The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga soccer team dropped a 1-0 match to visiting Alabama State at Finley Stadium this afternoon. The Lady Mocs outshot the Lady Hornets 21-6, but gave up the only score of the game on a free kick in the 62nd minute.
For the second straight match, UTC (1-2) controlled the offensive flow, but were beaten on a counterattack. The Lady Mocs outshot Tennessee Tech 14-10 last week, only to lose 2-0. This afternoon, Chattanooga forced Alabama State keeper Kylee Hathaway to make seven saves, but could not put away a score.
"We are building great attacks," stated UTC head coach J.D. Kyzer. "You can see that by the number of corner kicks and time of possession, but we haven't put it in yet. That is something we have to work on."
The Lady Mocs opened with 14 shots in the first half. Six of those were on-frame, including three shots-on-goal from senior Becca Smith (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). Smith had four good looks from inside the box in the first 11 minutes, including one that was cleared off the line by an ASU defender. She finished with a game-high six shots.
Alabama State nearly took the lead in the 29th minute after a defensive breakdown. The Lady Mocs backline could not control a long ball into the box and Hornet forward Anastasia McCleary got free past the keeper. She had an open net but hurried her attempt and missed wide to the right.
After the break, UTC came out firing again with four shots and a pair of corner kicks in the first 15 minutes. However, Alabama State was able to counter against the Lady Mocs' forward push. UTC defender Logan Higgins (Louisville, Ky.) had to chase down an Alabama State player on the right side. She tripped up the Lady Hornet and received a yellow card that stopped play.
ASU's Alexandria Cannon took the ensuing free kick and sent a perfect cross to the far post. The ball bounced around and right to the foot of India Pleasant who tucked it away for the 1-0 lead. That was one of only two shots on-goal by ASU, but it was all the Lady Hornets needed for today's win.
"We controlled the game," added Kyzer. "We knocked it around. We possessed well and we defended well. There was one play where it hit off legs and drops in their lap. We hope something like that happens to us one day. Right now it is not."
Chattanooga had chances throughout the second half. Sophomore Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) hit the crossbar in the 60th minute and freshman Hannah Wyatt (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) had a good look in the 69th.
UTC's best chances were in the closing moments. In the 89th minute, senior Kelsey Swann (Hixson, Tenn.) sent a nice pass down the left side in the box to freshman Loryn Queen (Lanesville, Ind.). Queen crossed the ball to classmate Clare Latham (Cordova, Tenn.) who was in the middle of the box. She got a good foot on the ball, but Hathaway made a great save to keep the lead.
Moments later, Wyatt got free in the box behind the defense. She looked like she was going to tie the match with seconds left to go in regulation, but hit the far post. Unfortunately, it would not have counted anyway since the assistant referee had correctly raised his flag for offsides.
All totaled, Chattanooga earned eight corner kicks while only allow one. Only 13 fouls were called in the match with seven going against the Lady Mocs.
"We are building on our chances," added Kyzer. "We had eight corners, last time we had five. Supposedly that gives you an advantage, but when you don't have the ability to put it in - which we haven't yet - then it is tough. We are trying to break the ice on the season and it is a really difficult thing to put everybody on the same page, but that is what we are trying to do."
Chattanooga hits the road this weekend with a trip to the Nashville area. UTC faces Lipscomb on Friday at 8:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) in Nashville, Tenn. The Lady Mocs then head to Clarksville, Tenn., for a Sunday matchup at Austin Peay that starts at 3:00 p.m. Be sure to check GoMocs.com for links and details on coverage of both matches. The next home match is Thursday, Sept. 27, against Wofford at 6:00 p.m. in Finley Stadium.