Soccer prevails in OT over Bama

Brian Pensky got his first career SEC win, Hannah Wilkinson scored her first Tennessee goal, and Kylie Bono won the game in overtime over rival Alabama. Go inside with Inside Tennessee for free soccer coverage.

Alabama (5-2, 0-1) scored first, but Tennessee (6-1-1, 1-0) scored last and the Lady Vols opened SEC play with a 2-1 win over the Crimson Tide before an appreciative crowd of 1,610 at Regal Soccer Stadium that included basketball players Cierra Burdick, Andraya Carter and Meighan Simmons.

The Crimson Tide notched the first goal in the first half with a perfectly executed corner kick that resulted in a header to the back of the net by Laura Lee Smith at the 11:18 mark.

Hannah Wilkinson answered five minutes later for the Lady Vols and showed world-class speed down the sideline, leaving two Crimson Tide players in her wake and then faking the last defender to the grass and sending the ball past goalkeeper Shelby Church before any help could arrive. It was the New Zealand native's first career goal for Tennessee after joining the team a week ago following stints in London for the Olympics and Japan for the 2012 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The game stayed knotted at one through the end of regulation, but it wasn't for lack of chances for Tennessee. The Lady Vols had 25 shots to 12 for Alabama and while some were saves by Church – she recorded eight – others were misfires.

With 3:10 left in overtime, Kylie Bono connected on the game winner – and her third goal of the season – after Wilkinson challenged the goalkeeper with an attempted header. The ball deflected off of Church to Bono, who was standing just to the left of the goal, and she fired unchallenged to the right corner.

"We talk a lot about getting something across the goalkeeper's face and disrupting her and making it hard for her," head coach Brian Pensky said. "When you're fortunate enough to have a 5-11 striker on the team as Hannah Wilkinson is, she got across her face and kept the ball alive.

"I tell you what, a lot of kids sky that ball over the crossbar. Kylie Bono did a great job, clinically just punching it into the back of the net. Great effort all around from a number of players."


Kylie Bono

Hannah Wilkinson

Coach Brian Pensky


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