Sept. 16, 2012
KNOXVILLE - The Vanderbilt women's soccer team earned its second straight point of the young Southeastern Conference season Sunday by playing No. 25 Tennessee to a 110-minute, 1-1 draw at Regal Soccer Stadium.
"I am very proud of our team," VU Head Coach Derek Greene said. "To play 110 minutes on Friday night at Georgia and then to have to do that again on the road on a Sunday.... We are learning to battle and just fight for everything on this team. It's very exciting to watch us grow. Though we didn't win, we'll take positives out of this weekend coming home with no losses against two great opponents."
Tennessee scored the game's first goal in the 12th minute. Katie Lenz crossed a ball into Vanderbilt's six-yard box that was finished by Hannah Wilkinson--a recent addition to UT's active roster after returning from the U-20 World Cup in Japan, where she represented her native New Zealand. Tennessee would be credited with 27 shots on the day, but only five of those attempts were on frame.
"Tennessee definitely poses some problems in the way they play," Greene said. "They do a good job of being a combination of possession with a lot of direct play. I'm very proud of the way our back four organized themselves, and the way they took care of cleaning a lot of loose balls up and possessing for us when we won it."
Senior Dana Schwartz scored an equalizer for the Commodores in the 24th minute. Freshman Cheyna Williams' dribbled the ball through the midfield and as the Tennessee defense collapsed on her, she found Schwartz with a nice pass to the flank. Schwartz's one-time shot went into the upper-90 at the near post.
"A lot of times Sunday games are hard-fought and scrappy," Greene said. "But not a lot of soccer gets played--in terms of possession--just due to teams being fatigued from Friday night games. Today I think both teams did well to knock the ball around and create some opportunities."
The Commodores weather a late barrage from Tennessee. Wilkinson hit the crossbar in the 82nd minute and the Lady Vols had three corner kicks in the final five minutes of regulation. But the overtime period was again even. Vanderbilt had three shots in overtime, including a volley by freshman Jamie Kator that went wide left.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Levick made three saves for Vanderbilt and played well in the air when Tennessee began to pressure at the end of regulation. The Commodore defense also was credited with a team save for clearing a header off their line. The VU defense allowed only one goal this weekend in 220 minutes of action.
Vanderbilt (3-3-3, 0-0-2 SEC) remains on the road next weekend, traveling to face Mississippi State (Friday, 7 p.m. CT) and Missouri (Sunday, 1 p.m.).