Tennessee 1, UAB 0



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Under bright sunny skies at the UT Soccer Complex, the 10th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team utilized a goal by senior All-American defender Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.) at 20:06 to defeat the UAB Blazers, 1-0, and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third-consecutive season. The 11th-seeded Orange & White will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face the No. 6 national-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in round of 16 action this upcoming weekend. The exact date and time of the match-up with OSU has not been established at the time of this release.

"I'm proud of my team for picking up a win today to continue to survive and advance," said Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly. "We like to control the tempo and wanted to come out more aggressive than we did on Friday night (Furman). We did ok in the first half and had lots of quality scoring opportunities that we didn't finish. A minute and a half into the game we had a chance at the six that we should have put away, but didn't. The second half we didn't control the tempo, and to UAB's credit they took it to us in the second half. We were fortunate to come out with a win. Every time we tried to possess or clear it effectively, we'd hit a defender or a foot out in front, so that's a credit to UAB's effort.

Right out of the gate the Lady Vols launched a strong attack on the UAB goal as senior midfielder Kayla Lockaby (Hamilton, Ohio) had a shot in the box blocked, got a rebound and fired a lazer that was corralled by diving goalkeeper Katie Forbis.

UT continued to dictate the play in UAB's end of the pitch as following a melee in front of the net, the ball trickled out towards the top of the box. From behind, Lockaby chased down the loose ball, turned and drove a right-footed blast that flew just over the top of the net.

In the 14th-minute, Lady Vol rookie defender Erica Griffin made a strong run up the right wing over a great majority of the field that eventually brought UT a corner kick opportunity. Senior midfielder Sue Flamini (Cranford, N.J.) served a solid ball from the corner into a crowd waiting in front of the net. Sophomore defender Jenny Jeffers (Lake Zurich, Ill.) eventually controlled the ball and launched a shot that traveled just high of the goal.

Just seconds later, Lockaby was at it again for the Orange & White as she just missed getting solid contact on a shot that was saved by Forbis. Freshman forward Genna Gorman (Lakewood, Colo.) had made a run up the right side and fed the ball across to grant Lockaby the scoring opportunity.

Finally, after six Tennessee shots failed to get UT on the board, the seventh provided the eventual winning margin over the Blazers. Dowling got high above the crowd in front of the goal and headed a perfect feed off a corner kick from Flamini into the upper right corner of the net for a 1-0 Lady Vol advantage.

"It was a great ball from Sue," said Lady Vol defender Keeley Dowling. "She got it up, I like the high ones, and I was able to get on the end of it and place it across the goal. We've been working on it everyday in practice. I was able to loft it over the defense and put it on goal.

The Blazers immediately counter-attacked off the restart as UAB's Jenny Rynders made a strong run up the middle and launched a dangerous shot that drifted just high.

After two solid scoring chances by Tennessee rookie Emily Redberg (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) were saved by a diving Forbis, UAB began to control the offensive action as the Blazers registered the final four shots of the first half.

The best chance for UAB in the opening frame came at the 41:26 mark as a drive by defender Briana McCarty into the box found the foot of midfielder Rynders. She fired a low point-blank shot that UT goalkeeper Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart (Vernon, Conn.) dove to her right to corral.

Out of the halftime break, the Blazers continued their attack, however several strong UAB chances failed to produce a solid scoring opportunity as shots by Becky Garcia and Tara Kidwell drifted wide.

At 62:37, the Lady Vols missed a golden opportunity for an insurance tally as a cross from the left side into the box was controlled by Hayley Prendergast (Hingham, Mass.). The rookie fed a perfect ball to sophomore midfielder Ali Christoph (Columbus, Ohio) racing in on the left wing, who received the pass at exactly the same time Forbis came off her line to try to control the ball. It became a battle of a flat-on-her-back Christoph against a prone Forbis, but the UT sophomore couldn't manage a clean shot at the open net.

Another shot by Christoph off a Gorman cross and a high 22-yard blast from senior forward Lyndsey Patterson (Puyallup, Wash.) in the 70th-minute were the last solid scoring chances for the Lady Vols as UAB began to press for an equalizer.

A shot by the Blazers' Sally Palmer was blocked out in front by the UT defense. Then in the 75th-minute, the most controversial call of the match occurred just inside the Tennessee penalty box. UAB forward Tara Kidwell made a run in from the right side checked by Orange & White defender Jenny Jeffers. Both players went down with no foul called as play continued on until an obviously upset Kidwell received a yellow card caution at 74:58.

The Blazers managed to put six shots in on the Lady Vol goal over the final 8:45, three of which were saved by UT's Phillips-Bosshart, but were unable to solve the Tennessee netminder as the Orange & White advanced on to their third-straight NCAA Sweet 16 with a 1-0 victory.

-- Courtesy Tennessee