In a physical matchup of SEC rivals, No. 23 Tennessee and Vanderbilt both were held scoreless in the second half after each team scored once in the first half Sunday at Regal Soccer Stadium.
"Certainly we wanted to come out of the weekend with two wins going into Florida and Mississippi State weekend," said head coach Brian Pensky. "It's not a tie that's going to help us, but it's not a tie that's going to bury us. So we've got to stay together and improve upon some things and just keep plugging away."
The match ended Tennessee's (6-1-2) and Vanderbilt's (3-3-3) opening weekend against conference opponents. Tennessee opened conference play with a 2-1 overtime win over Alabama on Friday with sophomore forward Hannah Wilkinson and senior Kylie Bono providing the winning scores.
The first half started out with the Lady Vols taking the early lead, with Wilkinson scoring her second goal of the season after a short struggle for the ball in the box following a cross by junior Katie Lenz.
"It was a good ball from somewhere out wide, Katie Lenz managed to tap it down to my feet, and then it was just a side foot into the goal," said Wilkinson.
This is only Wilkinson's fourth game in a Tennessee uniform after playing for New Zealand in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Both of her goals have now come in SEC play.
"Hannah's quite a presence up top, she's a physical presence, she's strong, she's fast, she's good around the goal," said Pensky. "I think she's not only being the striker she is creating stuff for herself, but I like to think she's also created some other opportunities for other players."
The Commodores responded with their lone goal in the 24th minute with senior Dana Schwartz scoring with an assist after from freshman Cheyna Williams. Vanderbilt scored after Williams pushed hard into the Tennessee defense before passing it out wide to Schwartz who just managed to beat goalkeeper Julie Eckel.
The match was a back-and-forth battle with Tennessee taking 27 shots while Vanderbilt only took 15. Tennessee pressed hard in both over-time periods and nearly won on a last second corner kick from Amy Harrison with Lenz's shot being knocked away by Vanderbilt.
The game also had some physical play coming from both sides. There were 37 fouls recorded in the match, with Tennessee and Vanderbilt being responsible for 16 and 21 respectively. Three yellow cards were given out, two being given to Vanderbilt sophomores Taylor Richardson and Williams while Tennessee senior Ali Hall picked one up as well.
"It's disappointing but there's a lot of season left, we can learn a lot from the game," said junior C.C. Cobb. "I think it just motivates us for the rest of our games to not be complacent—we have to go to work and put one in early."
Tennessee's next matchup will have them traveling to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators on Friday before finishing their weekend with a trip to Starkville to face Mississippi State on Sunday.