June 16, 2024

No. 19 Tennessee soccer defeats Arkansas in season finale

In its final regular season game, Tennessee defeated Arkansas 3-2 on the road.

Tennessee (14-3-1, 6-3-1 SEC) defeated Arkansas 3-2 on Thursday night at Razorback Field. The game is Tennessee’s first game against Arkansas since 2015 when the Vols won 1-0 in Fayetteville.

Arkansas (9-9-1, 4-5-1 SEC) struck first in the fourth minute when Taylor Malham scored to put the Razorbacks up 1-0. The goal came after freshman Paige Franks gave away the ball at midfield, allowing Arkansas to counter-attack and capture an early lead in the first half.

In the 32nd minute, Lady Vols junior Rylie O’Keefe would score to even the game at 1-1. O’Keefe’s fifth goal of the season came off a bad clearance in the box by an Arkansas defender. Entering the break, the score remained at 1-1.

In the second half, Arkansas would go up 2-1 in the 50th minute off a goal in which Tennessee scored on themselves. While defending an Arkansas free kick, sophomore Mary Alice Vignola would head the ball backwards into her own goal.

The Lady Vols would go on to tie the game at 2-2 in the 67th minute. Redshirt freshman Erin Gilroy sent in a long shot from the edge of the box to score her third goal of the season.

In the 81st minute, junior Bunny Shaw scored off a long throw-in from junior Danielle Marcano to put Tennessee up 3-2. Shaw’s 14th goal of the season was the eventual game-winner, as the score remained 3-2 until the conclusion of the game.

For the second game in-a-row, Tennessee was without junior Mackenzie Gouner who had started 15 games in defense before going down with an injury during the Vanderbilt game. Despite Gouner’s absence, the Tennessee defense held off numerous Arkansas attacks, as they successfully limited the goals given up to only two on the night.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Vols, after losing to Vanderbilt and Florida last week.

Tennessee will look to build momentum off an impressive regular season, as they head to Orange Beach, Alabama for the SEC Tournament starting on Sunday. The Vols are guaranteed a top-six seed, and will have a first-round bye to start the tournament. All games will air on the SEC Network.

Edited by Ben McKee

Feature image courtesy of UT Sports

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