Staff Report: SPORTS

The Tennessee soccer team defeated Ole Miss 3-2 Thursday night in the SEC Tournament Semifinal to advance to the SEC Championship.

In Sunday’s championship game, the Lady Vols will face Arkansas. Tennessee lost 3-1 to the Razorbacks in its matchup in September.

The win in Orange Beach, Alabama, came behind a strong performance from Jaida Thomas, who scored 2 goals for the Lady Vols.

Thomas’s first goal came in the 17th minute to put Tennessee up 1-0. The Rebels responded early in the second half with a goal of their own to level the game at one apiece.

Thomas’s second goal came midway through the second half after Mackenzie George put the ball through the defense right in position for Thomas to score inside.

The Rebels responded once again, this time less than 10 minutes later to tie the game at 2-2 with less than 15 minutes to play in regulation.

Tennessee managed to get ahead in the final five minutes of regulation after a cross from Claire Rain to Thomas went off the foot of an Ole Miss defender and into the goal, giving Tennessee a 3-2 lead.

Though the goal was put in the stat sheet as an own goal, Thomas’ positioning and Rain’s cross made the goal possible.

Tennessee held off the Rebels for the final five minutes and won the game 3-2.

Thomas’s 2 goals brought her season total up to a team high 12 on the season.

Tennessee will face Arkansas at 7 p.m. EST for the SEC title.

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