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    SEC Soccer Today: Friday, September 20

    Friday Soccer RESULTS
    Tennessee 1, Texas A&M 0
    Georgia 2, South Carolina 0
    Ole Miss 2, Arkansas 1
    Kentucky 1, Auburn 0
    Missouri 3, Mississippi State 1
    Florida 3, Alabama 0

    Brown Scores Off PK, Tennessee Beats Texas A&M, 1-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --Caroline Brown scored in the 32nd minute off penalty kick to lift the Tennessee soccer team to a 1-0 home win over No. 20 Texas A&M on Friday in the SEC opener for both teams.

    UT (6-2-1, 1-0 SEC) improved to 3-0 all-time over the Aggies.

    "I am so happy for our kids," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "They played two things. I thought that their soccer in the first half was very good, I thought that our possession was very good. We knew Texas A&M is a fast, fit team. They are a punch-you-in-the-mouth kind of team. They want to come after you right away. We had a choice, we could to try to punch them in the mouth back or we could sit back. And we wanted to play to prove that we are a good team and to prove that we can compete and battle. We wanted to prove that we could win a real ball and things like that. Our soccer, you saw it on the scoreboard and you saw it in the stats, we were the better team. I thought we deserved to be up one to nothing. So I am very proud of our kids."

    In the 32nd minute, a Texas A&M defender fouled Katie Lenz inside the box to set up the penalty kick for Brown. Brown punched in the PK to the upper left.

    Julie Eckel improved to 6-2-1 on the year and notched her 22nd career shutout. Allie Sirna led another outstanding performance by the UT back line, which stymied a potent Texas A&M attack all night.

    UT benefitted from a very strong first half in which the Volunteers had great possession and great offensive pressure. In the first half, Tennessee had seven shots to A&M's four and four corner kicks to just one for the Aggies.

    Susan Ferguson fired the first shot of the match in the ninth minute from just outside the left side of the box. Aggies keeper Jordan Day had to step out from the far post to corral a shot that was curving inside on goal.

    Cheyenne Spade had a good shot in the 17th minute, firing to the upper left to force Day to move to deflect it.

    Eckel recorded her first save in the 21st minute when Karlie Mueller booted a free kick from 15 yards out that was right on goal.

    Early in the second half, Eckel made an outstanding save to prevent a potential equalizer. Leigh Edwards ripped a shot from outside the box and Eckel leaped to tip the ball over the crossbar.

    Brown, Spade and Tori Bailey each had two shots in the game. Katie Lenz played 77 big minutes off the bench and her aggressive play created opportunities for her teammates.

    Tennessee continues SEC play on Sept. 27 against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. UT's next home match is on Oct. 4 against Ole Miss. The first 750 fans at the UT-Ole Miss game will receive a free Tennessee Soccer flag.


    Georgia Soccer Wins Eight Straight For First Time

    ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia soccer team used a 2-0 win over No. 17/8 South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference opener to post the first eight-game winning streak in program history on Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium. The Bulldogs earned the historic win in front of a crowd of 2,452 – the fifth-largest crowd all-time.

    Georgia (8-1-0, 1-0-0) handed the visiting Gamecocks (7-1-1, 0-1-0) their first loss of the 2013 season, while tonight’s victory marked the Bulldogs’ highest-ranked win since beating then-No. 5 South Carolina on Oct. 16, 2009. It was the seventh shutout of the season for UGA.

    The 2013 Bulldogs have tied the program’s best start through nine games with both the 1997 and 2007 squads, which were both also 8-1.

    “What a great win for us,” said head coach Steve Holeman. “First of all, credit South Carolina – they came in as one of the top-ranked teams in the country and they played like it. For a large part of the game, they had control of the run of play. Obviously at halftime we went in with a two-goal lead, and we figured we would have to weather a storm out there in the second half and we did. The defense played outstanding, we had a pretty good game plan, and we did a fantastic job of keeping the ball and creating good chances.”

    The Bulldogs didn’t waste much time before getting on the board, as freshman forward and reigning SEC Freshman of the Week honoree Marion Crowder took a hard cross inside from senior Madeline Barker and fired it past South Carolina keeper Sabrina D’Angelo in the eighth minute to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead. The goal was Crowder’s seventh of the season, moving her into fourth place all-time in the Georgia record book for goals by a rookie. It was just the second goal of the 2013 season allowed by the Gamecocks and first since Sept. 6. Barker was credited with the assist – her second of the year.

    Redshirt senior midfielder Laura Eddy tacked on a second Georgia goal later in the first half as she stepped back and fired one just inside the left post and past a diving D’Angelo in the 32nd minute, making it 2-0. Freshman Caroline Waters was given the assist on the play after she was blocked inside before dishing it back to an awaiting Eddy 25 yards out.

