Tennessee Soccer is rolling forward and not looking back, as the Lady Vols continued their 2019 season with a 3-0 win over the Mercer Bears on Sunday at Regal Stadium.
Here are the highlights:
Continuing Goalie Contest
Entering into the second game of the season, the Lady Vols continue to find themselves in the middle of a position battle.
There are three keepers on the roster going into the season with freshmen Anna Quinn Prince and Lindsey Romig, and redshirt sophomore Charli Pogany.
The battle thus far has been between Romig and Pogany.
In the season opener against Fordham, Pogany notched two saves, but allowed the Rams only goal. Romig did not see as much action in the first half of Thursday’s game.
Tennessee started the game with Pogany against Mercer. She only played the first half, but did not see much action as the Lady Vols offense kept the ball on the other side of the field.
Romig came in at halftime, and saw just as much action as Pogany. Her team was able to keep the ball on the Bears’ side of the field, so she was unable to show her skills between the sticks.
“They didn’t have to do a whole lot,” head coach Brian Pensky said when asked about what he saw in his goalies during the game. “Didn’t have to make a save, and I’ll take that every single day of the week.”
Neither goalie earned a save, or allowed a goal.
Coach Pensky’s 150th Career Victory
Brian \Pensky is now in his eighth year at the University of Tennessee and with Sunday’s win, he now has a career record of 150-96-41.
“Honestly, it’s 1000% irrelevant,” Pensky said of his career record. “I had no clue, and I really don’t care. I just want this team to be good, you know? To get more wins this fall, for this team.”
Pensky was the head coach at Maryland, leading the Terrapins to a 67-53-20 record before leaving for Knoxville.
In his eight years at Tennessee, Pensky has so far compiled a record of 82-43-21. He lead his team to Tennessee’s first Elite Eight in 2018, and his team is looking to reload and make another strong run in the 2019 season.
“I mean I think we’re all like playing for Brian here and that we’re all playing for each other, so it’s really awesome that we can all get to 150 together tonight.” This is what MA Vignola had to say about her coach’s milestone victory.
Pensky will be looking to add to his career win total, and to add more wins to the Lady Vols record this year.
High Powered Offense
Tennessee put on an impressive display of offensive power in their win over the Bears.
The Lady Vols put up five shots in the first 15 minutes of the game. Two of those shots were taken by Amy Thompson, while the other three were taken by Katie Cousins, MA Vagnola and Sonia Ouchene Salón.
Tennessee then pushed Mercer up into their own goal with two consecutive corner kicks in minutes 17 and 20. The second corner helped to set up the Lady Vols first goal of the evening.
Vignola notched the first goal, set up by Ouchene Salón. This was Vignola’s second goal of the season and it came in the 21st minute.
“The coaches were telling me a lot to stay wide,” Vignola said about her first goal. “They say that I’m really good out wide.”
At halftime, Tennessee controlled the game with their offense, totalling 11 shots, seven shots on goal, five corners, and 64% possession.
The Lady Vols were able to score again, thanks to Claudia Dipasupil. She scored the second goal of the night in the 78th minute.
Another goal came in the 83rd minute as Alicia Donley scored her first goal of the season. The freshman from Ohio was unassisted.
Tennessee ended the night with 22 shots, 11 shots on goal, seven corners, and 65% possession.
“That was also one of our main focuses tonight,” Vignola said of her team's 22 shots. “Definitely to get more like on frame.”
The Lady Vols, now 2-0, will look to continue their early win streak when they visit Rutgers in their first road game of the year on Thursday.