The Lady Vols got their eighth win of the season on Thursday, beating No. 20 Florida 1-0 at Regal Soccer Stadium.
Lindsey Romig started in goal and played the entire game. MA Vignola, Mackenzie Ostrum, Claire Franks, Katie Cousins, Mackenzie George and Maya Neal also played a full 90 minutes.
“It’s awesome,” Romig said. “After the tough loss at Mizzou, we obviously had to bounce back. We couldn’t come off that and just kind of come into the other SEC games and walk along. We knew we had to get stuff done.”
The Volunteers came out of the gate creating chances in the first six minutes after kickoff. Two came from corner kicks and two came from crosses in the field of play. Mackenzie Ostrum and Sonia Ochene Salón both had header shots but neither resulted in a goal.
Florida’s Cassidy Lindley had a shot on goal in the 16th minute but the shot went wide. Vanessa Kara crossed the ball in front of an empty goal but no Gator could convert for a score.
George fired a shot in the 27th minute on the edge of the 18-yard box that forced the Florida keeper to dive in defense. Tennessee was unable to make anything of the resulting corner.
Ochene Salón had the ball in the box but the Florida defense prevented further play. In return, Florida’s Kouri Peace had an open net shot, but it was turned away by the Vol defense.
Tennessee had a myriad of chances with few shots as the clock wound down in the last ten minutes of the first half.
The Lady Vols came out early in the second half firing, putting pressure on the Florida defense resulting in a 51st minute goal by Katie Cousins, assisted by MA Vignola.
The Gators had two near goals that were turned away by saves from Lindsey Romig. The Gators continued to put pressure on their final third, but the Tennessee defense held strong.
The Lady Vols were able to counterattack and create their own string of chances. They earned two corners, neither of which resulted in goals.
In the 81st minute, Kit Loferski earned her second yellow of the night, leaving the Gators with only 10 players for the waning minutes of the game. Both yellow cards were for berating the referee.
“Our backline, yeah, that was a rough fifteen minutes for us, but they stepped out and made big time plays..." Cousins said.
Head coach Brian Pensky shared his reactions after the game.
“We stared down the barrel of our last four games, three of those being against the top three team in the league. And so far in the first two we have four points out of six... All starts with our seniors and that leadership and that will. And it’s about making plays,” Pensky said.
The Vols return to action again this Sunday, October 27, against Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on the SEC Network+.