''I'm obviously very pleased to have a win,'' Kelly said. "We played a much better second half than the first, so all the credit goes to the team. At halftime, I told my girls that it was their choice to play the way we had prepared, or to play the way we did during the first half. Luckily, they made the right choice and we were able to be successful.''
With yet another overtime looming, which would have been Tennessee's 10th of the season, sophomore Lyndsey Patterson (Puyallup, Wash.) sent a cross from the right wing to the back post that Lockaby connected on with her left foot for her eighth goal of the season at 85:02. Lockaby now leads Tennessee with four match-winners in '02, while seven of UT's last eight victories have been by a single goal. Patterson's assist was her 10th of the year, rating the forward second on the Orange and White behind junior Rhian Wilkinson's (Baie d'Urfe, Quebec) total of 15 helpers.
UC sophomore forward Marie Trelka opened the scoring at 20:39 when she received a cross from junior midfielder Tasha Wagner and dribbled past a Lady Vol defender before slipping a shot past senior netminder Ellen Dean (Memphis, Tenn.). A tightly-contested first half saw the hosts hold a slim 4-3 advantage on the shot chart and a 5-0 disparity in corner kicks.
Tennessee's best opportunities to square the match during the first 45 minutes came on chances from senior forward Kim Patrick (Pleasanton, Calif.), who was denied by Bearcat sophomore keeper Tracy Hale at 41:42, and sophomore Kristin McGrath (Durango, Colo.), who lifted a shot over the crossbar at 43:12.
Strelka's bid for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead just 1:19 into the second frame was thwarted on a great defensive play by Patrick and a save from Dean. The Bearcat forward gained possession in the midfield and maneuvered her way down inside of the six before Patrick's slide tackle forced an errant shot into Dean's arms.
Soon after, the momentum began to shift to the Lady Volunteers, as Patrick uncorked a shot at 48:32 that went wide left of the goal, and Lockaby had a pair of attempts which went above the net around the 50th minute. Hale came up with another brilliant save at 53:52 when she snared a re-directed cross by Patrick, and the Bearcat defense did their part by blocking consecutive shots by UT senior Jen Laughridge in the 54th minute. UC responded to the flurry by creating a shot taken by senior forward Tianna Oliver at 55:01, but that would prove to be the squad's final attempt of the afternoon.
On the home team's ninth corner of the match, sophomore Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.) headed in a ball sent across by classmate Sue Flamini (Cranford, N.J.) to knot the match at 63:43. Dowling's goal was her fifth of the campaign and marked her third straight outing with a score after tallying the Golden Goal in the SEC Tournament Championship against Florida last Sunday and finding the back of the net in the 5-0 shutout of Furman on Friday night.
Led by four attempts apiece by Lockaby and Patrick, Tennessee out-shot the Bearcats by a 19-5 margin and had a 10-0 edge in corners. Hale, who entered the match sporting the eighth-best goals against average in the nation, made six saves on the afternoon. Dean registered a pair of stops to earn her 18th win in the cage. UC's defense had surrendered just 13 goals in its previous 23 matches this season and had not given up multiple scores by an opponent since a 2-0 setback to Conference USA rival Saint Louis on Oct. 27.