Photo Credit: Emma Corona/ Tennessee Athletics
By Jackson Metcalfe
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Lady Vols bounced back with a 2-0 win against the Florida Gators on Thursday, September 21st at Regal Soccer Stadium for the second SEC game of the season.
The Lady Vols played conservatively in the first half, as they only had 4 shots and 4 corners compared to Florida’s 1 shots and 0 corners. However, Tennessee scored the first goal of the night in the 23rd minute when forward Sizzy Lawton, assisted by mid-fielder Jordan Fusco, found the back of the net. The Gators then tried to tie the game as the Lady Vols attempted to add to their lead, but to no avail as the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Lady Vols going into the second half.
Tennessee’s dominance continued throughout the second half, as they had 9 shots and 4 corners for the half. The Lady Vols and Florida Gators would get so aggressive in fact, that both teams ended the game with 8 and 9 fouls respectively, as well as a yellow card for both teams— one for Lady Vols defender Maria Nelson and another for Florida Gator defender Daviana Vaka, both happening within a minute of each other. The Lady Vols also bombarded Florida goalie Alexa Goldberg with shots, as she ended the game with 5 total saves in the second half alone, 2 of them happening within the same minute. Tennessee added to their lead with another goal in the 61st minute by forward Kate Runyon, which bounced off the top of the goals bar and into the net, making the score 2-0 with Tennessee on top.
When asked about what they need to work towards going into SEC play, forward Sizzy Lawton said, “Our determination and fight knowing that we have it within our team, that we’re good to play top teams and I think we showed that tonight…. we owed it to ourselves to come out with a win.”
The Lady Vols will travel to Colombia to continue SEC play with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday, September 24th at 7 P.M ET.