SOCCER PREVIEW: #22 Lady Vols vs. # 5 Duke

Photo Credit: Andrew Ferguson/ University of Tennessee Athletics
By Tucker Harlin

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— No. 22 Tennessee (0-1-1) looks to bounce back after a tough start as it hosts yet another top-25 foe in No. 5 Duke (2-0-0) at Regal Soccer Stadium Thursday night at 7 P.M. EST. Fans can watch the game on the SEC Network.

Last Time Out

The Lady Vols are coming off a frustrating 1-1 draw against No. 15 SMU on Sunday. The Lady Vols outshot the Lady Mustangs 25-17 and had 17 corner kicks as opposed to SMU’s five. Jaida Thomas’ goal in the 60th minute was the only time the ball found the back of the net for the Lady Vols.

On the other hand, Duke comes into the match with a pair of wins over instate foes East Carolina (1-0) and UNC Greensboro (3-1). Although they have yet to see a ranked opponent in the regular season, Duke took down current No. 4 South Carolina 2-1 in an exhibition, so they should adjust to the Lady Vols just fine.

Duke was able to stay on the offensive for the majority of its previous two matches, outshooting its opponents 37-3 and corner-kicking 17 times against its opponents’ three. This trend may end tonight ass Tennessee is the best team Duke will see in its first three matches, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

What to Watch

A player to watch for the Blue Devils is Midfielder Sophie Jones. Jones was on the 2021 All-ACC Second Team and has been a model of consistency for her team, starting in all 52 matches in her career at Duke.

For Tennessee, look no further than forwards Jaida Thomas and Mackenzie George. The pair received a bevy of honors last season and both have been named to the 2022 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s Players to Watch List and the 2022 Hermann Trophy Watch List.