Miami of Ohio shocks Lady Vols in NCAA soccer tournament

Lady Vols let NCAA soccer win slip away

Knoxville, TN -  Forward Alexis Owens #23 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the first-round NCAA Tournament  match between the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks. The Lady Vols lost the match 2-3 in overtime. Photo By Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athletics

Photo by Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athleti, University of Tennessee Athletics

Knoxville, TN - Forward Alexis Owens #23 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the first-round NCAA Tournament match between the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks. The Lady Vols lost the match 2-3 in overtime. Photo By Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athletics

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.

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Comments » 7

TNVOLNTX writes:

Nothing that goes wrong in Vols athletics right now should come as a shock to any Vol fan who has witnessed the train wreck that is the UT athletic department the last 3 years. The hits just keep on coming. Hate it for the Lady Vols soccer team though.

kazoo writes:

Good grief: The bad football karma has infected the soccer team. You can't give up a goal in the 90th minute! Another UT team snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. No excuse for this loss. Unbelievable.

fearthehound writes:

I'm not shocked at all. I'm maybe a little shocked they made the NCAA tournament. Bad ju-ju with UT sports right now.

Pullingguard writes:

vols sports program are snake bitten ...

SummittsCourt writes:

Come one guys, if you have been following the soccer team over the years you would know that this team over achieved this season. This loss is tough, but then aren't they all, but it has nothing to do with the football team or any other kind of karma.

A good season, congrats Lady Vols.

claiborneh writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Come one guys, if you have been following the soccer team over the years you would know that this team over achieved this season. This loss is tough, but then aren't they all, but it has nothing to do with the football team or any other kind of karma.

A good season, congrats Lady Vols.

Exactly. Get ready for upswing VolFans!

HazardKYVol writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

vols sports program are snake bitten ...

I think it's something in the water.

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