By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Ultimately a miraculous comeback staged by the Tennessee Tech soccer team wasn't enough Friday afternoon at an overflowing Tech Soccer Field, as the Golden Eagles (3-11-1, 1-4-1) were edged 2-1 in double-overtime by the defending OVC champions, UT Martin.
Down to its final ten seconds in regulation and still chasing a 1-0 deficit, TTU defined what it means to never give up thanks to an unbelievable equalizing score with just six seconds left.
The Skyhawks (7-7-1, 5-1-0) appeared to have things wrapped up after sending one over to Golden Eagle's goalkeeper Jordan Brown inside the final 15 seconds, but Brown had other ideas. The sophomore from League City, Texas blasted one well into UT Martin territory where senior forward Ellie Iaciofano corralled it in and somehow managed to find herself one-on-one with Skyhawks goalkeeper Sarah Tompkins.
Iaciofano let one loose and as the clock read a measly 6.1 seconds left in regulation, the ball found its way into the back of the net and the scoreboard flashed 1-1. The Golden Eagles tied it up.
"It was pretty incredible, it was hard to not think it was probably over, but that one moment just goes to show that you have to fight for every second," Brown said, who actually earned her first career assist on the momentum shifting play. "It was fantastic to see that we didn't give up."
The first overtime came and went with a pair of UT Martin shots, one gobbled up by Brown, and a single Tech shot, but a mere minute and a half into the second OT, the Skyhawks ended the drama.
UTM junior Dominika Conc slid one past Brown for her second goal of the season, signaling a conclusion to the thrilling affair.
"Yes we lost 2-1, but our forwards should be pretty proud and our defense should be proud that we held the defending champions to just two goals in a double-overtime match," Brown said, who had eight saves in the match to pad her OVC lead to 107.
The Skyhawks kicked off the scoring in the 16th minute with the second goal of the season from junior Alyssa Curtis. Freshman Ellie Myrick crossed it right over to Curtis, who took care of the rest, as Myrick boosted her assist total to three on the year.
The Golden Eagles maintained the 1-0 deficit after surviving 11 second half UTM shots, receiving key defensive performances from a number of their players including freshman Kalyn Pruett, who stopped an early second half shot that appeared to be going in after Brown nicked it off a diving attempt.
The stellar defensive effort set the stage for Iaciofano's heroics in the waning moments of regulation, as the Loveland, Ohio native stretched her team lead to four goals and 12 points.
Skyhawk's goalkeeper Sarah Tompkins made just two stops on the day in earning the win in her first start of the 2013 campaign.
TTU will now shift its attention over to a road matchup at Southeast Missouri on Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT. Coming into the day, the Redhawks held the coveted final playoff spot of sixth place in the OVC, four points ahead of Tech.