Oct. 21, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
Tennessee Coach Angela Kelly discusses her team's overtime win at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. - With Tennessee (8-8-1, 5-3-1 Southeastern Conference) and Auburn (9-6-2, 3-4-2 SEC) locked in a scoreless duel during the first "sudden victory" overtime on a chilly Thursday night at the AU Soccer Complex in Auburn, Ala., senior defender Tanya Emerson raced in from well behind the play at 96:27 to score her first goal of the season and defeat the Tigers, 1-0 (OT).
With the triumph Tennessee held on to fourth position in the league standings and secured its 13th consecutive bid to the annual SEC Tournament to be held over Nov. 3-7 in Orange Beach, Ala.
For Emerson the "golden goal" marked the second of her career, tying her in the UT record book with former Lady Vols Genna Gorman (2004-05), Kayla Lockaby (2001-04) and Kim Patrick (2001-02) for fourth all-time in the category.
Junior midfielder Emily Shore delivered the crucial corner into the middle during the 97th minute that led to the score as the Gainesville, Fla., native was credited with her team-high fifth assist of 2010.
"I thought Tanya played a tremendous match this evening," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "She was all over the field and closed down her player well. She was very deserving of scoring the winning goal off a one touch on a re-direct into the box. I'm just really happy for her as well as our team. The momentum hasn't always been in our favor. We've had a ton of close matches, not just this season, but over the last two years. I think this win took a bit of a load off the team's shoulders. Momentum finally went in their (UT's) favor. I'm just really happy that this group got the win tonight."
After a deep run up the middle of the pitch into the top of the 18 by junior forward Chelsea Hatcher failed to produce a shot in the opening minute, the Tigers raced back down field to earn a corner at 2:05 that went for naught.
The initial shot of the contest for either squad was a chip taken from 24 yards out in the middle by Auburn midfielder Jessica Rightmer that traveled well wide of the right post during the seventh minute.
Tennessee senior forward Julie Edwards registered the first shot of the match for the Big Orange at the 13:00 mark on a quick turning blast from about 16 yards out. After battling a Tiger defender for some space just inside the 18, the Glenmoore, Pa., native delivered a left-footed blast toward frame that hit an Auburn defender out front and ricocheted up and over the crossbar for a corner.
On Auburn's fourth corner kick of the first half (all during the opening 24 minutes), the AU cross ventured into play near the left post but harmlessly hit the outside of the netting as neither team could get a sustained attack going on the offense end.
A strong run up the middle into the 18 at 25:57 resulted in the best shot of the match to that point for either squad. Tennessee sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono launched a drive from 14 yards that forced the first save by Auburn keeper Amy Howard.
On the other end during the 29th minute of play, the Tigers posted their best scoring opportunity yet as Rightmer chipped a shot from out on the right wing towards the left post, but it traveled just a couple of feet wide of the upright.
Baird was credited with a save on a deflected shot from relatively deep out in the middle by Auburn's Tasha Prentice at 37:16.
From 39:20 through 40:53 there was a flurry of activity in the Tennessee offensive zone as the Big Orange earned three total corner kicks.
Off the first cross to the middle from Shore, the ball ended up at the feet of junior forward Emily Dowd. The Gainesville, Fla., product managed a left-footed drive from about 14 yards out on the right wing that hit directly off the left upright. The ball bounced across the goal mouth where an Auburn defender quickly cleared it out of the six-yard box. Hatcher managed to gain possession and fired on frame, but her shot drifted wide left and over the end line for a goal kick.
The offensive surge that Tennessee experienced at the end of the opening stanza continued to open the second. Bono had a great chance off a volley from about eight yards out at 46:41 but fired just high over the crossbar. Then Dowd managed to find some space briefly inside the 18 at 47:13 but the hole closed quickly as her eventual shot was blocked out front by AU.
Off a UT foul deep out on the right wing, Auburn defender Heather Havron delivered a terrific free kick towards the far post that was headed over the bar from 12 yards out by defender Julie King.
During the 55th minute of play a great cross to the middle almost located King in scoring position just three yards out in the middle. While closely marked she couldn't quite reach the ball to deliver a running header, however, as the sphere traveled harmlessly through traffic.
The swing of momentum in the Tigers' direction continued as Gabi Rivera shot high from about 16 yards out at 57:10. Then at 57:59 Mary Coffed forced Baird to deflect a ball wide of the left post and over the end line for a corner.
In the 63rd minute Baird made the save of the match on a shot by Mary Nicholson from six yards out near the right post. The Raleigh, N.C., product managed to stick out her right leg and just deflect the promising drive away from goal. A follow-up shot by Coffed just eight seconds later traveled over the crossbar as UT's redshirt senior keeper maintained the clean sheet.
Tennessee swung the AU momentum briefly as Hatcher earned a corner kick in the 76th minute on a hustle play near the right end line. At 76:12 a drive from near the right end line by Hatcher traveled on frame as Howard was credited with her second save of the contest.
With 10:28 remaining in regulation play, Edwards ripped an ambitious shot on goal from about 25 yards out on the left wing that just drifted high over the bar by maybe a foot or two.
On the other end at 81:41 Coffed tried her luck from about 17 yards out on the left side but also saw her drive venture high of net.
A last flurry of activity over the last 5:03 of regulation resulted in off-target shots by Tennessee's Dowd (84:57) and Hatcher (87:49) and by Auburn's Coffed (89:17) and King (89:54) as "sudden-victory" overtime would be necessary to settle things.
After a brief spell at the start of the first overtime that saw Auburn have the run of play, including a high effort by Rivera at 92:43, the momentum swung once again in UT's favor.
Tennessee earned corners at 95:35 and 96:22 to put pressure on the Tigers in their defensive zone. On the second cross into the middle by Shore, the ball bounced out into the middle of the pitch near the top of the 18. Out of seemingly nowhere Emerson raced in and fired a low shot that beat Howard into the right corner to set off Big Orange jubilation.