi to make three saves. Mississippi's best chance came on a header by junior Mallory Coleman off a corner kick that required Johnson to make her only stop of the half. Both teams played a physical initial period, combining for 12 fouls and one yellow card to UT freshman defender Lara Langworthy.
The victory is the Lady Vols' fourth in the last five games and marks Johnson's fourth solo shutout of the year. The Dayton, Ohio, native needed three saves to keep the Rebels scoreless and record the 19th blank sheet of her career.
The Orange and White now look ahead to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs fell to Georgia, 1-0, on Friday night and are still looking for their first win in conference play. Tennessee and MSU are set to kick off at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday in Starkville, Miss. Live statistics will be available online at utladyvols.com.