Nine seconds stood between Tennessee and advancing.
"I thought we had it," Ali Hall said.
A moment later, the Lady Vols senior defender couldn't believe her eyes.
Neither could the near sellout crowd at Regal Soccer Stadium on Sunday, who witnessed the Lady Vols 3-2 overtime loss to Miami of Ohio in the first round of the NCAA women's soccer tournament.
An energized crowd that was on their feet, suddenly sat, heads hung in disbelief.
The grins on the Lady Vols' faces turned into blank stares saturated with shock.
With nine seconds left in regulation, No. 24 Miami of Ohio (20-2-1) floated in a game-tying goal to force overtime and scored the game-winner four minutes in.
The Lady Vols failed to produce points off three crosses in the first three minutes of the golden goal period.
The loss ends the season for the No. 20 Lady Vols (14-5-3). Miami of Ohio advances to play Duke.
"I'm hurting," Hall said. "Shocked."
The Lady Vols were outshooting the RedHawks 14-10 before Miami's Kelsey Dinges corralled a lose ball at the top left corner of the box and punched it to the back of the net.
"You don't give up a goal with nine seconds left everyday," Lady Vols coach Brian Pensky said. "We don't know what to think.
I guess shocked and hurting bad."
Midfielder CC Cobb fired the Lady Vols best opportunity in overtime when her cross clanked off the crossbar.
RedHawks midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski tucked the game-winner inside the right post four minutes later.
"Our wound is pretty open right now and our kids are hurting," Pensky said.
The Lady Vols took a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute when Caroline Brown rolled in her fifth goal of the season past the diving RedHawks goalkeeper.
"It was like two trains going in opposite directions," Pensky said. "They had nothing going and then boom, just like that. Our injuries didn't help, though."
Tennessee was forced to play most of the first half without leading scorer Hannah Wikinson, who exited with an ankle injury.
"When we went into OT I don't think we imagined losing this game," Hall said. "But every time we did something, they answered, I guess."
The Lady Vols claimed an early lead in the 26th minute off an Alexis Owens goal.
But the RedHawks knotted the score at 1-1 on a header by Katy Dolesh, just 1:23 later.
"It hasn't hit me at all," Hall said. "I am blessed to have played with this group."
Riley Blevins is a freelance contributor.