No. 11 Tennessee (13-2-1, 5-2-1 SEC) lost to Vanderbilt 2-1 on Thursday night at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The game marks Tennessee’s second loss of the season, the other being an earlier defeat on the road to South Carolina. In addition, the loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Lady Vols.
In the first half, Vanderbilt (10-5-1, 4-3-1 SEC) had an early scoring opportunity in the 13th minute when Rebecca Rossett’s shot narrowly missed. Before play resumed, junior Khadija Shaw was subbed out with an apparent knee injury that occurred in the run of play prior to Rossett’s shot attempt.
The Lady Vols would give up a penalty kick in the 16th minute when junior Mackenzie Gouner brought down an attacking Vandy player in the box after losing the ball. Stephanie Amack would bury the penalty kick and put Vanderbilt up 1-0.
Tennessee’s best chances in the first half came when junior Danielle Marcano produced three shots on goal within three minutes in the latter stages of the half. Entering the break, the score remained 1-0.
In the second half, Tennessee maintained much of the possession while Vanderbilt settled in comfortably on defense. Despite several attacking opportunities for the visitors, Vanderbilt was able to take full advantage of the limited chances they had. In the 76th minute, Paula Ellis sent in a header to extend Vandy’s lead to 2-0.
In the 78th minute, junior Rylie O’Keefe scored to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 2-1. O’Keefe’s fourth goal of the season remained Tennessee’s only goal of the night, as the game finished 2-1.
Injuries played a significant role in the loss to Vanderbilt. The Lady Vols were without their team-leading goal scorer Shaw for most of the first half. Shaw would return in the 59th minute but was unable to get on the scoresheet. In the 84th minute, Gouner was hurt while attempting a slide tackle and would miss the remainder of the game. Prior to the game, Gouner started all 15 games in defense for Tennessee.
The Lady Vols will hope to bounce back as they return to Regal Soccer Stadium on Sunday. They are set to face No. 20 Florida and will look to maintain their unbeaten streak at home. The game will air at 1 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.
Edited by Ben McKee
Feature image courtesy of UT Sports