On Thursday, No. 10 Tennessee certainly looked like a top-tier team with a 2-0 victory over Wright State.
Even without standout Bunny Shaw and three injured players, the Vols used depth and stamina to overcome a pesky Raider defense for all 90 minutes.
Tennessee came out firing in the first half, putting up 15 shots to Wright State’s one through the first 45 minutes. Only one of those found pay dirt, however. Sophomore Paige Franks netted her first collegiate goal with 32:21 remaining in the period.
“It felt kind of unreal,” Franks said. “When I saw the ball hit the net…it happened so fast, my only thought was, ‘This better go in.’”
Franks’ shot laced into the back of the net to put Tennessee up by one. Going into the half, it seemed that would end up as the final score.
But Brice McInroy stepped onto the pitch.
In the 69th minute, McInroy pushed past the Wright State defense to deliver a strike from 10 yards out.
Her goal put the Vols up by two. From there, Tennessee relied on its bread and butter, stable defense, to deliver the victory.
Besides Franks and McInroy, Shae Yanez led the Vols with her third solo shutout on the season. Yanez rides a 356-minute streak of scoreless goalkeeping when the Vols play at home.
That’s a streak she’ll be able to continue easily if the Tennessee back line plays as well Sunday as it did Thursday night.
First touch for the Vols’ matchup against UT Martin is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Regal Soccer Stadium.
Edited by Chelsea Babin and Lexie Little