Tennessee drops No. 11 Missouri behind Bailey's goal in 58th minute
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior Tori Bailey scored from six yards out in the 58th minute and the Lady Vols' defense stepped up in another physical SEC bout to give the Tennessee soccer team a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Missouri on Sunday at Regal Soccer Stadium.
Tennessee (8-3-2, 3-2-1 SEC) bounced back from a 1-0 home loss to Arkansas on Friday night with a hard-nosed effort Sunday afternoon. The Lady Vols handed Mizzou (10-2-0, 5-1-0 SEC) its first conference loss in its inaugural season in the SEC.
After a physical first half that saw two yellow cards issued to the Tigers and one to the UT bench, Tennessee came out of the locker room with even more tenacity in the second half.
"This win says a lot about our kids," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "It says a lot about our team's character and our team's fight. I don't want to sound like that cliché, cheesy guy but I tell you what, we were tested. We were tested over the weekend. It stunk to have to wait from Friday night and the bad taste we all had in our mouths from Friday night, but our courage, mentality, and our physical fight was tested."
In the 58th minute, junior Caroline Brown sent a ball forward for sophomore Hannah Wilkinson in the top right corner of the box. Wilkinson pushed the ball to the right corner of the field then changed direction towards the goal before sending a cross into the center. Bailey tapped the ball in with the top of her foot to send it trickling into the lower right side of the goal past Mizzou goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein.
"We focus so much on being good at soccer and possessing," Pensky said. "But college soccer is sometimes a fight. It's a battle, a scrap, a claw and things like that. I think that as a result sometimes we play as if we are focused on being good at soccer, rather than preparing to battle. I think that starts with me and it's something we talked about coming into [Sunday]. I think without a doubt our kids did a great job, and then I'm happy for Tori scoring that great goal."
Eckel (8-3-2) made two saves and posted her fifth complete shutout of the season. Bailey and Iyana Moore each had two shots.
Missouri's Abi Raymer totaled four shots to lead the Tigers and Sauerwein (10-2-0) made one save in the loss.