Oct. 24, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
Tennessee Head Soccer Coach Angela Kelly discusses her team's 1-0 (2OT) win over Alabama
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the second straight match Tennessee (9-8-1, 6-3-1 Southeastern Conference) utilized overtime to down its opponent as junior forward Emily Dowd's "golden goal" at 104:33 ended the Big Orange's 1-0 (2OT) victory over Alabama (8-7-2, 3-5-2 SEC) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
With UT's triumph over the Crimson Tide and Georgia's 2-1 home loss to Auburn, the Lady Vols managed to edge past the Bulldogs into third place in the overall league standings in the race for seeding at the annual SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala. (Nov. 3-7). Tennessee secured the program's 13th consecutive bid into the conference's annual event by downing Auburn, 1-0 (OT), last Thursday night on "The Plains" and welcomes in UGA for a "Senior Night" contest next Friday at 7 p.m. in Knoxville.
Dowd's goal was her seventh of the season, tying the Gainesville, Fla., product for the team-lead in the category with fellow junior forward Chelsea Hatcher. As a result of delivering the crucial cross into the middle that resulted in the match-winning score, Hatcher was credited with her fourth assist of the campaign, improving her squad-best point total to 18.
By corralling six saves between the pipes, Tennessee redshirt senior goalkeeper Molly Baird secured her fifth solo shutout of the year and raised her season-high shutout streak to 225:54, dating back to the second half of the match at South Carolina (Oct. 17).
The Lady Vols out-shot `Bama, 19-16, but trailed in both shots on goal (6-5) and corner kicks (7-4). Dowd led UT with eight total shots over 93 minutes on the pitch, including a pair on frame.
After Alabama posted the first corner of the match just 2:23 into regulation, the Lady Vols missed a chance on the other end. A perfect through ball up the middle from sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono proved just a step too far out in front of sophomore midfielder Amy Harrison inside the 18 as `Bama keeper Justine Bernier raced out to corral the ball before any shot was taken.
At the 12:48 mark a corner by the Tide resulted in a headed shot by defender K.K. Duffy from 12 yards out on the left wing that forced a save by Baird.
Back on the other end of things during the 16th minute, a deft move by Dowd around a defender and a long run up the left wing put her in a dangerous offensive position just off the side of the left post. She delivered a promising feed to the middle, attempting to locate senior forward Anna Fisher, but an Alabama defender managed to get a foot on the pass and clear it out of the 18.
A turnover in the UT backline led to an Alabama scoring chance during the 19th minute of play as Tide forward Brooke Rogers made a steal and raced in towards the right post. Closely marked by a UT defender, she was never able to get off a shot toward goal.
Over the next few minutes each team had opportunities that went awry as Alabama's Rosaly Petriello shot wide right at 19:58, while Dowd and Fisher each launched drives wide of frame at 22:27 and 26:18, respectively. On the latter attempt, UT junior midfielder Emily Shore delivered a free kick from deep out on the left wing into the 18 that landed right at Fisher's feet. The Franklin, Tenn., native attempted a quick shot from about nine yards but watched as the ball travel high and right of the frame.
Just 2:24 later Shore delivered an almost identical ball into the box off a free kick from deep in the middle that Bono headed on goal, forcing a Bernier stop at the right post.
For the second consecutive contest Baird came up with a spectacular, goal-saving stop for the Big Orange. After a bouncing ball took a funny hop over a UT defender's foot just outside the 18 and ended up right at the feet of `Bama's Victoria Frederick, the Tide forward raced in quickly from the left wing and unleashed a clear drive from about 12 yards out. Baird had the angle cut down and managed to get her right arm up in time to deflect the shot over the crossbar at 34:09 and maintain her clean sheet.
With action quickly heading back the other way, a great through ball up the middle from Shore to Bono resulted in a Big Orange shot that ventured over the crossbar at 35:21.
Late in the opening frame, UT freshman midfielder Sanna Saarinen and `Bama's Kaitlyn Smith and Kendall Khanna each had drives blocked by the opposing defenses.
Off a Tennessee foul with just 1:23 showing on the clock, Alabama's Smith had a chance to blast a free kick on goal from about 22 yards straight out in the middle of the field. She fired harmlessly into the Big Orange wall, however, as the teams headed to the break in a scoreless deadlock.
Right off the second half kick-off Tennessee's offense rolled down the field, getting a tough-angled, 12-yard shot from Dowd that drifted wide of the left upright at 45:20.
In the 51st minute, Alabama registered a good scoring chance as Rogers fired from the middle of the 18 but just a couple of feet wide left of the goal.
With time beginning to run short in the contest a cross to the middle by `Bama at 73:01 ended up in the possession of midfielder Molly Atherton standing just 12 yards out. She pivoted quickly and fired on frame as Baird managed a fairly routine save.
A great pass up the right wing to Dowd during the 74th minute nearly resulted in the match's opening score. She dribbled in and delivered a cross to the far post that was volleyed on the run by Hatcher. The promising shot was denied by the crossbar, however, and rebounded back into play where the Crimson Tide cleared it out of harm's way.
Baird covered a shot at the left post at 76:09 as Frederick teed it up again from about 15 yards out on the left wing.
With just 4:11 left in regulation a perfect through ball from Hatcher between defenders traveled right to Dowd. She quickly fired off a shot from approximately 14 yards out, but watched it venture wide left.
A passing connection from Saarinen to Harrison to Dowd ended up with the latter forcing a Bernier stop on a left-footed shot at 85:50.
Alabama earned a last second corner kick, but it went for naught as the Tide cross traveled harmlessly through the middle and regulation time ran out.
UA owned the run of play during the first extra session, as witnessed by a 4-0 edge in shots, as drives by Ariel Armijo and Kendall Khanna traveled wide of frame at 94:31 and 96:52, respectively. Khanna and Armijo also launched ambitious efforts from deep out in the middle of the pitch during the 95th and 99th minutes that required stops by Baird but failed to trouble the UT keeper.
Tennessee controlled the second "sudden victory" stanza by an identical 4-0 shot advantage. Dowd had a shot blocked out front just 56 seconds into the session, while three seconds later Harrison forced a stop by Bernier on a rebound opportunity.
A run up the right wing by Hatcher paid dividends during the 105th minute as the Cincinnati, Ohio, product crossed to the middle. Standing just six yards out, Dowd managed to get off a right-footed shot that beat Bernier and granted the Lady Vols a 1-0 (2OT) victory.