Sophomore forward Genna Gorman's golden goal off a free kick in the 98th minute gave Tennessee a 2-1 win in overtime over Arkansas on Friday night in front of 1,487 fans, the second-largest crowd at Lady ’Back Field. The win propelled the Lady Vols to their second straight 5-0 start in Southeastern Conference play.
“Arkansas played a tremendous match tonight,” Tennessee coach Angela Kelly said. “They were very inspired in their attack. We created a number of opportunities, but we still have to be more disciplined in the attacking third. But (Ali Christoph’s) goal and (Genna Gorman’s) free kick were two wonderful finishes from two very good players.”
With time winding down in the extra frame, Arkansas (4-8, 1-4 SEC) was called for a foul about 24 yards to the left of goal. Junior midfielder Ali Christoph tapped the ball to Gorman, who unleashed the shot right past Lady ‘Back goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver in the upper right corner of the goal to give UT the win.
Tennessee (7-4-1, 5-0) got off the only two shots in overtime. First, Christoph tried a strike from about 28 yards out in the second minute of the extra frame, but it sailed wide before she set up the game-winner.
The Lady Vols took the initial lead in the 72nd minute when Christoph hit a laser shot from the 18 in the upper right corner of the net past a blocked Dillsaver to give UT the 1-0 advantage. Tennessee had a shot to extend the lead to 2-0 in the 81st minute, but freshman forward Kylee Rossi saw her strike from just inside the penalty box hit the left post.
Arkansas answered in the 87th minute, as Christina Berger headed home her fifth goal of the year off a Lindsey Patterson throw-in. With about 1:20 remaining in regulation, Berger tried her luck again, driving with two Lady Vols marking her around the 18. The shot got past a drawn-out Vanessa Phillips Bosshart, but it missed left.
UT started the second half on a mission, having five shots miss by inches before hitting paydirt. In the 52nd minute, Vineyard had a shot from seven yards out fly just over the crossbar. Six minutes later, Gorman saw her header shot miss left. Christoph tried a 28-yard blast, but it went right in the 60th minute. Griffin had another opportunity, this time from eight yards out that dribbled left at 64:00.
The first half was a defensive battle, with both sides only taking a handful of shots. Tennessee nearly scored in the first minute when sophomore defender Erica Griffin poked a ball towards goal off of a Sarah Van Sickle (Knoxville/Farragut) throw-in. But the Arkansas defense knocked the ball away from the net. With about 15 seconds to go in the period, freshman midfielder Leslie Vineyard took a shot off another Van Sickle throw-in, this time from 18 yards out, but it missed just high.
Overall, the Lady Vols had a 19-7 lead in shots and a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. Phillips-Bosshart made three saves for her seventh win of the season.