Nov. 4, 2005
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The 13th-ranked Lady Vols will play in their fourth straight SEC Soccer Tournament final after advancing on penalty kicks over 20th-ranked Vanderbilt, 4-3. The match officially goes down as a scoreless tie, moving Tennessee's record to 13-5-2 and the Commodores to 15-3-2.
"I just told the team to be confident and explain that it was about passing the ball 12 yards," said SEC Co-Coach of the Year Angela Kelly about the shootout. "I tried to take the weight off and tell them that whether they made the kick or won the game that doesn't diminish how much I care and how proud I am of how they decided to play."
In the shootout, the squads swapped goals to start, as VU's Amy Baumann and UT's Emily Redberg (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) both found the nets. Vandy's Susan McAleavey gave the `Dores the 2-1 advantage after beating UT senior goalkeeper Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart (Vernon, Conn.) to her right. First team All-SEC forward Genna Gorman (Lakewood, Colo.) went second for the Lady Vols, but her shot was stopped by SEC Defensive Player of the Year Tyler Griffin.
Holding the 2-1 advantage, SEC Co-Coach of the Year Ronnie Hill sent first team All-SEC defender Kim Perkins to the PK spot. The junior missed right, giving Tennessee new hope. Junior midfielder Kristen Doukakis (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tied it up at 2-2 when she beat Griffin to her right. Katie Schulz then came up for Vanderbilt, but her shot hit the crossbar and left post and bounced across the goal mouth but never over the line. First team All-SEC midfielder Ali Christoph (Columbus, Ohio) took the fourth chance for UT and sent it into the nets, giving the Big Orange the 3-2 lead.
With one shooter remaining for both squads, the Commodores' Monica Buff beat Phillips-Bosshart to her left to knot it up at 3-3. Second team All-SEC forward Kylee Rossi (Pennington, N.J.) went last for the Lady Vols and beat Griffin to her left to send Tennessee to its fourth straight championship match.
Vanderbilt controlled the first half of play, getting a few offensive chances that the Lady Vol defense was able to turn away. In the 15th minute, Lea Lafield got behind the UT backline and went towards goal. She tried to cross the ball towards the left, but no one was there to finish for the Commodores.
The Orange and White tried to get on the board in the 30th, as Rossi fired from the left side, but the ball stayed left. Vanderbilt then had two free kicks from the right side of the penalty box that the `Dores served in for chances, but sophomore Erica Griffin (Memphis, Tenn.) and junior Jenny Jeffers (Lake Zurich, Ill.) cleared the balls out of the box.
In the 41st, Rossi had a header opportunity come off of a Gorman free kick, but it went high. Vandy went on the attack from there, sending the ball toward Phillips-Bosshart. About 25 yards out, the second team All-SEC goalkeeper booted the ball, but it hit one of UT's defenders in the back and headed to goal, but the ball skipped right. Tennessee then cleared the ensuing corner kick.
The Lady Vols had the final chance of the half, as junior defender Melissa Amado (Surrey, British Columbia) headed the serve off the Gorman corner kick, but the shot went right. Neither team had a shot on goal in the period.
In the second half, the Commodores had two shots that nearly gave them the lead. In the 53rd minute, Baumann saw her shot from the 18 hit the crossbar and bounce over the goal. 11 minutes later, Sarah Dennis fired from 16 yards out, but the ball went high.
UT tried to go on the offensive, as Christoph tried a strike from 20 yards out in the 67th minute. However, her shot went right. With four minutes to go, the Lady Vols had three good opportunities go awry. Christoph started the chances when she fired from 12 yards out, but a Vandy defender knocked the ball away. Doukakis then tried to put in the rebound, but Griffin snagged the ball for the save. 40 seconds later, Doukakis again got a chance from inside 10 yards, but Griffin made her fifth stop of the night.
Neither team fired a shot in the first overtime period, but both had good looks in the second extra frame. VU's Kelci Hegg took the first chance in the 103rd minute, as she tried to head in the ball after a free kick, but it went left. Redberg followed with a shot from eight yards out, but again Griffin was there to make the save.
In the match, Tennessee held a 13-6 advantage in shots and took eight corner kicks to Vanderbilt's four. The scoreless tie was just the fourth in Tennessee history but the third in the last two years. UT's defense held the Commodores to no shots on goal, the first time the backline accomplished this feat in 2005.
The Lady Vols will take on Auburn in the SEC Tournament finals on Sunday at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex. Start time is set for 3:30 p.m. CST, and the game will be shown live on Fox Sports Net South, Fox Sports Net Southeast and Sun Sports Florida.