Caroline Brown summed it up like this.
"It's pressure, you either handle it well or you don't."
Brown handled it fairly well in Tennessee's can-you-believe-it 1-0 double-overtime win over William & Mary on Friday night.
After erasing 106 minutes and 32 seconds of exhaustion with one deep breath, the Tennessee junior eyed William & Mary goalkeeper Caroline Casey. She had already seen 31 shots and turned aside 11 saves.
A 0-0 tie hung on the Regal Soccer Stadium scoreboard.
Brown approached a penalty kick, reared back and zipped it into the top right corner of the net. The Lady Vols poured onto the field. The UT fans — 1,588 diehards who sat through 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes — erupted.
Tennessee women's soccer is 3-0 for the first time in history.
"It's really nice for this group to start accumulating a few 'first-evers,' " said first-year UT coach Brian Pensky.
The Lady Vols' opening game of the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic was an exercise in resilience. Shots sailed wide. Some climbed high. Some glanced off the post. Casey, the Tribe goalie, was peppered like a steak.
How frustrating did it get? With the second-half clock ticking under 10 minutes in regulation, UT's Ali Hall found herself alone in front of the net. The senior spun and blistered a shot past Casey.
No one saw William & Mary's Erin Liberatore standing behind her. The forward-turned-goalie threw herself in front of the shot.
The UT bench nearly had a meltdown.
"Now we know we can go into the 107th minute, dig in and get a win," Pensky said. "It's a veteran team that cares about winning. We're a little desperate and a little urgent."
The Lady Vols outshot the Tribe 31-5. UT enjoyed 14 corner kicks. William & Mary attempted one.
Brown, who entered the game with four assists in UT's first two games, led the way with four shots on goal. She was tackled in front of the William & Mary goal trying to attempt the Lady Vols' eighth shot of the second OT.
A foul was called.
Brown delivered her second goal of the year.
"I like the pressure," she said afterward. "Everyone's eyes are on you. You just have to put it away."
Lady Vols goalkeeper Julie Eckel finished with three saves in her 10th career shutout.
Tennessee will face VCU (1-1-1) at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Rams fell 2-1 to Akron in Friday's opening game.