Auburn's Jenny Zarzour ended the match with a penalty kick after sophomore forward Kristin Stewart was taken down in the penalty box for the second time in the match. Zarzour put her shot past a diving UT sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Kitchin to wrap up the contest.
Before the golden goal, neither team had a good shot in the second extra period. In the first overtime, however, both teams had good opportunities. The Tigers' senior defender Ronda Brooks took a try in the 92nd minute off a corner kick, but Lady Vol junior defender Erica Griffin headed the ball from the back post away from goal for the team save. Redshirt freshman forward Mick Imgram had an open chance from 12 yards out with 1:15 left in the period stopped by Auburn goalkeeper Allison Whitworth, one of her nine saves in the match.
All the scoring in regulation came in the first half, with Auburn getting on the board first via a Jac Schwarz penalty kick in the 11th minute. Tennessee answered in the 23rd when senior All-American midfielder Ali Christoph put her shot from 15 yards out past Whitworth. The Tigers' defense stopped, looking for an off-sides call, but the head referee did not whistle the play dead. Christoph never stopped, slipping behind the backline for the score, her 18th career goal, tying her with Tara Minnax and Emily Redberg for ninth on the career goal list.
The Big Orange had other chances in the first half, as senior Kristen Doukakis missed high with a header after Imgram's corner kick in the 13th minute. Four minutes later, Imgram hit a shot from the close left wing that Whitworth was there to stop. In the 20th, Redberg had a step on the nearest defender at the top of the box. The junior shot, but Whitworth was able to redirect the ball just enough to make it go wide.
The Tigers tried to answer UT's goal in the 29th minute, as Schwarz hammered a ball from six yards out, but Kitchin was there for one of her five saves in the contest.
Both teams had chances within the first five minutes after the halftime break. Imgram took a shot in the 47th minute that Whitworth grabbed. Three minutes later, Auburn's Lizzie Hamersly tried to put one past Kitchin, but the sophomore netminder was there for the stop.
Toward the end of the match, Auburn had a great look when Zarzour got the ball around 15 yards from the goal in the 87th minute. Zarzour fired, but her chance missed left. A minute later, the Lady Vols went on the attack, and an attempted clearance by a Tiger defender went to Redberg just inside the penalty box. She fired, but Whitworth was able to make the save.
"Congratulations to Auburn for putting themselves in opportunities to finish in our defensive box," said Tennessee head coach Angela Kelly. "We have to be a little more patient defensively and have better pressure and cover on the ball and stand the attacking player up. We must make sure that we don't continue to pull people down in the box.
"I am proud of our team for the effort that they put forth, but effort does not always dictate an outcome. We now have to find the killer instinct within and do a better job of execution in the attacking third, along with the simple desire, concentration and focus to put teams away."
In the match, Auburn held a 19-16 advantage in shots and took two more corner kicks than UT. The loss dropped Tennessee to 1-3 in matches against the Tigers at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
Tennessee closes out the regular season with a 7 p.m. match on Friday against Georgia at the Regal Soccer Stadium.
AU: Jac Schwarz (penalty kick); 10:55
UT: Ali Christoph (Kylee Rossi); 22:48
AU: Jenny Zarzour (penalty kick); 108:54
Shots: Auburn 19, Tennessee 16.
Corner Kicks: Auburn 8, Tennessee 6.
Goalkeeper Stats: Sarah Kitchin (UT) 5 saves, 2 goals, 108:54; Allison Whitworth (AU), 9 saves, 1 goal, 108:54.
Fouls: Tennessee 15, Auburn 8.
Offsides: Tennessee 8, Auburn 1.
Tennessee: Sarah Kitchin (GK), Jenny Jeffers (D), Kristen Doukakis (M), Emily Redberg (F), Kylee Rossi (F), Mick Imgram (F), Melissa Amado (D), Erica Griffin (D), Leslie Vineyard (M), Jordan Falcusan (D), Ali Christoph (M).
Reserves: Sarah Van Sickle, Hayley Prendergast, Mia Boyd.
Auburn: Allison Whitworth (GK), Gabi Rivera (M), Caitlin King (F), Jenny Zarzour (M), Jac Schwarz (F), Jenn Johnson (D), Ronda Brooks (D), Lizzie Hamersly (D), Chelsea Yauch (M), Molly Turner (D), Kristin Stewart (F).
Reserves: Kori Hoelscher, Becca Howell, Stephanie Fransoso, Kara Kasten, Amanda Garcia, Jenni Prescott.
Tennessee: Ali Christoph 4, Mick Imgram 4, Emily Redberg 3, Kristen Doukakis 3, Kylee Rossi 1, Jordan Falcusan 1.
Auburn: Caitlin King 4, Jenny Zarzour 4, Chelsea Yauch 3, Jac Schwarz 2, Kristin Stewart 2, Gabi Rivera 1, Ronda Brooks 1, Lizzie Hamersly 1, Jenni Prescott 1.