Lady Vols, Western Kentucky play to 0-0 tie

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Despite a 36-10 shot advantage over Western Kentucky, Tennessee settled for a 0-0 tie with the Hilltoppers in double overtime on Sunday afternoon at Regal Soccer Stadium.

UT is now 5-2-1 on the year and Sunday's match was the team's first overtime contest of the season. WKU is now 1-3-3.

Hannah Wilkinson registered 10 shots and two shots on goal over 106 minutes of play. Caroline Brown had five shots with two on goal and Susan Ferguson had four shots with two on goal.

Julie Eckel (5-2-1) had one save and recorded the 21st shutout of her UT career - good for sole possession of second place on the team's all-time list behind only Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart's32. Allie Sirna and Megan Erskine had major roles in the shutout, playing the full 110 minutes.

Western Kentucky goalkeeper Nora Abolins logged 11 saves while playing the full 110 minutes at the opposite end of the field.

UT's best chance to score in the second overtime came in the 104th minute when Cali Hutson's header from a Wilkinson cross went right into the hands of Abolins.

Tennessee came out firing in the first overtime period. Ferguson broke loose on a breakaway in the 91st minute but booted a ball high over the goal. In the 92nd minute, Brown fired a shot from 12 yards out on the left side of the goal but Abolins made a diving save to her right. In the 93 minute, Wilkinson had a wide header on a cross deep in the box from Ferguson.

In the second half, Tennessee registered 19 shots to Western Kentucky's three, including several early on. Megan Erskinehad a shot saved by Abolins in the 46th minute.

In the 57th minute, Susan Ferguson had a shot sail high over the crossbar. Three minutes later, Abolins stopped a CC Cobbshot from outside the box. In the 61st minute, Brown sent one over the crossbar.
Wilkinson fired a shot in the 69th minute from outside the box that Abolins corralled for a save.

As regulation winded down, Wilkinson had an 89th minute header off a corner kick by Cobb go high over the crossbar.

The teams played a scoreless first half with Tennessee having a 10-3 shot advantage and a 7-1 edge on corner kicks.

UT had a number of good opportunities to score in the first half, but could not seem to find the back of the net. In the 10th minute, Cobb had a shot from 25 yards out sail wide left. In the 18th minute, Brown had a turn and shoot from the top of the box that Abolins grabbed right in the middle. Wilkinson had a header off a corner by Cheyenne Spade go wide in the 29th minute and had another shot in the box saved by Abolins.

After a 0-0 standoff at the end of regulation, Tennessee headed to its first overtime game of the season. UT's Eckel and WKY's Abolins both recorded a save in the first OT, but neither team was able to make a shot and the game was sent to a second OT.

Tennessee opens SEC play on Sept. 20 against Texas A&M. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Regal Soccer Stadium.

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