With a share of the SEC title on the line, the No. 16 Tennessee women's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to Georgia on Friday night.
The Lady Vols finished the regular-season at 11-5 overall and 7-2 in conference play. Georgia moves to 12-4-1 overall and 7-2 in the SEC. With the loss, Tennessee will be the fourth seed at the 2001 Southeastern Conference Tournament after tying with Georgia for second in the Eastern Division and will face fifth-seeded Kentucky in the first round.
"I have to give all the credit to Georgia," Lady Vols head coach Angela Kelly said. "They came ready to play and played with heart tonight. We are a very young team and we still have a lot to learn. Win or lose, we try to learn from each game. Tonight, we learned that the little things make the difference and we have to have the discipline to do those little things. We have to learn from this loss and move on. We have to play one game at a time and see how far we go into the tournament."
The Lady Vols fell behind early as the Bulldogs struck first on their way to a 2-0 first-half lead when Beth Culver knocked in a shot from three yards out off a corner kick from Ashley King in the 22nd minute. Tennessee keeper Cori Stevens came out of goal to defend against the corner and Culver snuck the shot in past the sprawling Stevens.
Georgia then tallied its second score of the night when Andrea Velasco connected in a similar play at 30:56. Velasco notched her fourth goal of the season when she snuck a shot into the left corner of the net in a scramble in front of the goal after a UGA free kick.
Facing a 2-0 deficit at the start of the second half, junior Kim Patrick got the Lady Vols on the board early in the period when she scooted in a ball from freshman Keely Dowling past UGA's keeper Ashley Lindley. Dowling deflected the ball off a free kick from sophomore Marie-Eve Nault following a Georgia foul. The score was Patrick's 11th of the season.
In the first half, Georgia outshot the Lady Vols 4-2 while tallying four corner kicks to UT's one. Tennessee narrowly missed notching the first goal of the evening when Carie Swibas found the back of the net for the first time in her career, but the score was called back on an offsides ruling.
For the game, the Lady Vols tallied four shots to Georgia's eight, while the Bulldogs recorded seven corner kicks to UT's two. Stevens recorded the loss with two saves and two goals allowed while Lindley was the winner with two saves and one goal allowed.
Looking for their first-ever postseason victory, the Lady Vols will begin the SEC Tournament next Thursday, Nov. 8, in Baton Rouge, La. The bracket for the event will be determined following tonight's play.