    Georgia went into halftime guarding the 2-0 lead, and with 34 minutes to play in the second half, keeper Caitlin Woody made a diving stop to keep the shutout going off a hard sailing shot by South Carolina’s Sophie Groff.

    South Carolina tested the Georgia defense with 17 shots on the night and the Bulldog back line answered, while the attack was able to make good on the two goals on only nine total attempts. Woody finished her night with seven saves to tie her season and career high.

    Tonight Georgia improves to 10-8-1 all-time in SEC opening games, and 2-1-1 in the Holeman era. The Bulldogs move to 14-5-3 all-time vs. the Gamecocks.

    Marion Crowder has now scored six of her seven goals on the season in the past three games.

    The Bulldogs now have a rare Sunday open date, and will hit the road to continue SEC play next weekend, traveling to Missouri and Kentucky with the Sunday meeting against the Wildcats set to air regionally on CSS.

    Rebels Rally For 2-1 Win At Arkansas

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Olivia Harrison and Rafaelle Souza found a rhythm late for the Rebels, connecting twice in the final 15 minutes of the match to help give Ole Miss (7-1-1) a 2-1 victory on the road at Arkansas (7-2-0) in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

    Souza now leads the Rebels with nine goals on the season, while Harrison holds the team lead with five assists to pace a balanced offensive attack.

    It was the first home loss of the season for Arkansas.

    “It’s huge to pick up a win tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. “Road wins are so important and start conference play on the right foot was big. To come back after falling behind on the road just says a lot about the character of this team.

    “We did a good job of passing the ball and moving it around,” Mott said. “Olivia found two good spots and the Rafa did what she does and put the ball in the net. Our back line did a really good job against a tough front line that has been scoring a lot of goals for Arkansas.”

    The Rebels wasted no time in attacking the Razorbacks, notching a shot and a trio of corner kicks three minutes into the match. The two teams then settled into a rhythm after the early Ole Miss assault, but neither team could capitalize.

    Ole Miss posted three shots on goal and looked to have scored on the first, but the goal from Souza was waved off as she was deemed off-sides following a deflection prior to her shot that went into the net. The Rebels took the ball into the box and Harrison took a shot that was deflected by the keeper, Souza gathered the ball and put it back into the net, but it was ruled no goal.

    After the first half, the Rebels held three shots on goal and four corners, while the Razorbacks had not notched a shot on goal in the first period.

    Arkansas got on the board and took the 1-0 lead in the 61st minute when a corner kick was sent back out to the far side and then sent back into the box. It was lost in the chaos and Allie Tripp put the ball in the net to give the Razorbacks the lead.

    Ole Miss got a pair of chances to answer a few minutes later with corner kicks that provided solid scoring opportunities, but one shot was blocked and the other sailed high as Souza almost bent it in from the near side.

    The Rebels finally tied the match with a goal from Souza in the 76th minute, Mandy McCalla took a shot that was saved by the fingertips of the Razorback goalkeeper. Ole Miss gathered the deflection and sent it back into the box where Olivia Harrison tapped it to Souza near the penalty hash and the senior buried the shot.

    Ole Miss took the lead in the 85th minute when Harrison and Souza connected again, this time from the far side, to give the Rebels the 2-1 lead on the Razorbacks.

    The Rebels held on down the stretch while continuing to press the ball on the Arkansas half of the field to pick up the 2-1 win.

    Ole Miss will return to action on Sunday when the Rebels host UALR in the final non-conference matchup of the regular season at 5 p.m. It will be Family Movie Night and Kickin’ Cancer Night at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium with the Rebels partnering with the Student Activities Association and Baptist Hospital to provide a fun night for the family and raise funds and awareness in the fight against ovarian cancer.

    No. 19 Kentucky Downs Auburn 1-0 in SEC Opener

    AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 19 University of Kentucky women’s soccer team picked up its seventh-straight win on Friday night, as junior Stuart Pope scored her team-high eighth goal of the season in the 28th minute to lift Kentucky past Auburn, 1-0 at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

    The win for Kentucky was its first Southeastern Conference road-opening win since UK defeated LSU in 2004 and second straight conference opening victory after taking down Florida in the league lid lifter last season.

    “That was obviously on the board in the locker room,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said about breaking the streak. “We talked a lot about wanting to do special things. That means we have to find ways to win.

    Pope’s goal came from a rebound effort as the junior netted her eighth of the year in the 28th minute. Fellow junior Arin Gilliland had an initial shot from the right side as she made a nice near-side flank, which was stopped by Auburn keeperAlyse Scott initially. Pope, who was waiting for the rebound at the six, grabbed the ball and poked it past Scott for the game-winner.

    The goal for Pope and assist from Gilliland was the fourth time in the last sixmatches that the duo has hooked up for a goal-assist combination. For Gilliland, she is now tied for the NCAA lead coming into Friday night’s action, as she now carries eight assists on the season.

