Tennessee freshman Keeley Dowling riddled the Alabama defense for a hat trick on Sunday afternoon, helping the 16th-ranked Lady Vols (5-4) even their SEC mark at 1-1 with a 4-0 shutout of the Crimson Tide. Junior goalkeep
er Cori Stevens registered seven saves to keep the nation's top-ranked offense off the scoreboard and earned her second shutout of the year.
With one of its worst-ever defeats at home, Alabama fell to 8-3 overall and 0-2 in league action after dropping matches to Georgia and UT this weekend. Tennessee halted a three-match losing streak with its first blanking of an SEC foe since a 3-0 win over
Ole Miss in Knoxville on Oct. 22.
Dowling connected on her fourth score of the campaign at 14:58 off assists from fellow rookies Sue Flamini and Kayla Lockaby to provide UT with a 1-0 lead. Flamini crossed the ball from the left wing to Lockaby, who faked the Bama defender and dropped the
ball to her waiting teammate.
Close to five minutes later, senior Sharon Holmes threaded a pass to Dowling just outside of the 18 that the Carmel, Ind., native hammered past keeper Courtney Rogers for a 2-0 Lady Vol advantage.
Exactly two minutes later, junior Kim Patrick registered her fifth goal of the campaign by pouncing on a loose rebound after a shot taken by Lockaby. Tennessee dominated the match's opening 45 minutes, out-shooting 'Bama by a 12-2 margin and controlling a
ll of the possession within the midfield.
The Crimson Tide prevented the visitors from padding their lead until 75:54, when Dowling beat Tide substitute goalie Lauren Bowen on a corner kick taken by Flamini. In addition, the hat trick represented UT's first versus an SEC opponent since Allison Ca
mpbell ripped South Carolina for four scores in a 4-2 Lady Vols triumph at the UT Soccer Complex on Oct. 17, 1999.
Tennessee resumes action next Friday with a trip to in-state rival Vanderbilt for an encounter at 6 p.m. The Lady Vols will seek their initial win in Nashville following two straight road defeats to the Commodores.