By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –A Lipscomb goal in the early stages of the second half proved to be the difference-maker Sunday evening in the Tennessee Tech soccer team's second match of 2018. The Bisons scored less than five minutes into the second stanza to break a 1-1 deadlock, ultimately the game-winning goal as the Golden Eagles (1-1-0) fell 2-1 to tie a ribbon on the club's season-opening two-match road swing.
Lipscomb senior midfielder Brooke Benner found the back of the net in the 50th minute on a well-placed drive from outside the box on the second of seven shots following intermission for the Bisons (2-0-0). The Golden Eagles did not attempt a shot in the second period after producing five shots in the tilt's first 45 minutes of action, highlighted by four shots on-goal. Lipscomb registered 12 shots in the contest.
"Congratulations to Lipscomb, they are a great team and played well tonight," Tech head coach Steve Springthorpe said. "They caused us some issues but for the most part I thought we handled those issues and played well. I'm proud of the way our team fought and the effort we had out there for all 90 minutes."
Senior Courtney Manning found the back of the net for the first time in her collegiate career, providing the equalizing score in the 20th minute after the Bisons took a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the contest. Manning's goal came courtesy of an Ashley Grimes pass from the corner that bent back into play and connected with Manning, who then snuck it in front post. Grimes collected her first career assist in her second collegiate match.
Lipscomb struck early courtesy of an Olivia Doak goal in the sixth minute that had sophomore Allie Dunn earn an assist on the go-ahead score. Doak paced the Bisons with three shots in the affair, two of which were on-goal.
"Again, I'm happy with our team's overall performance," Springthorpe said. "We played with a lot of passion, but ultimately it was unfortunate that we gave up a goal early in each half and ended up coming up just short. We will learn from tonight and improve going forward."
Kari Naerdemann was kept busy with seven shots in her direction, stopping five of them in a match that saw the Golden Eagles give up more than one goal for the only the second time in the last 34 matches dating back to 2016. On the opposite side of the equation, Kate Mason recorded three saves.
Eight Golden Eagles played the entire 90 minutes, with Kari Naerdemann, Molly Kafader, Tina Marolt, Kendall Powell, Kaitie Shipley, Taylor Hornback, Kaylee Sunders and Rachel Blow all going the distance.
The Golden Eagles will play at Tech Soccer Field for the first time in the 2018 campaign with a pair of weekend matches slated in Cookeville. TTU will welcome East Tennessee State Friday for a 7 p.m. CT match before playing host to North Alabama Sunday at 6 p.m. Admission to all Tech home regular season matches is free of charge.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information