Oct. 23, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On a crisp fall evening at Regal Soccer Stadium, the University of Tennessee women's soccer team played to a 1-1 draw with the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide on Thursday night. The tie marked the Lady Vols' first overtime match of the season and brings their program record in extra time to 26-11-17.
"This is an unacceptable result, in my opinion," UT Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "We had 20 shots and once again we hit too many crossbars and too many posts. We're not finishing inside the six or the 18."
UT came out firing from the start of the contest as senior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar ripped a shot high over the Alabama goal just 56 seconds into the match. Just under four minutes later, sophomore Tanya Emerson had a chance that deflected off an Alabama defender and past the end line, resulting in a UT corner kick. The threat was ended, however, as the Orange and White was whistled offsides on the try.
Tennessee continued to control play on its end for much of the opening half, holding the Tide to no shots on goal in the opening stanza, marking the first time this season that Alabama had been held without a strike in the initial 45 minutes of play. Conversely, UT registered 11 shots in the first.
Sophomore forward Devon Swaim converted Tennessee's fourth shot of the game into her fourth goal of the season at the 22:28 mark of the first half. Swaim took a Hannah Hut pass into the corner and nimbly entered the box from the left side, dropping a shot across the length of the goal line, just past the grasp of Alabama keeper Kara Gudmens and inside the right post for the game's opening tally.
Tennessee had several chances to extend its lead in the first frame. The best chance came from sophomore midfielder Tanya Emerson, who took a perfect cross from VonderHaar off her head, past Gudmens, but into the crossbar. Although the rebound came back into the field of play, the Tide cleared the ball, halting the scoring chance.
Swaim had two more chances at the net, including one with just seven seconds left in the half, but each sailed wide, sending the teams to the locker rooms with UT holding a 1-0 advantage.
As the second half commenced, Alabama came out of the gate looking to quickly even the score, keeping the ball on its end for much of the first five minutes of the half. Rosaly Petriello registered the first UA shot on the evening, putting it on frame, but had it saved by UT keeper Jaimel Johnson. A pair of Brooke Rodgers shots in the 49th minute nearly tied the game, but Johnson came up with a save on the first, while the second sailed just wide of the net.
After working towards the equalizer throughout the second half, Alabama found the back of the net with just 28 seconds remaining in regulation. After a UT foul just outside the left corner of the box, the Crimson Tide got the ball to Kailey Corken on the endline where she fed it in to Grace Lawson. The sophomore's shot from 10 yards out sailed into the upper right corner of the net, tying the match at one goal apiece at the 89:22 mark.
The Crimson Tide out-shot the Lady Vols in the second half, tallying seven shots, including five which were on goal. Johnson and Gudmens traded saves, notching four apiece in the final frame.
The two teams combined for four shots over the two 10-minute overtime periods, with Alabama recording just one shot in extra time. Tennessee posted three shots in the final frame, forcing Gudmens to make two saves to secure the draw.
The Orange and White are now 8-8-1 overall and 5-3-1 in conference play. Tennessee has now posted 5-2-1 record at Regal Stadium this season, with just one home match remaining.
The Lady Vols now look to earn their third consecutive road win in their final trip of the regular season to Auburn. The Tigers posted a 1-0 victory over Georgia on Thursday night. Sunday's match is set to begin at 2 p.m. CT at Auburn Soccer Complex.