Tennessee defeated Florida 2-0 Thursday night, in 90 minutes of pouring rain.
“All the points you can get are important,” head coach Brian Pensky said. “Overall, in the league and in the SEC East. It’s a massive win.”
The win tonight stretched Tennessee’s win streak to four games.
“It helps our confidence tremendously knowing that we have four straight wins,” freshman forward Taylor Huff said.
The Lady Vols dominated the Gators, outshooting them 25-6 overall and had 14 corners. Tennessee also got its seventh clean sheet of the season and first in SEC play.
“We knew we could do it in the league, but you want to be able to do it,” Pensky said. “So much at this level is about confidence and belief and knowing you can do something. They all knew they could do it, but it’s a whole different thing to do it.”
After four straight games without a first half goal, the Lady Vols were finally able to get a first half shot to land. Junior forward Clauda Dipasupil connected on a penalty kick in the 19th minute.
“All credit to Claudia Dipasupil for just stepping up,” Pensky said. “She’s taken both of our PKs this year, and she’s just got ice in her veins.”
Dipasupil’s goal was her sixth of the season.
A first half goal for the Lady Vols helped ease pressure and allowed them to play their game.
“It felt good not coming from behind just knowing that we were up and continuing to press on,” Huff said. “Getting that early lead helped us just get that nerve out and play.”
Tennessee’s second goal came in the 51st minute from freshman forward Jordan Fusco off an assist from sophomore forward Jaida Thomas.
“Jaida played me a perfect ball,” Fusco said. “It put us up 2-0 and 2-0 is a big lead compared to 1-0. That was a big goal.”
After the win tonight, the Lady Vols will get ready to take on South Carolina on the road in Columbia, South Carolina, this weekend. Pensky hopes the win tonight will help the team’s mindset heading into next game.
“I think our confidence just continues to grow with each game,” Pensky said. “Tonight was the first night in SEC play where we scored first, which was a big deal. In our previous three wins we had to come from behind, and its our first SEC shutout. So hopefully those two things can build our confidence.”
Huff and the rest of the team look to continue the same level of play heading into South Carolina on Sunday.
“We’re feeling good. I think our mindset is the same going in,” Huff said. "We’re just going to continue what we have been doing just because it has been working. We’re just wanting to keep up our pressure and play around them.”
The Lady Vols and Gamecocks will kickoff at 2 p.m. EST Sunday, and the game will be streaming on ESPNU.