Soccer team claims tourney title

The University of Tennessee women's soccer team took home its second consecutive First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic title after beating the University of Minnesota 1-0, to finish the tournament with a 2-0 record.

"It wasn't the prettiest win we've ever had but we were able to create enough opportunities to win the game and that was exciting," UT Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "It's only been 18 days and we still have a lot to organize and learn and we're going to do that."

Redshirt freshman forward Devon Swaim converted on a penalty kick in the 26th minute of the match to give the Lady Vols the only goal they would need for the victory. The goal was Swaim's first of her collegiate career after redshirting the 2006 season.

The first half saw the teams combine for 20 shots, but just five of those were on frame. The Orange and White recorded four of their 11 first half shots in the opening 15 minutes, having two blocked by Minnesota defenders. Junior forward Kylee Rossi, junior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar and Swaim dominated the offense for UT, taking three shots apiece in the first 45 minutes.

Minnesota looked to tie things up in the second half, controlling possession through the first 20 minutes of the second frame. The Lady Vol defense, however, stepped up in the second half, holding the Golden Gophers to just four shots, with only one on goal, after allowing nine shots in the first half.

Junior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson needed just three saves on the day to keep the Golden Gophers scoreless. The shutout is Johnson's first of the young season and sixth of her career. Helping Johnson was the UT defense, comprised of seniors Erica Griffin and Jordan Falcusan and freshman Melissa Speros. The backline cleared the ball well in the defensive third, giving up just two corner kicks to Minnesota in the match.

The Lady Vol Classic title is the third in program history. Penn State topped UCF in the early match on Sunday to tie with the Knights for second place with a 1-1 record in the tournament, while Minnesota's 0-2 record gave them a fourth-place finish.

"We're very excited to win the First Tennessee Classic," Kelly said. "This is the second year in a row and we always try to bring in great talent, which we did this year. It was great to have our first two games in our stadium with great fan support."

Following the match, the head coaches selected a 13-player all-tournament team and the offensive and defensive most valuable players. UT sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram, who scored the game winner against Penn State, joined Johnson, Rossi and Falcusan on the team.

With her six saves and 1.00 goals against average on the weekend, Johnson earned the tournament's defensive MVP. Rossi took home the offensive MVP after leading the Lady Vols with eight shots on the weekend. This marks the second year that the Big Orange has earned both of the MVP awards at the Lady Vol Classic.

Tennessee hits the road next weekend for its first games away from Regal Soccer Stadium this season. The Lady Vols travel to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hawthorn Suites Invitational, Sept. 7-9, taking on Wake Forest and host Virginia Tech.

First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic Awards

Offensive MVP: Kylee Rossi, Tennessee

Defensive MVP: Jaimel Johnson, Tennessee

All-Tournament Team: Jaimel Johnson, Kylee Rossi, Mick Imgram and Jordan Falcusan from Tennessee; Katie Bethke, Lindsey Schwartz, and Kaitlin Wagner from Minnesota; Jessie Davis, Denay Riley and Zoe Bouchelle from Penn State; and Jennifer Manis, Yvonne George and Arielle Orr from Central Florida.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories