For Tennessee soccer, frustration would be the best word to describe its SEC opener against Alabama, as the Vols fell to the Crimson Tide, 5-1, under the Friday night lights at Regal Soccer Stadium.
Through the first twelve minutes of the first half, Tennessee was in control and creating opportunities. They outshout Alabama six to one through the opening minutes, but as the theme of the game would be, missed every scoring opportunity.
“We were all over them,” head coach Brian Pensky said after the game. “But we weren’t good enough.”
The Crimson Tide were efficient with their opportunities. By the time the fourth Alabama goal had been scored, the Vols still maintained the edge in shots taken, six to five.
Alabama’s Catham DeProspo recorded a first-half hat trick, eclipsing her entire goal total from last season. A pair of her strikes were particularly spectacular, with one coming from 25-yards out in the 30th minute and another from a direct free kick just outside the box in the 35th minute. Substitute Taylor Hubbard also scored in the 42nd minute to put the Crimson Tide up 4-0 at the break.
Junior midfielder Carlyn Baldwin was the only Tennessee player to capitalize and score. Her initial penalty kick attempt was saved, by Baldwin quickly placed the rebound in the back of the net, cutting the Crimson Tide lead to 4-1.
“We need to take this loss and use it for motivation on and off the field,” Baldwin said after the game.
With the loss, the Vols fall to 3-4 (0-1 in SEC). Tennessee returns to action this upcoming Sunday, when they take on the MTSU Lady Blue Raiders at home. The match is slated for 2 p.m. ET.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Hayley Pennesi, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics