Lady Vols win another
Junior midfielder Ali Christoph scored her fourth goal of the season to give the 16th-ranked Tennessee soccer program a 1-0 win over Georgia on Friday night at the UGA Soccer Complex and take its third consecutive Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
“Tonight was a great win for our program,” UT coach Angela Kelly said. “It’s great to clinch our third straight SEC regular-season title. I’m definitely proud of the way we performed in the second half, coming out of the locker room ready to compete.
“I really have to credit Patrick Baker and his squad for the great game tonight. They came out ready to play from the start. He is really a fantastic coach and already has this program going in the right direction. Now we’ll take two days off before we begin to prepare for Orange Beach.”
In the 60th minute, there was a scrum at the six-yard line between Georgia goalkeeper Lauren Church and UT freshman forward Jackie Acevedo. The ball squirted towards the penalty kick spot, where Christoph controlled the ball and fired into the empty net for the game-winner. The goal was not as amazing as Christoph herself, as her status was up in the air prior to the match after missing her first game in three seasons as a Lady Vol against Alabama due to a bout with pneumonia.
The Lady Vols open the SEC Tournament against LSU on Thursday at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex in Orange Beach, Ala. The game times for all the contests will be announced by the conference office this weekend.
Vols finish fourth at
SEC cross country meet
Tennessee’s cross country squad raced to a tight fourth-place finish with 93 points at the 7.9K SEC championship Saturday morning on Hilton Field at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. The finish marked Tennessee’s best SEC effort since 2002 and its best point total in the conference meet since 2001.
Co-captain Zach Sabatino led the Vols with a sixth-place, 23-minute, 17.26-second-finish in the 95-runner field. His 23:17.26 time over the 7.9K course trailed the time of champion Josphat Boit of Arkansas by just 18 seconds. The last time a Vol finished within 18 seconds of the SEC champion came in 1995 when future Olympian and Knoxvillian Tony Cosey finished in third place and 13 seconds behind Arkansas’ Godfrey Siamusiye.
Sabatino’s sixth-place finish was the best by a Vol in the SEC meet since Ryan Demers also finished sixth in 2001. Sabatino has led the Vols in all four races in which he has competed this season. In those four meets, 15 runners have beaten the Vol senior to the line, compared to 622 runners Sabatino has defeated.
Top-ranked Arkansas won the SEC team title easily with 23 points. The margin between the second and fourth finishers was closer. No. 20 Alabama took second with 73 points. Eighth-ranked Florida edged the unranked Vols for third with 87 points, six points ahead of fourth-place Tennessee.
Arkansas’ Boit took individual gold with a torrid 22:59.10 time. Alabama’s Augustus Maiyo finished second with a 23:01.18 time. Arkansas’ Shawn Forrest took third with a 23:03.69 effort.
“I thought overall we ran a strong race and improved on last year’s finish,” UT coach George Watts said. “Our goal was to also close the gap on some of our region opponents. I believe we set ourselves up for a strong regional race, and we have a chance to qualify for the NCAA championship. I’m especially proud of Zach. He continues to run at a very high level, especially since he was a little under the weather going into the race.”
Rocky Top round-up
Published: Tue Nov 01, 2005