CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's soccer team has had a tough start to the Southern Conference season after falling 3-2 to the College of Charleston on Pink Day Sunday afternoon at Finley Stadium.
The Mocs are now 5-5-1 overall and 0-4 in league action while the Cougars improve to 7-5-0 overall and 3-1-0 in conference play.
"This is just our third day with our new system in place and we're getting better," Chattanooga Head Coach J.D. Kyzer said. "This game was closer than the last and even closer than the one before that and the results are better.
"It's not showing on the scoreboard yet, but we're getting better and more relaxed with it."
The Cougars got on the board quickly with a shot from the top of the box to the right side of the net from Alli Brashear in the fifth minute to put College of Charleston up 1-0 out of the gates. The Mocs responded with a goal in the 29th minute from junior Becca Smith (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) who netted her 10th goal of the season when she caught a deflected shot off the Cougars' keeper to tie it up 1-1 at 29:04 in the game.
"Becca is playing like she did her freshman year," Kyzer said. "Most people didn't realize that she was hurt most of last year and was gutting it out. She's a rock and she is a part of most of our goals, but it's a team effort."
Before the half ended, CofC got the first of two goals on the day from Sarah Schaidle, the team's leading scorer. She got a pass from teammate Hannah Gmerek to just in front of the net and sent a header past UTC keeper Taylor Mangrum (Franklin, Tenn.) to take a brief lead before halftime.
With just minutes to go before the break, the Mocs capitalized on a scoring opportunity in the 43rd minute. Chattanooga worked to convert a corner kick from sophomore Andria Aurand (Hixson, Tenn.), but the Cougars cleared the ball. However, Chattanooga freshman Andi Argueta (Clarksville, Tenn.) found the ball and passed it to Aurand who lofted the ball over the scrum of players in the middle and found senior Danielle Barr (Hixson, Tenn.) on the far side. Barr headed the ball past Charleston's Cricket Wise for her first goal of the season and the equalizer.
"Danielle scores on corners and long balls," Kyzer said of his senior defender. "That is really her only opportunity to score. We put people in positions to be effective for us and that is where she is most effective."
Chattanooga's defense was tested with four saves in the first half by Mangrum and eight in the second, but the Cougars were able to find the net one more time for the win. Schaidle took a pass from Sarah Cardamone and recorded the game winner in the 67th minute.
Chattanooga will have a quick turn around as it hosts league-leading Furman Thursday night at Finley Stadium. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Live stats and streaming video will be available at the official website of Mocs Athletics, GoMocs.com.
October is breast cancer awareness month and the Mocs showed their support by sporting Pink warm up shirts before the game. Pink T-shirts, pink water bottles and pink Chattanooga Mocs lanyards were given out the fans before the game. Finley Stadium was dressed out in pink for the event as well.
No. TIME TEAM GOAL SCORER ASSIST
1. 4:29 COFC Alli Brashear (2) (unassisted)
2. 29:04 UTC Becca Smith (10) (unassisted)
3. 37:59 COFC Sarah Schaidle (5) Hannah Gmerek
4. 42:12 UTC Danielle Barr (1) Andria Aurand, Andi Argueta
5. 66:41 COFC Sarah Schaidle (6) Sarah Cardamone