Aug. 12, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In front of 375 fans on Fri., Aug. 12, at the brand new Samford Soccer Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., the Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team and Samford each tallied 11 total shots but were forced to settle for a 0-0 exhibition draw.
In all 20 different Lady Vol players saw action in the contest, including eight freshmen who drew their first playing time while clad in the Orange & White.
UT senior forward Chelsea Hatcher led the Tennessee offensive effort with three total shots, two on frame, while junior midfielder Kylie Bono, senior forward Lara Langworthy and junior midfielder Amy Harrison were each credited with a drive on frame.
For the Bulldogs senior goalkeeper Alyssa Whitehead managed five saves, while midfielder Trine Taule tallied a team-high three shots.
"This is the seventh day of preseason," Tennessee Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "We've worked their tails off, two-a-days. We're going after it in training. Tonight was a training session for us. It was great to see our younger players, including our sophomores, gain experience against a different opponent. We're very pleased with a couple of the series' that we compiled tonight. We knew coming in tonight that there was still tons to work on, and that the learning curve is always very big for the freshmen. Overall, I'm very pleased with where we are and with the effort that our team has put forth thus far."
Right from the opening kick the battle for control of the midfield commenced with each team managing small probing efforts into its respective offensive zones.
The first even remote chance for either squad came during the seventh minute as a cross from deep out on the right wing from Tennessee senior midfielder Emily Shore proved just a little too high for leaping forward Lara Langworthy about 12 yards out in the middle of the 18-yard box and was eventually cleared without a shot.
The initial shot of the contest was Samford's as a cross to the right side of goal found the feet of Lindsay Matern about eight yards out at 9:15. She had some trouble settling the ball while marked, but managed to get off a rushed shot that was saved by UT freshman keeper Eckel.
Following a shot by SU's Kaley Blanton that again forced Eckel into action with a great diving stop, the Bulldogs continued their pressure with back-to-back corner kicks at 14:31 and 15:08. UT's rookie keeper was again up to the task in the 16th minute as a header by Taule was stopped with no rebound.
With approximately 25 minutes remaining in the opening frame, Matern managed some sweet footwork up the middle of the 18 to beat a couple of Lady Vol defenders and break in clear on goal. Eckel raced quickly off her line and slid at the Samford's midfielder's feet to break up the chance with no shot attempted.
Tennessee's offense finally got a sustained attack going at 25:45 as junior midfielder Amy Harrison broke in on frame while receiving a pass but was ruled offside by the linesman.
The Big Orange finally got its initial shot during the 31st minute as Bono raced up the left wing and crossed a ball to the middle that found the feet of Harrison. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, native settled the orb, pivoted to her right and fired a shot from 14 yards out right at Samford's 6-3 keeper Whitehead for a save.
Just a couple of minutes later sophomore Caroline Brown moved up the left wing, dribbled parallel to the end line toward the left post and crossed a low ball to the middle. Hatcher was marked about six yards out and just couldn't quite get her right boot on the sphere for a shot.
A Samford corner at 36:20 resulted in a very ambitious drive from about 35 yards out in the middle by Shanika Thomas that was easily nabbed by Eckel.
Tennessee had its own corner in the 38th minute as Shore played a short ball that was eventually lifted into the middle of the 18. Freshman defender Alison Clarke leapt in the air and managed a header toward net that was blocked out front by a Bulldog defender and cleared.
With 5:37 left in the opening frame, Orange & White hearts skipped a beat as Samford's Amanda Abbott beat a defender and began breaking in on goal from about 35 yards out. In a gutsy move Eckel raced out to meet the threat about 25 yards away from her line and dove in the way. Abbott's slow-rolling shot eventually went harmlessly wide of the right post.
Shore delivered in a cross with 3:37 remaining, but Samford's Whitehead soared above the crowd to make a routine catch.
Samford's Trine Taule registered the first shot of the second stanza from about 12 yards out in the middle at 48:50 after a foot race with Lady Vol senior defender Chelsea Kephart. The UT marker managed to bother Taule just enough to force her shot well high of frame.
On a poor Big Orange clearance in the 52nd minute, a bouncing ball dropped to the feet of Abbott about 12 yards out. She managed a shot while stretching out, but UT's Eckel dove to her right to make another goal-saving stop.
Hatcher tallied her first shot of the contest at 53:06 from a tough angle on the left wing as Whitehead was forced to make another save.
Another shot by Hatcher in the 55th minute was blocked out front. On the rebound, Lady Vol freshman sub Lexi Krause raced in from behind the play to blast a drive from 12 yards right into Whitehead's arms.
Rolfs was summoned into the contest at 56:59 for her first live match experience at UT and immediately faced some Bulldog pressure as Taule drove a header just wide right of the upright.
In the 74th minute with Rolfs out of her net prepping to deal with a cross, a deflection traveled over to Samford's Katie Proud about 15 yards out on the right side of goal. She fired a shot at the open net, but Kephart drifted back to save a potential goal by clearing the ball from inside the six-yard box.
Shots by Bono at 71:55 and Hatcher at 74:02 forced Whitehead saves, but failed to dent the scoreless draw on the scoreboard.
A Tennessee corner with 8:49 remaining in the contest resulted in a Shore cross to the far post. UT freshman Kaelyn Angelo raced up and headed a ball wide of the left post for a goal kick.
Samford had the final scoring chances as a corner at 88:31 was poorly delivered behind the netting, and an Adrienne Mancino shot with 13 seconds left was blocked by the Lady Vol defense and cleared out of harm's way by Bailey to secure the 0-0 deadlock.
The 2011 Tennessee soccer regular season officially gets underway on Fri., Aug 19, in Lawrence, Kan., as the Big Orange travel to face the Kansas Jayhawks at 6 p.m. ET.