Junior forward Chelsea Hatcher
Oct. 17, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite the team-leading seventh goal of the season from junior forward Chelsea Hatcher on an incredible, 28-yard shot during the 78th minute, Tennessee (7-8-1, 4-3-1 Southeastern Conference) dropped a tough, 2-1 decision to #14/13 South Carolina on Sunday afternoon at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
The Big Orange out-shot the hosts by a 10-6 total, including 4-2 in shots on goal, and posted a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks.
For Hatcher the goal marked her third score of the weekend, after finding the back of the net twice during UT's 4-2 loss to #12 Florida in Gainesville on Friday evening.
"The difference in this match today was in giving ourselves the opportunity to win," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "We created ample scoring opportunities this weekend and played disciplined and attractive soccer for the majority of both contests. We need to have a killer instinct. That comes from individuals who need to take care of finishing opportunities. There's a tentativeness right now to put the ball in the back of the net. As a coach, I believe there are no bad shots. We'll work hard this week. We've got three regular-season matches left, and we will be prepared. There is still a lot of season to play, and the University of Tennessee will be ready."
South Carolina made its first foray into the Tennessee zone during the fourth minute, finding forward Maria Petroni in some space about 15 yards out off to the right side of the goal. Fortunately for the Big Orange, senior outside back Tanya Emerson made a vital sliding tackle to prevent S.C. from getting off a shot and the ball was cleared out of danger.
Neither team managed much from an offensive standpoint over the opening 12 minutes. The Gamecocks drew a corner kick at 10:58, but sophomore midfielder Amy Harrison headed the cross out of the 18.
A beautiful through ball up the right wing from Hatcher to junior forward Emily Dowd in the 13th minute found the Gainesville, Fla., native with a step on her marker. Unfortunately, the SC defender recovered enough to get a touch on the ball, disrupting Dowd, and deliver it harmlessly ahead to keeper Mollie Patton for a goal kick.
Each squad's initial shot of the contest was blocked in traffic out front as South Carolina midfielder Danielle Au had a drive deflected at 10:25 and Hatcher had a shot blocked at 14:23.
With 22:48 left in the opening half, hustling senior midfielder Julie Edwards earned Tennessee's first corner of the match. Junior midfielder Emily Shore served a feed into the middle, but UT couldn't direct a shot on frame.
Edwards managed the initial shot on goal for either squad at 25:16 after battling two Gamecock defenders out front for the ball, turning quickly and firing a 15-yard, left-footed effort that Patton saved routinely.
Off a corner in the 30th minute, Shore's feed traveled all the way to the far post and ricocheted around before falling right to sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono. The Yorba Linda, Calif., product ripped a promising shot towards the left post, but it ventured just a couple of feet wide of the upright.
A long ball over the UT backline during the 32nd minute by midfielder Kira Campbell helped the Gamecocks break into the scoring column. The feed located SC leading scorer Kayla Grimsley onside with some space on the left wing. She dribbled in and beat diving keeper Molly Baird into the right side of the netting from eight yards out to make it 1-0 Garnet and Black at 31:25.
Bono attempted a volley on goal from just inside the 18 during the 38th minute, but again missed wide left as Tennessee continued to battle for the equalizer.
That proved the last serious scoring chance in the first half as the teams went to the locker room with the Gamecocks holding on to their one goal lead.
Right out of the halftime break, Dowd won a battle along the right sideline and dribbled in on goal, firing a shot from 15 yards that was stopped by SC keeper Patton at 45:45.
On the other end a cross to the middle during the 48th minute was headed over the crossbar by Gamecock midfielder Elizabeth Sinclair.
Hatcher was high on a blast at 55:15, registering the Big Orange's sixth shot of the match.
During the 59th minute South Carolina added to its advantage as a free kick by Campbell to the far post was put home on a running header by defender Ellen Fahey to make it 2-0, Garnet & Black.
With 23:24 left in the contest, Bono again tested SC keeper Patton from the middle just inside the 18. Her quick, left-footed blast traveled right into the net minder arms, however, for her third save of the contest.
A hustle play by Lady Vol freshman midfielder Caroline Brown near the right end line earned Tennessee a corner kick in the 68th minute. The ball was served into play and headed back across goal towards the right post by senior forward Anna Fisher. Harrison managed a quick shot from about nine yards out, but lifted it just a bit too high as the sphere traveled over the crossbar for a goal kick.
Tennessee upped its offensive pressure during the 71st minute, battling to receive consecutive corners. The two crosses bounced around tauntingly inside the 18, but resulted in only a single blocked shot by Shore out front.
An incredible individual effort by Hatcher resulted in her team-leading seventh goal of the campaign at 77:02. Despite having to battle a pair of South Carolina defenders for space, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native moved right then back to her left before firing a beautiful, left-footed shot that traveled just over the out-stretched fingertips of leaping goalkeeper Patton. The highlight-reel worthy score from approximately 28 yards out cut the Lady Vol deficit to 2-1.
A dangerous blast from South Carolina midfielder Danielle Au from about 15 yards wide on the left wing was blocked on a solid play by junior defender Chelsea Kephart at 84:45.
With time running out and Tennessee desperate for an equalizer, a final long ball from Bono got over the final SC defender but failed to connect with a teammate as the Gamecocks held on for the 2-1 victory.