Oct. 19, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hannah Wilkinson scored at exactly 10 minutes into the game, Julie Eckelhad a career-high 11 saves and the Tennessee soccer team stood its ground to upset No. 9 Texas A&M, 1-0, Friday night at Ellis Field.
"It was a great win," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "Great goal. CC Cobb had a great little ball in to Hannah and it was a class finish. It was just a gritty performance. That's a good team - they have a lot of attacking weapons, they've been scoring a ton of goals this fall and they're very good on set pieces. It reminded me of our Missouri game in terms of in our own box we had to scratch and claw and fight. Obviously we did that. Julie Eckel was great in goal tonight holding and our backs were great and so was everybody. It was a very very big win in our league and I'm very proud of our team tonight."
This marks the second year in a row that UT (12-4-2, 7-3-1 SEC) has upset a ranked Texas A&M (14-3-1, 8-2-1 SEC). In 2011, UT took a 1-0 win in Knoxville over then-No. 18 Texas A&M.
Hannah Wilkinson scored from the right side of the box with exactly 35:00 left in the first half. After corralling a pass from CC Cobbfrom the midfield circle, Wilkinson took the ball in to the box on the right side and fired from about 10 yards out. She split the goalkeeper and one defender to find the middle of the net for her sixth career goal.
The first-half box score was not UT's usual first-half box. Usually the first-half leader in shots, the Lady Vols found themselves trailing the Aggies by a 13-5 margin at the break. Eckel had already reached her season high in saves with seven at the 45-minute mark. Texas A&M also had a 6-4 edge on corners in the first period.
For the game, Texas A&M outshot UT, 23-9 and had 10 corner kicks to the Lady Vols' six.
Eckel (12-4-2) had an outstanding night in goal, surviving a barrage of 23 Aggie shots to finish the night with a season-high 11 saves. Prior to Friday's match, no team fired more than 15 shots against the Lady Vols.
Six different Aggies had multiple shots. Meghan Streight and Shea Groom each had four shots and Jayne Eadie and Bianca Brinson had three apiece. Texas A&M keeper Jordan Day had three saves and fell to 14-3-1.
UT next heads to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on SportSouth and in non-SEC areas on ESPN3.
The Lady Vols will return to Regal Soccer Stadium for its regular season home finale against Georgia on Oct. 25. It is UT's Goal Pink game and Tennessee will celebrate Senior Night. Fans who wear pink will be admitted for free .The first 350 students who attend will receive a free neon orange Retro Rocky Top hat and the first 250 fans will receive a prize from Moe's.