Oct. 22, 2009
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite UT senior midfielder Mick Imgram's league-leading 11th goal of the season on Lady Vol "Senior Night," three second half tallies guided Auburn (7-7-3, 4-5-0 Southeastern Conference) past Tennessee (7-7-3, 3-4-2 SEC) on Thursday evening at the Regal Soccer Stadium.
The Big Orange out-shot Auburn, 18-11, in the contest, while both teams posted five shots on frame. The Tigers made the most of their chances, however, scoring on three of those five scoring opportunities. Imgram and sophomore midfielder Emily Dowd led the Big Orange with two blasts each at the woodwork.
"This is an extremely disappointing loss at home," Lady Vol head coach Angela Kelly said. "This is a team searching for its identity, and no one is stepping up. We had ample opportunities to put the match away in the first half and didn't get it done. I thought we were very careless in the second half."
Tennessee created a scoring opportunity not long after the opening kick as sophomore midfielder Emily Shore received a pass from sophomore forward Chelsea Hatcher and fired a shot high from about 20 yards out on the right wing in the first minute.
The two teams exchanged wide drives in the seventh and eighth minutes as Hatcher and AU forward Rebecca Howell missed at 6:38 and 7:52, respectively.
Freshman forward Jayden Barrett did some stellar one-on-one work to beat her defender near the left-side end line in the 11th minute, battling to draw the initial corner kick of the contest for either squad.
That hard work paid immediate dividends as Imgram took the corner and bent a perfect cross into the top left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead as Auburn keeper Amy Howard tried in vain to make the save.
Wide shots followed at 11:11 by Barrett and 12:09 by Hatcher as the Orange & White looked for more on the scoreboard.
The Tiger offense seemed to finally come to life in the 17th minute after drawing a corner kick that was harmlessly cleared away by the UT backline.
Auburn forward Caitlin King blasted a shot that forced a save from junior keeper Molly Baird at 17:47 and then drove a ball high at 20:49 as the AU attack began to gain some confidence.
Perhaps the biggest play of the game for the Lady Vols occurred in the 30th minute. A bad catch by the keeper Howard in the penalty area resulted in the ball trickling away with her sprawled on the ground and Dowd racing into the play. A Dowd kick forced the orb to bounce over Howard and into clear space with nothing but open goal ahead. Unfortunately, the eventual shot might have been a little rushed and traveled well wide left of frame as UT missed a big chance to go up by two scores.
Tennessee continued to press for that important second goal as Hatcher missed wide and had a shot blocked out in front during the 36th minute, while Jackyra contributed a blocked drive at 36:58.
Eventually the teams retired to the locker room with Tennessee holding on to a tenuous one-goal advantage.
The Tigers came out of the halftime break a new team, forcing the offensive action in the attacking third immediately. A cross to the middle of the field by forward Mary Coffed ended up at the feet of midfielder Chelsea Yauch as she hustled from behind into the play. She scored easily from about eight yards right out front to tie the score at 1-1 just 32 seconds into the new half.
Baird made a save on a shot by Howell at 47:27 and watched as Coffed fired wide in the 52nd minute as the AU pressure continued.
At 54:03 the scoreboard deadlock was broken by Howell on a shot into the upper right corner from about 15 yards out in the middle of the pitch. A pass from Caitlin King hit Howell in stride heading up the middle and moving into some space. She quickly fired and hit paydirt for a 2-1 lead.
Just over seven minutes later defender Heather Havron drove a corner kick for Auburn into the middle that eventually was passed from Caitlin King to defender Julie King with the latter scoring for a stunning 3-1 Tiger advantage.
Suddenly faced with a two-goal deficit, the Lady Vols tried their best to claw back into the match by applying more offensive pressure.
Hatcher had a blast from deep out on the right wing blocked out front at 62:28, Imgram took a long free kick in the 67th minute that ricocheted off the Auburn wall and away from danger and Dowd followed with a shot that forced a Howard save at 67:57.
A solid UT crossing feed to the middle of the 18 during the 74th minute found no one home wearing Orange & White as the ball bounced through unmolested.
Imgram followed soon after by lobbing a little pass over a defender that Dowd controlled on the right side at 77:43 before firing just wide left of frame.
With time running short, Imgram took a free kick from about 22 yards out following an Auburn yellow card at 83:34. The shot beat the Tiger wall out front but traveled right to the keeper for a routine save.
The UT heat continued as Hatcher forced a stop by Howard in the 87th minute, then with about 42 seconds remaining in the contest, Dowd launched a blast from approximately 27 yards out in the middle that was saved by the AU netminder.
The Big Orange had one final chance to score as Barrett worked to within about 12 yards near the penalty spot but her shot at 89:57 went wide as Auburn completed the 3-1 victory.
Tennessee heads back out on the road this weekend, traveling to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide on Sunday live on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) at 2 p.m. ET.