Oct. 28, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. - Junior midfielder Ali Christoph scored her fourth goal of the season to give the 16th-ranked Tennessee soccer program a 1-0 win over Georgia on Friday night at the UGA Soccer Complex and take its third consecutive Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
"Tonight was a great win for our program," said UT head coach Angela Kelly. "It's great to clinch our third straight SEC regular-season title. I'm definitely proud of the way we performed in the second half, coming out of the locker room ready to compete.
"I really have to credit Patrick Baker and his squad for the great game tonight. They came out ready to play from the start. He is really a fantastic coach and already has this program going in the right direction. Now we'll take two days off before we begin to prepare for Orange Beach."
In the 60th minute, there was a scrum at the six-yard line between Georgia goalkeeper Lauren Church and UT freshman forward Jackie Acevedo (Austin, Texas). The ball squirted
towards the penalty kick spot, where Christoph (Columbus, Ohio) controlled the ball and fired into the empty net for the game-winner. The goal was not as amazing as Christoph herself,
as her status was up in the air prior to the match after missing her first game in three seasons as a Lady Vol against Alabama due to a bout with pneumonia.
The defensive struggle expected between two of the best defenses in the conference came to pass, as the squads combined for just 15 shots in the match and only three on goal. In the first half, Georgia's Kelly Whitaker took the only shot on goal in the period at the 34-minute mark, firing from 10 yards out after a breakaway. However, UT senior goalkeeper Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart (Vernon, Conn.) was in perfect position and made he ronly save of the contest.
Tennessee came out strong in the second half, firing eight shots in the period compared to just one by Georgia (12-5-2, 6-4-1). Sophomore forward Emily Redberg (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) took the first good shot, missing left with her chance from the 18. Later in the 71st minute, freshman forward Kylee Rossi (Pennington, N.J.) had her shot from the top of the penalty box go towards the right post, but Church made the diving stop.
Georgia did not go away, as they had opportunities to tie it up in the last 12 minutes. Whitaker again fired from the right side of the box, but the shot stayed wide. Then, the Bulldogs had two free kicks taken by Missy Vierling from 23 yards out on the right side around the 81st minute. The first cross skidded across the box and went untouched before it crossed the goal line. The second was much closer, as it hit the left side of the Orange and White wall. The ball went towards goal in the air, but junior defender Jenny Jeffers (Lake Zurich, Ill.) headed the ball back towards the midfield to quell the threat.
In the match, Tennessee held a 11-4 advantage in shots and took five corner kicks on the evening while holding Georgia to none. The win for Phillips-Bosshart is the 46th of her career, tying her for the top spot in UT history with her predecessor, Ellen Dean (Memphis, Tenn.). The blanking is her 29th career solo job, tying her for second in the SEC annals with Georgia's Nicole Williams.
The Lady Vols open the SEC Tournament against LSU on Thursday at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex in Orange Beach, Ala. The game times for all the contests will be announced by the conference office this weekend.
at the UGA Soccer Complex * Athens, Ga.
|No. 16 TENNESSEE||0||1||1|
UT: Ali Christoph (unassisted); 59:05
Shots: Tennessee 11, Georgia 4.
Corner Kicks: Tennessee 5, Georgia 0.
Goalkeeper Stats: Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart (UT) 1 save, 0 goals, 90:00; Lauren Church (UGA), 1 save, 1 goal, 90:00.
Fouls: Tennessee 10, Georgia 5.
Offsides: Tennessee 2, Georgia 2.
Tennessee: Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart (GK), Talia Wright (D), Jenny Jeffers (D), Genna Gorman (F), Kristen Doukakis (M), Emily Redberg (F), Kylee Rossi (F), Melissa Amado (D), Erica Griffin
(D), Leslie Vineyard (M), Ali Christoph (M).
Reserves: Jackie Acevedo, Sarah Van Sickle, Véronique Maranda.
Georgia: Lauren Church (GK), Catherine Bruce, Joni Vickers, Sarah Brown, Megan Tomlinson, Ali Williams, Kelly Whitaker, Missy Vierling, Randi-Lynn Bruso, Cortni Joyner, Sarah Darvill.
Reserves: Caitlin Dingle, Lena Franklin.
Tennessee: Ali Christoph 4, Kylee Rossi 3, Emily Redberg 2, Leslie Vineyard 1, Sarah Van Sickle 1.
Georgia: Kelly Whitaker 4.