CHARLESTON, S.C. --- Despite being outshot 36-15, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's soccer team came away with a 3-2 win over The Citadel Sunday afternoon in Charleston, S.C. for its first win in Southern Conference action this season. The Mocs move to 3-10-1 overall and 1-7-0 in league play. The Bulldogs drop to 4-10-1 overall and 2-5-1 against the SoCon.
The Citadel got on the board early scoring in the 17th minute. Chattanooga keeper freshman Lauren Thomas (Germantown, Tenn.) made a save on a shot from Vanessa Aponte but was unable to pull the ball in and Mariana Garcia, second in the league in scoring, had the put back to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead on her 11th goal.
That would be all the scoring from The Citadel for quite a while as Chattanooga stepped up its offense to tie it up before halftime then come on in the second half to take the lead for good.
In the 43rd minute sophomore Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) had a shot blocked but it was picked up by freshman Loryn Queen (Lanesville, Ind.) who crossed a pass to senior Kelsey Swann (Hixson, Tenn.) who drilled her first goal of the year past The Citadel's keeper to knot it up 1-1. The score would stand into the intermission.
In the second half, Swann and Queen paired up again to give the Mocs the lead for good. Queen's pass was right to Swann and the senior knocked the shot into the top left corner of the net from15 yards out to UTC up 2-1 at the 64:18 mark of the game.
"Kelsey is a pretty fast outside-mid," UTC head coach J.D. Kyzer said. "We were able to switch the field and get the ball to her. We came out ready to play today."
What would prove to be the game winner game just seconds later when senior Becca Smith (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) connected on a penalty kick at the 64:39 mark of the game to give Chattanooga a 3-1 lead.
"They took down our player in the box. She was closing in on the keeper and their defense really had no choice," Kyzer said.
In the 84th minute, the Bulldogs cut the Mocs lead to 3-2. Aponte sent a direct kick toward the goal. It was picked up on the head of Garcia who knocked home her 12th goal of the season. The Bulldogs took four more shots in the remaining minutes with two saves by Thomas and the other two shots blocked.
"This is good for our confidence, but it's hard when we get ahead to hold on," Kyzer said. "We haven't been on this side very often this year so hopefully we are getting more comfortable with being ahead and winning."
Chattanooga will return home to close out the season with a three-game home stand beginning with Elon Friday night at 7 p.m. at Finley Stadium. The Mocs will honor their five seniors on Sunday prior to the 1 p.m. game against UNCG at Finley. Chattanooga will close out the season at home on Wednesday, October 24 in the Southern Rail Rivalry game against Samford.
1 CIT 16:04 Mariana Garcia (11) Vanessa Aponte
2 UTC 42:18 Kelsey Swann (1) Loryn Queen
3 UTC 64:18 Kelsey Swann (2) Loryn Queen
4 UTC 64:39 Becca Smith (5) penalty kick
5 CIT 83:17 Mariana Garcia (12) Vanessa Aponte