The third team to face off against a Tennessee Vols athletics team in the last week was the ETSU women’s soccer team. Looking to get their season back on track before conference play, the Bucs came into the match with a 1-5 record. The Bucs came into the match with the opportunity to win their first home match of the season with an attendance of 1,012. The Vols were able to defeat the Bucs 4-0 to improve to 6-0 on the season.
The Vols came into the match ranked ninth in the country. Returning to the Vols for the match against the Bucs was senior Bunny Shaw (Spanish Town, Jamaica), who led the Jamaican Women’s National Team with eight goals leading them to the CONCACAF championship.
The Bucs started the game transitioning well on defense and rotating well on the defensive end. Offensively early in the match, the Bucs could not get deep enough after crossing midfield to put pressure on the Vols defense.
The Vols defensively were solid, only allowing the Bucs to take long shots at the goal with only one kick having a chance at going in. However, for the Bucs the kick sailed over the goal. The first point of the match came at the 31:23 mark of the first half when Shaw scored her first goal of the season for the Vols on an assist from freshman Amy Thompson (Ashburn, Virginia). The goal gave the Vols an early 1-0 lead. At the 10-minute mark of the first half, Bucs senior Lee Ann Cutshall (Johnson City, Tennessee) was able to save the Bucs from giving up another goal.
The majority of the first half the Vols set the tone, playing fast and being very aggressive on both ends of the field. For the majority of the first half, the Bucs did not get close to scoring range. The Bucs finished with four shots at the goal, whereas the Vols aggressive style finished the half with 13 shots at the goal. Cutshall finished the half with two saves
“Tonight was the most consistent game we have played in terms of sticking to the game plan and executing what we worked on,” ETSU head coach Adam Sayers said.
At the 41-minute mark, the Vols scored their second goal of the game when Shaw scored her second goal of the season and game to give the Vols a 2-0 lead. The goal came from an assist from senior Mackenzie Gouner (Monument, Colorado). Not too long after at the 35:40 mark junior M.A. Vignola (Cincinnati, Ohio) to give the Vols a 3-0 lead, assist by Shaw. With 13:25 remaining in the game senior Anna Bialczak (Lutherville, Maryville) scored on an assist from freshman Emma Dize (Ashburn, Virginia) to give the Vols a 4-0 lead.
“We came into the game with a specific game plan and we carried it out,” Sayers said. “We have played well in every game we just have to do it for a whole 90 minutes.”
The Bucs next game will be Sept. 10 at Virginia Tech, followed by at South Carolina State Sept. 16. Southern Conference play begins Sept. 21 with a home match against Furman.
“It was so many positives to draw from today when we get into conference,” Sayers said. “Against teams like Samford and Furman, we are going to need to draw on these experiences to perform well.”