The Tennessee Vols soccer defeated the Missouri Tigers by a score of 2-1 on Friday night at Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville in a suspenseful, back and forth nail biter.
The game was even early with chances for both sides. The first premiere chance of the game came for Missouri in the 29th minute when left winger, Lindsey Whitmore, made a run down the sideline. Whitmore was through on goal but a rough first touch allowed the defense to close the distance and make a much easier save for Vols keeper Lindsey Romig.
Tennessee’s first great chance came in the 37th minute at the feet of sophomore forward Alicia Donley on a pass courtesy of freshman teammate Maddie Eskin. Eskin centered the ball to Donley at the top of the box. Donley then beat her defender before firing a rocket at Missouri keeper Isabella Alessio.
To conclude a see-saw battle half, the Vols were able to strike for their first just seconds before the halftime whistle. Colleen Mcllvenna was able to draw a foul just outside the box to set up Tennessee with a quality, free kick chance right before halftime that they did not squander. Off the free kick, sophomore midfielder Claudia Dipasupil was able to find forward Donley for the header goal.
The second half opened up with a chance created by a bright spot for the Vols, Mackenzie George. George has been a consistent playmaker for the squad so far this year and took advantage of a switch by dribbling down the sideline, across the field, before playing a ball in to a teammate who was just nearly offsides.
Things got dicey for Tennessee in the 56th minute when defenseman Mackenzie Ostrom was beaten by the attacking player before conceding a penalty kick in an attempt to recover. Senior forward Grace Kitty took the free kick for the Tigers against Tennessee’s Romig. Romig guessed correctly on the shot from Kitty who dinged the shot off the right post with the ball rolling harmlessly outside the penalty area.
In the 71st minute the Vols were able to solidify their lead making it 2-0 on a beautiful play and cross from Mackenzie George to set up Jaida Thomas for a goal. George was able to beat her defender and serve a cross that bounced directly to Thomas’ feet who buried the shot in the top of the net.
Things got interesting again when Romig made a rare mistake allowing a cross to slip through her hand for a goal in the 79th minute. The Lady Vols were forced to buckle down and play solid defense for the remainder of the game and were able to do so. The effort was capped by a spectacular save by Romig as time expired.
The Vols’ next game will be Sunday, October 18th at 5 p.m. in Lexington, Kentucky against the Kentucky Wildcats.