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Lady Vols Blank Ole Miss

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Coach Kelly Postgame Audio | Kylee Rossi Postgame Audio

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On the strength of goals from freshman Julie Edwards and junior Kylee Rossi, the 13th-ranked Tennessee women’s soccer team shut out the Ole Miss Rebels, 2-0, Friday night at Regal Soccer Stadium. The Orange and White improve to 10-2-2 overall and 5-1-1 in Southeastern Conference play, marking their eighth consecutive 10-win season.

“I thought we played the worst half of soccer we’ve played all season in the first half,” UT Head Coach Angela Kelly said. “However, in the second half we completed our passes, we executed the game plan and scored a world-class goal.”

Junior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson went the distance between the pipes for the Lady Vols, making six saves en route to her seventh shutout of the 2007 campaign, the 12th of her career. The victory gives Johnson sole possession of the number three spot in the UT career wins record book with 16. The Dayton, Ohio native has allowed just one goal in the last 306 minutes of play.

The Orange and White got on the board in the 35th minute, getting a goal from Edwards. Sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram put a ball into the box at Edwards’ feet, where she put a shot into the back of the net off the inside of the crossbar. The goal is the first of Edwards’ career, while the assist gives Imgram five on the season.

“It’s definitely a relief now because I’ve been working hard and finally I’m playing how I used to play,” Edwards said. “It’s nice to be comfortable. The more I play and with the support of the girls my comfort level is increasing.”

The Lady Vols got another opportunity to score with five minutes remaining in the half on a free kick from outside the left corner of the penalty box. Imgram took the free kick, placing it on the head of senior forward Emily Redberg inside three yards. Redberg’s header looked to be a sure goal for Tennessee, but an Ole Miss defender stepped in to clear the ball before it crossed the goal line.

Following the halftime break, Tennessee withstood an early attack from the Ole Miss offense. UM forward Erin Downing began the flurry with a rocket off the cross bar. The rebound attempt was deflected out of bounds by the UT defense. On the ensuing corner kick, a shot by Rebel midfielder Amy Bayles sailed high over the crossbar to end the Ole Miss threat.

UT countered with an attack of its own in the Rebels end. Senior forward Emily Redberg fired a shot that sailed high and out of play after striking a Rebel defender. Mississippi thought it had held UT after clearing the resulting Ingram corner kick, but redshirt freshman Devon Swaim stepped in between two Ole Miss defenders and came away with the ball. Swaim dished to Rossi, who sent a bending shot toward the top left corner of the goal from 12 yards out and connected for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

“Kylee’s just a dynamic player,” Kelly said. “She turns people inside out. I’m happy for her and for all the opportunities she creates for her teammates and herself. That goal was world-class.”

Rossi has now scored 15 of her 24 career goals during conference play. With tonight’s goal, the Pennington, N.J., native tied former Lady Vol Kim Patrick for seventh in career goals at Tennessee.

“I’ve always said that her biggest opponent is her own mind,” Kelly said. “If she allows herself to be as good as she naturally is, then we’re in good shape.”

Both teams sent 17 shots flying, while both putting six shots apiece on goal. Imgram led the Lady Vols with four shots, while junior defender Christine Breaux put two of her four shots on goal.

Thanks to losses by No. 17 Georgia and Auburn, UT is now tied for the lead in the Eastern Division and overall standings in the conference. The Bulldogs and Lady Vols both have just one loss and one tie in league play, good for 16 points apiece.

Tennessee closes out its two-match homestand on Sunday, taking on Mississippi State. The Bulldogs topped Georgia, 1-0, on Friday and will be looking for a repeat of last year’s 3-2 upset of the Lady Vols. Kick off for the match, which will be televised live on SportSouth, is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Regal Soccer Stadium.



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