Sept. 24, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
Chelsea Hatcher discusses her goal at 87:12 that beat Arkansas
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Vol junior forward Chelsea Hatcher's goal with just 2:48 left in regulation proved the difference on Friday night at the Regal Soccer Stadium as Tennessee (4-5-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) opened its 2010 SEC campaign with a victory and picked up the program's 100th all-time home win in the process by rallying past Arkansas (3-5-1, 0-1 SEC), 2-1.
After the Razorbacks jumped out to a one-score lead only 10:45 into the contest, UT got the equalizer at 16:41 off a header by sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono, her third goal over the Big Orange's last two matches. Junior midfielder Emily Shore and senior forward Anna Fisher each registered assists on the Yorba Linda, Calif., native's score.
Tennessee out-shot UA by a commanding 29-12 total, including 16-2 over the final 45 minutes, and 10-6 in shots on frame. Each squad managed six corner kicks in the contest, while redshirt senior goalkeeper Molly Baird managed five saves in tallying her 12th career victory between the pipes.
"We are very excited to start the SEC season off with a win," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "I'm excited about the way our team battled tonight. We created numerous scoring opportunities, and Chelsea Hatcher figured out a way late in the match to hit the face with a big shot for the winning goal. We were disciplined in the attacking third. Kylie Bono sealing the back post on her goal was vital and probably the easiest goal she will score all season.
"As for our 100th all-time home win, I would like to say congratulations to every Lady Vol soccer player who has donned the Orange & White. Our program spans 15 years and stretches from players such as Laura Lauter Smith, who's being inducted tonight into the Lady Vol Hall of Fame, to our current assistant coach Keeley Dowling to Vanessa Phillips Bosshart (now an assistant at Arkansas) to each and every student-athlete we have on this team right now. Congrats to all the players who have spent time as Tennessee Lady Vols."
It seemed that the majority of the early offensive pressure was supplied by the visitors despite an early save from UA keeper Britni Williams on a quality Bono shot at 1:44. Junior forward Emily Dowd broke in clear up the middle, made a move to the right around the keeper and, as the angle was cut down by Williams, passed to Bono who ripped a blast from 14 yards right into the net minder's waiting arms.
It was on Arkansas to tally the contest's initial goal as a through ball up the middle found forward Ally Atkins in clear space. She made a juke around the UT keeper Baird and scored easily from the left side at 10:45 before the Lady Vol defense could race back and cover the goal mouth.
Just 15 seconds after the re-start Bono hit the crossbar, signaling a change in Big Orange fortunes to come. Off a corner kick by Shore, the cross to the middle was headed by Fisher to the left post. Bono had sealed that space off, heading the sphere in easily on the fly from about three yards out to dead-lock the contest at 1-1.
The Razorbacks forced back-to-back saves by Baird at 26:23 and 26:40 as Atkins and Allie Chandler each fired shots on frame.
Hatcher delivered a pair of solid crosses into the middle with about 10 minutes to go in the opening half but each just missed connecting with teammates.
At 37:55 Hatcher again lobbed a pass into the middle from out on the left wing. Bono raced into action, sliding into the play and managing to get a foot on the ball about seven yards out. The only thing that kept the match dead-locked was a lightning-quick, kick-save by Williams that traveled over the end line for a corner.
Neither team managed to put an actual shot on the face the remainder of the half as the squads went to the locker room break tied at one apiece.
The second stanza was controlled almost completely by the Tennessee offense as the Big Orange out-shot the visitors, 16-2.
During the 47th minute Shore delivered a corner into the middle that Fisher headed just over the crossbar from about eight yards out.
Shot after shot ventured towards the Arkansas goal, including four over just a 22-second span during the 67th minute of play. Sophomore defender Ali Hall started the assault by delivering a header on frame that hit the crossbar. Off a long rebound, a follow-up shot by Fisher was blocked by the UA backline. The ball was quickly fed back into the middle where it was headed on frame by senior midfielder Julie Edwards. Williams managed a save and got rid of the orb, but Hatcher soon corralled it and fired wide from about 20 yards out.
Edwards nearly granted Tennessee the advantage at 73:17 as the Glenmoore, Pa., native received the ball in space on the left side of frame, dribbled once to her right and launched a promising effort from 14 yards that traveled just wide of the right post.
Arkansas registered its own close call on a quick counter the other way as Laurel Pastor shot wide left of the goal at 73:52.
UT's Fisher barely missed getting solid contact on a header inside the 18 during the 81st minute as Williams managed a routine stop.
With the Big Orange continuing to pressure, it fell to Hatcher to deliver in the clutch. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native did just that by firing a blast on goal from about 22 yards out on the right side. The shot bent just past a diving Williams and snuck in at the right post to grant Tennessee a stunning 2-1 lead with just 2:48 to play.
From there UA's offense managed only one serious run at the Lady Vol defense but was called offside as UT hung on for its comeback victory.
Tennessee will return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET by facing the LSU Tigers at the Regal Soccer Stadium. Live stats through Gametracker and free live web-streaming will be available through UTLadyVols.com.