Oct. 21, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - Seniors Amy Harrison, Kylie Bono and Alexis Owens came up big with UT down one goal, Hannah Wilkinson netted another game-winner and the Tennessee soccer team rallied for a 2-1 road win over Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.
"We talked about it before the game," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "This was going to be a team, dig-in win if we were fortunate enough to get it. Again, it was a long travel weekend - down to College Station, get that win, long travel day yesterday, and then play a desperate, talented Ole Miss team and then go down 1-0 in the eighth minute. To battle back and get a win tells you more about our kids' fight and our kids' determination."
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the 80th minute, Tennessee (13-4-2, 8-3-1 SEC) worked the ball to the left side of the Ole Miss box. Owens, who had a big impact in the game with her speed causing havoc for UM defenders, collected the ball on the left side and used a controlled tap back to the front of the box to Wilkinson. Wilkinson fired to the lower right corner for the score and her fourth game-winner of the season.
Ole Miss (12-7-0, 5-7-0 SEC) struck first when Mandy McCalla headed in a corner kick from Rafaelle Souza in the eighth minute. McCalla navigated her way through traffic in the box to locate the ball near the far post and give the Rebels a 1-0 advantage.
Tennessee did not wait long to respond. Three minutes and one second later at 10:41, Harrison evened the game at 1-1 off a UT corner kick. CC Cobb played the corner short Caroline Brown, who tapped back to Cobb for the cross. Cobb sent the ball into the box to Bono on the far side, the senior midfielder tapped the ball in the air back to the center of the box and Harrison headed it into the back of the net for her sixth goal of the year. Cobb and Bono were credited with assists.
"It's easy to get fatigued physically and mentally when you go down a goal," Pensky said. "I go back to the leaders on this team. It's no accident that Bono keeps that ball in play and Amy finishes it for the tying goal, three minutes after they scored. That's massive and all of a sudden we're playing again. Alexis Owens - who has seen limited time and I know the kid wants to play - she works so hard and we all love her so much. She deserves time and her time paid off today with a great little ball to Hannah. Hannah had two big-time game-winning goals for us on the weekend. I couldn't be more proud of our team and happy for them. They came on the road against two very good teams and to walk away with two wins - that's big-time."
Tennessee had an 11-9 advantage on shots and a 10-3 corner kick edge.
Harrison and Bono each had three shots and one on goal Wilkinson and Owens both had two shots on goal.
UT goalkeeper Julie Eckel (13-4-2) had four saves in the win, giving her 15 for the weekend.
Ole Miss goalkeeper Kelly McCormick had four saves for the Rebels.
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.