KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb tied Tennessee 0-0 in a thriller on Friday night in Knoxville.
The hard fought, back-and-fourth affair saw a scoreless 90 minutes transition into overtime, where neither team was able to find the back of the net in the two 10-minute overtime periods.
“I’m proud of the team,” head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “We followed a tactical game plan.
"We tried to be a little bit more compact in the first half. We limited Tennessee to what they’re most dangerous at, which is being direct and using their pace and athleticism.
“In the second half we came out a little differently, a bit more aggressive and pressing higher up the field” O’Brien said. “That’s always risky against a team with those quick players, but I think it paid off. I thought we were better in the second half, and created a lot of good chances.”
The draw was the first time Lipscomb has tied against an SEC school since its move to Division I.
The Purple and Gold had several shots on goal, especially late in the second half and in overtime, but did not find the back of the net. Although they were outshot overall by Tennessee 27-16, Lipscomb put more shots on frame with seven compared to Tennessee’s four.
“We created shots, which is the first hurdle,” O’Brien said. “We didn’t so well the first half, but in the second half we created some really dangerous shots at goal and headers at goal that weren’t more than a few inches off.
“We could’ve taken one of them easily, but we were just a little off target.”
In the first overtime period senior midfielder Alex Hickey cleared the ball off the goal line two minutes into the frame after Tennessee had shot into an open net.
With 1:09 left in the second period of overtime, junior goalkeeper Anna Buhigas saved a ball from going into the upper right corner of the goal to preserve the 0-0 tie.
“Saves like that are what it takes to get a positive result against a really good team,” O’Brien said. “You need those end line saves like Alex Hickey’s. Anna Buhigas also came up with a couple of phenomenal saves. To stay in a match, that has to happen.”
- In two previous matchups with SEC schools, Lipscomb posted losses to Vanderbilt 1-0 in 2014 and to Mississippi State 2-1 in 2011.
- Tennessee earned 11 fouls in the game compared to Lipscomb’s seven.
- Buhigas notched six saves in the game.
- In 2014, Lipscomb was 1-2-2 in overtime, including a 1-0 loss to Kennesaw State in the A-Sun Tournament.
- The Lady Bisons played 18 players in the 110 minutes of action.
- Emily Shuler and Natalie DuBoise both received yellow cards during the match.
- Tennessee played without Hannah Wilkinson, who was named to the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s most prestigious trophy. Wilkinson went down with a torn ACL in Tennessee’s last preseason game.
UP NEXT: The Lady Bisons will be back in action Sunday for the first home game of the 2015 regular season. Lipscomb will be taking on Ball State at noon at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.