Tennessee (5-1-1) welcomed the UC Davis Aggies (4-2-0) to Regal Stadium, on Wednesday for their first home match in over a week.
Charli Pogany got the start in net, her third in as many games. Pogany, along with MA Vignola and Mackenzie Ostrum played the full 90 minutes for Tennessee.
Maya Neal, Mackenzie George, and Katie Cousins also put in a long night, all three playing between 76 and 73 minutes in the 1-0 win over the Aggies.
The early minutes of the game were action packed. Claire Franks had a shot goal in the 4th minute , which was stopped by UC Davis’ goalie. Sonia Ouchene Salón banged one off of the top crossbar after Vignola slid one through the defense in the 9th minute. In the 11th minute, the Aggies’ Mahlah Catline had a scoring opportunity off a corner kick but the shot was headed away the by the Lady Vols’ backline.
Along the touchline, Vigonola and UC Davis’ Hailey Rifershofer were battling back and forth with each other to make the break for their team. Tennessee was able to win two corner kicks in the 20th and 28th minutes, but both were unsuccessful. In the 41st minute, the Aggies’ keeper was out of position with the ball bouncing around the box, but the final shot was just wide of the goal.
The two teams went to half time tied 0-0. The Lady Vols created plenty of chances up front, but couldn’t find the goal in the first half. On the other side, UC Davis did not a register a shot on goal until the 40th minute.
Coming out of the half, Tennessee had a scoring chance off of a free kick that was the result of Ouchene Salón being fouled at the edge of the Lady Vols’ attacking third.
In the 54th minute, freshman Michelle Alozie had a well-placed shot that ricocheted off of the keeper’s hands but was cleared by an Aggie defender. Cousins intercepted the clearance and took aim as well but that shot was also saved by the keeper.
Alozie had wonderful opportunity after a spectacular cross in from Vignola in the 58th minute, but Alozie’s header was over the goal. Vignola had two quality shots in the 62nd and 64th minutes neither could find the net, and Tennessee continued to press.
MA Vignola broke the deadlock in favor of the Volunteers with her goal in the 74th minute. Assisted by sophomore Amy Thompson, Vignola took aim from the keeper’s left and buried it in the far bottom corner to give Tennessee the lead.
UC Davis had a scoring chance off the ensuing kickoff, but the shot was off the mark. The Aggies had corner kicks in both the 89th and 90th minutes, but neither were successful as Tennessee was able to stave the challenge to get the win.
“ We knew it was going to be a tough game, Vignola said of what ended up being the game-winning goal. “They’re a good team and so we wanted to come out and get as many shots as we could, especially on frame. You know, we didn’t get as many as we want on frame.”
After the game, Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky spoke about his views of the game.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t point a goal in,” Penksy said. “ So now we have a team that’s on the road trying to get a result. We go into halftime 0-0, and that’s tough, right? And they get a little belief. But, I still think we came out early in the second half and controlled play.”
The Vols end their non-conference slate with a 6-1-1 record, and will open up conference play on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern in Nashville against Vanderbilt. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.