Jaida Thomas headlined the scoring column for Tennessee with two goals as the Vols produced another dominating performance defeating Appalachian State 7-0 at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex in Boone, North Carolina.
The win comes on the heels of a 6-0 bashing in the spring opening game against Gardner Webb where the Vols scored all six of their goals in the first half. The redshirt freshman Thomas is off to a flaming start to the spring season with her second consecutive multi goal game. After leading Tennessee in goals in the fall season Thomas’ two goal performance brings her spring season tally to five after her hat trick in the opening match.
Thomas opened the scoring in the 14th minute when she was able to deposit the Hannah Tillett rolling cross into the bottom right corner of the net from just outside the six yard box. The Big Orange did not let up as just six minutes later Thomas doubled her tally. Tennessee forward Mackenzie George played a ball in the box that was knocked around before Thomas found the loose ball and blasted it past the App State goalie to put the Vols up 2-0.
George added a goal of own for Tennessee later on in the 30th minute. Her initial attempt at goal was stuffed by the goalie but she cleaned up the rebound to put Tennessee ahead 3-0.
The scoring to the first half was capped by an App State miscue when George attacked inside the 18-yard box. George attempted to play the ball across the box to fellow teammate Abbey Burdette when the pass was intercepted by App State defender Lindsey Brantley. Brantley made an attempt to clear the ball for a corner but accidentally played it into the net giving the Volunteers a 4-0 lead before halftime.
Unlike the season opener, the Big Orange’s finishing ability did not diminish in the second half. The Vols went quiet for a while before exploding for three goals in the last ten minutes of regulation. Freshman midfielders Louisa Essuman and Lawson Renie tallied their first collegiate goals with Essuman’s rebound putback coming in the 81st minute and Renie’s converted cross coming in the 84th minute.
Burdette capped the match scoring with just two minutes left in regulation on a cross from Thomas. Burdette was on the end of the Thomas cross behind the App State defense inside the six-yard box where she tapped into the bottom left corner to solidify a 7-0 victory for Tennessee.
The Tennessee defense continued to play well as goalie Lindsey Romig and the defense completed its second straight shutout.
Tennessee will be back in action next weekend against Big East Conference champions Xavier Sunday Feb. 28 at Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville.