UT downs Duke on penalty kicks

Once again in an NCAA Tournament matchup between Tennessee and Duke, overtime was not enough. A penalty-kick shootout was required after the squads battled to a scoreless tie to determine who would move on. The Lady Vols took home the 4-3 advantage in the shootout over the Blue Devils to advance into the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years.

Tennessee (12-6-4) got the early momentum when sophomore goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson stopped Blue Devil senior midfielder Darby Kroyer's initial shot. Junior forward Emily Redberg knocked in the first Tennessee try to put her squad on top.

Duke's freshman forward Elisabeth Redmond stepped up and knocked into her shot to tie up the frame. After the next UT shot missed, Duke had the chance to keep the shootout even, but Blue Devil sophomore forward Christie McDonald's try missed the frame. Lady Vol senior midfielder Kristen Doukakis then stepped up to the PK spot and put her chance into the net to put UT up, 2-1, after three rounds of penalty kicks.

The teams traded scores in the fourth round, as Blue Devil senior midfielder Lauren Tippets and Lady Vol senior All-American midfielder Ali Christoph both beat the keeper. Duke kept the pressure on with its last shot, as senior midfielder Rebecca Moros scored her chance. UT sophomore forward Kylee Rossi, the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year, ended any doubt when her ball crossed the line to end the shootout, 4-3, to push Tennessee onto the next round.

"I think what you saw today was a great women's soccer game," said UT head coach Angela Kelly. "It was back and forth, and we had our share of opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, as did Duke. I have tremendous respect for Robbie Church and his team. They are very talented. Obviously, the objective is to win and move on, but I would rather play it out instead of going into penalty kicks. We're going to take it.

"I give a lot of credit to Duke. They were a huge battle for us today, and it really could have gone either way."

Regulation play tilted in favor of the Lady Vols, as the Big Orange out-shot the Blue Devils, 20-9, in the first two periods. The first good opportunity for Tennessee came in the third minute, as Doukakis fired a shot from inside the penalty box. Duke junior goalkeeper Allison Lipsher stepped out and made a point-blank save to keep UT off the board.

The Orange and White got another chance in the 34th minute when Christoph got loose inside the box. The SEC's Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year fired, but Lipsher made an outstanding kick save to keep UT off the board. Five minutes later, Tennessee's junior defender Erica Griffin got a pair of looks off corner kicks by redshirt freshman forward Mick Imgram. Her first header was blocked by a Duke defender, while her second just went over the crossbar.

The second half started very much like the first, as Tennessee sent attack after attack on the Blue Devil goal. The 50th minute saw Redberg try to beat Lipsher near post from the right wing, but the junior netminder dove to her left for the stop. Six minutes later, a long throw-in from sophomore defender Sarah Van Sickle gave her teammates some chances. Redberg had her shot blocked, but Imgram was able to collect the rebound and fire. Her chance, however, hit the right post and went over the end line.

Imgram nearly scored off a direct kick in the 67th minute, setting up the shot from the right touchline about 45 yards out. She drove the ball toward goal, but it nicked the top of the crossbar and carried over the end line.

"We created phenomenal scoring opportunities for ourselves," commented Kelly. "I think our forward line is extremely dynamic. When we can get in behind or face up against the backline, its pretty threatening to any backline we face. Their keeper played amazing. She made an unbelievable kick-save on Ali Christoph's 1v0 with the keeper. Mick had a point-blank shot from six yards out. We had ample opportunities to put the game away, but that's also the game of soccer."

Duke got its first opportunity of the second half in the 81st minute after a corner kick. Sophomore midfielder Lorraine Quinn had her chance miss high. The Blue Devils came back in the 85th minute with another good look. Redmond tried to push a ball past Johnson, but UT's goalkeeper was there for the stop to keep the match tied.

The Blue Devils controlled play for most of the overtime periods, getting three shots off in the first extra frame. Johnson made two stops to force a second overtime, including snuffing out a breakaway opportunity that had Quinn fire on Johnson from 10 yards out.

The second started much like the first, with the ball seemingly staying in Duke's offensive third. Five shots were fired by Duke with Johnson making three saves. Duke freshman midfielder CJ Ludemann, who finished off Duke's shootout win over Louisville on Friday night, blasted a chance from the top of the penalty box that Johnson had to push over the top of the crossbar. Tennessee got one opportunity toward the end of the frame, but Rossi's try from the top of the box was corralled by Lipsher.

In the match, UT out-shot Duke, 21-17, and took a 9-7 advantage in corner kicks. Both Lipsher and Johnson topped their previous career highs in saves, as Lipsher stopped 11 shots and Johnson kept nine balls from scoring.

The shutout for UT was its sixth straight in NCAA Tournament games held in Knoxville. Tennessee improves to 3-1 in shootouts all-time, including a 1-1 mark in the national championship tourney.

This is the second time the Blue Devils and Lady Vols needed penalty kicks to decide who advanced in an NCAA match, as Duke advanced, 4-2, over Tennessee in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Vols will take on the region's top seed, North Carolina, next Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. EST in Chapel Hill.


Tennessee advances on penalty kicks, 4-3

Shots: Tennessee 21, Duke 17.

Corner Kicks: Tennessee 9, Duke 7.

Goalkeeper Stats: Jaimel Johnson (UT) 9 saves, 0 goals, 110:00; Allison Lipsher (DU), 11 saves, 0 goals, 110:00.

Fouls: Duke 11, Tennessee 7.

Offsides: Duke 2, Tennessee 1.

Starting Lineups

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

Reserves: Mia Boyd.

Duke: Allison Lipsher (GK), Jane Alukonis (D), Kelly Hathorn (M), Darby Kroyer (M), Rachel-Rose Cohen (D), Sara Murphy (D), Lorraine Quinn (M), Christie McDonald (D), Sarah McCabe (F), Elisabeth Redmond (F), Rebecca Moros (M).

Reserves: KayAnne Gummersall, C.J. Ludemann, Lauren Tippets, Kelly McCann, Katie Roark, Rebekah Fergusson.


Tennessee: Kylee Rossi 5, Mick Imgram 4, Emily Redberg 4, Jordan Falcusan 2, Leslie Vineyard 2, Erica Griffin 2, Kristen Doukakis 1, Ali Christoph 1.

Duke: KayAnne Gummersall 5, Lorraine Quinn 4, Elisabeth Redmond 3, C.J. Ludemann 3, Darby Kroyer 2.

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