    “Our attack has a lot of fun playing together,” Lipsitz said. “They don’t really care who gets the assist, or who gets the goal. They want to find a way. We are much less structured than in any point in my tenure here. They are very creative players and I don’t want to take that from them. We want them to feel free and make their own decisions.”

    Senior Kayla King recorded her fourth shutout of the season on Friday night, as she stopped all 13 of Auburn’s shots, and was forced to make six saves.

    Kentucky outshot the Tigers by one shot, at a 13-12 margin, while Auburn had seven shots on goal to the Wildcats six in the match.

    “You have to give complete credit to Auburn,” Lipsitz said. “They played a phenomenal game and they were very well organized. They completely disrupted our flow and took away the way we wanted to play. Having said that, we found a way to get a road win in the SEC, so I’m proud of our effort tonight.”

    The win for Kentucky pushes its season-high winning streak to seven matches, which ties for the longest winning streak since the 2011 season, when UK started the season 7-0-0.

    Kentucky will look to extend its winning streak to eight games on Friday night at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks at 7:30 p.m. ET. Kentucky has not won eight-straight matches since the 2000 season.

    Mizzou Opens SEC Play With 3-1 Win

    STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mizzou soccer team opened Southeastern Conference play with a 3-1 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a torrential downpour Friday night in Starkville, Miss. The Tigers improved to 5-4 overall and 1-0 in league play with the win, while the Bulldogs fell to 3-5 and 0-1.

    Missouri got goals from junior Kaysie Clark, sophomore Macee Blanchard and freshman Lauren Selaiden in the victory. Redshirt junior goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein made eight saves in net for the Tigers.

    For the third consecutive game, the Mizzou's offense came out of the gates hot and notched a goal in the first nine minutes of the match. Clark dribbled down the middle of the field and unleashed a 35-yard rope into the upper left netting for a 1-0 Tiger lead. The tally was a fourth of the year for Clark, who is now tied for the team lead in both goals (four) and points (10).

    In the 16th minute, Missouri sent a flurry of shots on net but could not add another tally. Freshman Melanie Donaldson had two shots and sophomore Reagan Russell one within a few seconds. On the ensuing corner kick, senior Dominique Richardson sailed a beautiful ball into the box but the header by redshirt senior Sarah Thune was saved on the line by a Bulldog defender.

    Blanchard gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with just 12.9 seconds remaining in the first half for the first tally of her Mizzou career. Stationed in the left corner of the box, she received a ball from redshirt freshman Loudell Crumpler and blasted a shot past Mississippi State's goalie and into the netting. Crumpler's assist also marked her first career point in a Tiger uniform.

    Sauerwein kept Mississippi State off the board in the 60th minute with a point-blank save. Bulldog Elisabeth Sullivan was one-on-one with Sauerwein but the keeper stood her ground and punched the 12-yard shot over the crossbar.

    The Tigers had excellent chances to add an insurance goal in the second half but could not convert on opportunities from redshirt sophomore Lauren Flynn, senior Alyssa Diggs or sophomore Reagan Russell.

    The Bulldogs pulled within one, 2-1, when Sullivan scored a goal for Mississippi State in the 79th minute. Sauerwein made a great save on an initial shot from Sullivan but the Bulldog got the rebound and punched it into the goal.

    However, Mizzou answered less than two minutes later when Selaiden headed home a corner kick from Richardson. The goal was the third of the year for Selaiden. Missouri had a 28-21 advantage in shots in the contest.

    The Tigers return to the pitch on Friday, Sept. 27 when the squad hosts the Georgia Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. at Walton Stadium.

    No. 8 Florida soccer opens SEC play with 3-0 win over Alabama

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Three goals – all by Gator freshmen – gave the No. 8 Florida soccer team a 3-0 win over Alabama Friday evening in front of 1,719 fans at the James G. Pressly Stadium. It was the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

    A set play gave the Gators their first goal in the 26th minute. Junior Havana Solaun sent the corner kick to the middle of the box where it was headed down by sophomore Lindsey Cooper. The ball hit the ground just in front of the goal line and freshman Savannah Jordan used her right foot to put it across the line. Jordan scored her second goal of the evening with less than three minutes left before halftime. Sophomore Brooke Smith sent a centering pass to freshman Meggie Dougherty Howard just above the box. Jordan received the ball from Dougherty Howard, turned and used her right foot to take the shot which banged off the far post and into the goal.

    Jordan now has 10 goals, making her one of three in NCAA Division I play to turn in a double-digit season goals total.

    Florida’s final goal started near the end line when senior Maggie Rodgers shielded off her defender, allowing her to send a vertical pass to junior Tessa Andujar outside the top edge of the box. Her cross into box was headed in at the near post by freshman Liz Slattery for her first goal as a Gator.