Ali Christoph leads UT to 1-0 win

A 98th-minute penalty kick by senior All-American midfielder Ali Christoph gave the No. 14 Tennessee soccer team a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Virginia in the first match at the Regal Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

UT's first win of 2006 comes against the same team that it broke through against in 2005, and it came in similar dramatic fashion.

Freshman forward Devon Swaim (Levittown, Pa.) was driving toward goal down the sideline and trying to fight past Virginia defender Alli Fries. Swaim got a step on the defender and cut to the net, but she was taken down inside the penalty box, causing the penalty kick attempt. Christoph (Columbus, Ohio ) stepped up and knocked the shot past UVA senior goalkeeper Christina de Vries to end the match.

Tennessee had control of the ball most of the overtime period, taking two shots during the extra time while Virginia had none. Thirty seconds into overtime, Swaim tried to end the match with a shot from inside the 18-yard box, but de Vries made the stop.

The second half was a back-and-forth battle mainly in the midfield. Both teams had opportunities to score, with the Cavaliers' sophomore midfielder Kelly Quinn having the best chance. In the 86th minute, Quinn shot from inside the penalty box after a corner kick by Caitlin Miskel. Quinn's try hit the crossbar and went away from goal, where the UT defenders were able to clear it.

Tennessee's best try in the second half came in the 79th minute when sophomore forward Kylee Rossi (Pennington, N.J.) had her header try off a Christoph free kick snagged by de Vries. Just minutes before, the Orange and White sent some passes up for the UT forwards, but de Vries was able to grab those lead passes just before the attackers could get to them.

In the first half, the Big Orange tried to take the action to de Vries early. Swaim was successful in the third minute in getting behind the netminder on a drive, but her shot from the left wing stayed left of goal.

"We came out very inspired in the second half," said UT head coach Angela Kelly. "We had a couple of changes that we needed to make. I'm a little disappointed in our performance in the first half. We still have to bring a consistent effort the entire game, but we still have a young team and it's still early in the season. We're just excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

"When we come inspired and ready to play, we can compete with anyone in the country. I would like to see them play with that kind of inspiration for the full 90 minutes every time so that it becomes part of whom we are and not what just shows up sometimes. We're going to work on that."

For the match, Virginia (3-1) held a 14-11 lead in shots, while the Lady Vols (1-1-1) finished with a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. UT was called offside on five occasions compared to three by the Cavaliers. Sophomore goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson (Dayton, Ohio) made four saves in her first career win.

Next weekend, Tennessee hosts the 2006 First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic at the Regal Soccer Stadium.

Action on Friday begins at 5:30 p.m., when Middle Tennessee and Mercer square off in the first match. The Lady Vols take on UNC-Greensboro in the nightcap, which is slated for an 8 p.m. start.

SCORING SUMMARY: Regal Soccer Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.

UT: Ali Christoph (penalty kick); 97:50

Shots: Virginia 14, Tennessee 11.

Corner Kicks: Tennessee 7, Virginia 4.

Goalkeeper Stats: Jaimel Johnson (UT) 4 saves, 0 goals, 97:50; Christina de Vries (UVA), 2 saves, 1 goal, 97:50.

Fouls: Virginia 7, Tennessee 5.

Offsides: Tennessee 5, Virginia 3.

Starting Lineups:

Tennessee: Jaimel Johnson (GK), Devon Swaim (F), Jenny Jeffers (D), Kristen Doukakis (M), Emily Redberg (F), Kylee Rossi (F), Sarah Van Sickle (D), Erica Griffin (D), Leslie Vineyard (M), Jordan Falcusan (D), Ali Christoph (M).

Reserves: Sarah Jackyra, Hayley Prendergast.

Virginia: Christina de Vries (GK), Sarah Senty (D), Jen Redmond (M), Caitlin Miskel (M), Alli Fries (D), Kelly Quinn (M), Becky Sauerbrunn (D), Kara Frederick (F), Sarah Curtis (F), Alex Singer (D), Nikki Lieb (M).

Reserves: Julia Falk, Kristen Weiss, Amanda Stewart.

Shots:

Tennessee: Devon Swaim 4, Kylee Rossi 3, Ali Christoph 3, Erica Griffin 1.

Virginia: Jen Redmond 4, Caitlin Miskel 2, Kelly Quinn 2, Kristen Weiss 2, Sarah Senty 1, Sarah Curtis 1, Alex Singer 1, Amanda Stewart 1.


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