Sept. 17, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team (2-5-0) out-shot its visitors by a 20-12 total, including 8-6 in shots on frame, and saw a late second half goal by sophomore Alexis Owens disallowed on an offside call in dropping a 1-0 decision to Wisconsin (2-3-2) on Friday night in front of the fifth largest crowd in Regal Soccer Stadium history (1,744).
The Big Orange offense created numerous scoring chances in the attacking third but either just missed the target or had UW keeper Michele Dalton come up with one of her eight total saves to preserve the shutout.
The large crowd in attendance witnessed a very rough contest that saw the head referee whistle for 38 total fouls, 20 against UT, and issue four yellow cards.
Junior forward Chelsea Hatcher led UT with six shots in the match, sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono was credited with a team-best two shots on goal and redshirt senior goalkeeper Molly Baird made five saves.
Redshirt junior defender Molly Delk, who previously played for Tennessee during the 2008 campaign, was added to the official roster prior to this match and drew 68 minutes of action as a backline substitute.
"I was very pleased with the style of soccer we played tonight," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "We possessed the ball well and did a good job of attacking Wisconsin's defense. You have to pick and choose the time to be direct or the time to build the attack. This young team did that tonight and felt what it was like. I've been using the metaphor that our team is `trudging through mud' right now. You have to battle to get through that `mud' and have the fortitude to win and persevere. Nothing about our team's approach tonight disappointed the coaching staff. We had 20 shots with five to seven of those from point-blank range. We just have to put the ball in the back of the net."
Tennessee pressured right from the kick-off as Bono made a strong run up the middle and passed to Hatcher about 20 yards out to the right side of goal. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native hammered a shot toward frame that was blocked by a Wisconsin defender.
In the sixth minute the Badgers posted their first scoring chance as Catie Sessions forced Baird to make her initial stop of the contest.
UT was awarded corner kicks at 7:18 and 10:35 but failed to get a shot off during either opportunity. On the other end Kodee Williams fired a shot on frame that Baird saved at 11:28.
Sophomore defender Ali Hall excited the home fans during the 16th minute by making a terrific sliding tackle to steal a ball in UT's defensive zone during a dangerous Wisconsin counter-attack.
The first big scoring chance for the Lady Vols came in the 22nd minute as freshman midfielder Tori Bailey passed from the left wing into the middle to Bono. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native delivered a feed to freshman midfielder Caroline Brown just outside the 18 who quickly uncorked a right-footed shot at frame. Dalton proved up to the task, however, corralling the sphere for a goal kick.
Just a couple of minutes later Hatcher blasted a shot from about 22 yards out on the right wing that eventually traveled wide left, but almost found the feet of an on-rushing Brown sliding in at the near post.
At 29:09 Hatcher missed on a golden opportunity as Bono delivered a through ball up the middle that found her teammate with a step on the last UW defender. Hatcher may have rushed her opportunity just a little under duress, firing wide right from about 15 yards out while facing at a one-on-one situation with the keeper.
With Tennessee having failed to put away several chances in front of the net, it was the Badgers who struck first at 34:20. Sessions delivered a cross from the right wing into the six-yard box that was headed into the net by forward Laurie Nosbusch. The goal that granted UW a 1-0 lead marked Nosbusch's team-best second goal of the campaign.
Later in the half UT's Owens forced a Dalton stop. Then with 1:17 left in the initial frame senior forward Anna Fisher managed to send a pass through a crowd to Brown in clear space about 16 yards out from the left post. The Hershey, Pa., native teed up a quick shot, but fired high over the bar as the teams eventually went to the locker room with Wisconsin up by a goal.
The Lady Vols had another golden chance right out of the halftime break as Bono fired a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that was stopped by Dalton. The keeper couldn't corral the ball, however, as it bounced just out of her reach and back into play. Freshman midfielder Sanna Saarinen raced in quickly, attempting to tuck a shot past the net minder at the post, but watched helplessly as Dalton managed a diving stop to knock the orb just outside the upright and over the end line for a corner.
Tennessee continued its offensive pressure throughout the remainder of the half, out-shooting the Badgers 11-5 over the final 45 minutes.
With time running short it appeared that the Orange & White had finally found the equalizer. Off a cross from the right wing, Owens took advantage of a bouncing ball in the six-yard box, tallying what appeared to be the tying goal at 81:27. Unfortunately for the Lady Vols, the official had the flag up signaling the play as offside.
From there Fisher managed to force another Dalton save at 83:29 and Tennessee posted consecutive corners at 84:45 and 85:10 but just couldn't tickle the twine as UW held on for a hard-fought, one-goal victory.