Oct. 29, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
Tennessee Head Coach Angela Kelly discusses her team's win over Georgia and the upcoming SEC Tournament
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the fourth time in 2010, Tennessee (10-8-1, 7-3-1 Southeastern Conference) was forced to rally from a deficit to post a victory as sophomore midfielder Kylie Bono's goal at 67:44 helped guide UT to a 2-1, "Senior Night" triumph over Georgia (10-5-4, 5-3-3 SEC) on a cold Friday evening at the Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
With its third straight victory, the Big Orange secured the No. 3 seeding in next week's SEC Tournament (to be held over Nov. 3-7 in Orange Beach, Ala.) and will face-off against the tourney's No. 6 seed LSU at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wed., Nov. 3rd, in the quarterfinals.
Senior goalkeeper Molly Baird talks with UTLadyVols.com about the win over Georgia
Tennessee out-shot the Bulldogs on Friday night, 13-11, but trailed 6-5 in shots on frame. UT owned a commanding 7-1 advantage on corner kicks, however, and forced three saves by UGA goalkeeper Ashley Baker.
Bono's match-winning goal marked her fifth overall tally of the campaign while junior forward Chelsea Hatcher dead-locked the contest at the 37:16 mark by recording her team-leading eighth goal of 2010. Lady Vol freshman midfielder Sanna Saarinen and sophomore forward Alexis Owens were credited with their third and second assists of the year, respectively, on Bono's winning tally. Between the pipes Big Orange redshirt senior keeper Molly Baird made five saves in picking up her 19th career triumph.
Georgia opened the contest in control of things from an offensive standpoint over the first few minutes, but failed to get off a single shot.
At the 12:43 mark UGA midfielder Nicole Locandro registered the first shot of the match for either side as her drive from well out in the middle of the pitch was easily corralled by Baird near the left post.
A through ball up the middle to marked Lady Vol junior forward Emily Dowd almost spelled trouble for the Bulldogs during the 15th minute. Unfortunately for Tennessee, the pass tipped off the Gainesville, Fla., product's foot, then off a UGA defender before rolling harmlessly into the keeper's waiting arms.
Following a faked free kick by junior midfielder Emily Shore from 28 yards out on the right wing, Hatcher blasted a shot towards frame that was blocked out front by UGA and over the endline for a corner kick. Shore delivered the ensuing cross into the middle of the 18 where senior forward Anna Fisher headed it on frame, forcing a Baker save at 21:52.
A header into the UT offensive zone during the 28th minute located Dowd with a step on her marker. She dribbled in and fired point blank at Baker from 14 yards out as the net minder charged out quickly off her line. The Georgia keeper managed to get a leg on the shot to deflect it away from danger as the scoreless dead-lock continued.
At 35:18 the Bulldogs managed to get on the scoreboard first as a pass from the right wing into the middle by Carli Shultis landed at the feet of Meghan Gibbons. She managed a slight touch on the pass, just enough in fact to barely push it past a UT defender and into a one-vs.-one situation against Baird near the right post. A quick chip beat the Lady Vol keeper from about six yards out and suddenly UGA led 1-0.
Just 1:58 later Hatcher took it upon herself to even things up as a turnover in Georgia's end was corralled by the Cincinnati, Ohio, native. She took a couple of dribbles up the right wing and unleashed a thunderous blast from the top of the 18 that ventured over the outstretched fingertips of Baker into the upper left corner to even the contest at 1-1. The goal marked Hatcher's team-leading fifth score of the conference campaign.
Out of the halftime break each squad let fly quickly on the goal as Bono missed wide right at 46:36 and Georgia's Alexa Newfield forced a Baird save at the other end during the 49th minute.
Over the next few minutes Tennessee had the run of play, earning three corner kicks that helped result in a blocked shot from freshman midfielder Caroline Brown (52:35), a high effort by Dowd at 55:07 and Hatcher's wide left shot from a tough angle at 58:53.
A Georgia cross into the middle during the 62nd minute resulted in a Locandro header that was routinely stopped by Baird.
After Tennessee freshman midfielder Tori Bailey forced a Baker save at 65:49, it proved to be a corner kick that would begin UT's decisive scoring play.
Shore delivered the ball across the pitch to the feet of Saarinen out on the left wing. The Espoo, Finland, native, looked quickly into the middle and chipped a pass over the traffic out front to Owens, who promptly shot from about eight yards out. The ball was stopped by Baker, but her save ricocheted directly over to Bono at the far post where the Yorba Linda, Calif., product was waiting to hammer home the eventual match-winner from just four yards out.
From there Tennessee definitely looked to protect its lead as Georgia threw every ounce of pressure it could muster at the Lady Vol defense.
During the 80th minute a Big Orange foul just outside the 18 set up a potentially dangerous UGA scoring opportunity. Newfield took the free kick, blasting a shot around the Lady Vol wall that Baird managed to stop on a dive to her left. She couldn't corral the sphere, however, as it just trickled away from her grasp. The UT defense was there to clear the ball out of the zone, but it ended up back in Newfield's possession standing just 20 yards out in the middle. The Bulldog forward's second shot was blocked by a Tennessee defender as the Orange & White maintained its tenuous advantage.
With approximately 6:54 left in regulation, a Georgia cross into the middle of the 18 bounced dangerously through the traffic out front before Hatcher managed to get a boot on the ball to send it out towards midfield.
Perhaps the scariest moment for all the 1,050 Lady Vol fans in attendance occurred with 5:17 remaining as a shot by UGA's Susannah Dennis was blocked out front. After being cleared out to the left wing, the Bulldogs managed a cross back towards the middle. Hit just a bit too far over the intended target, the feed actually landed on top of the crossbar before bouncing away from danger.
Georgia's final opportunity came during the 88th minute as Kelli Corless fired wide left of frame as Tennessee held on to register its 10th victory of the 2010 campaign.