Tennessee Tech tops Mocs, 2-0

Tennessee Tech tops Mocs, 2-0

August 20th, 2012 by Ron Bush in Sports - College

UTC Mocs logo

Sarah Gawthrop enjoyed the outcome Sunday afternoon at Finley Stadium even if some of her friends didn't.

Gawthrop played all 90 minutes at left midfield for Tennessee Tech in a 2-0 nonconference soccer win over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. It was the Golden Eagles' first defeat of the Mocs in the senior's Tech career.

Each team is 1-1 this season.

"We tied them when I was a freshman and they beat us the last two years, but they've always been close," said Gawthrop, a former Baylor School standout. "It's a good feeling, especially being my senior year. I used to play club [soccer] with a lot of the girls at UTC. This is a good rivalry."

Good friend and former Baylor teammate Taylor Shelby played all 90 minutes along with junior Andria Aurand from Hixson at the back of the Mocs defense. Shelby is a UTC captain.

Tech took a quick lead, 2:22 in, when Ellie Iacionafo streaked down the right side to catch up to a pass from Amanda Koch and crossed into the box for a shot netted by Andrea Meloff. UTC coach J.D. Kyzer agreed with Mocs fans and other observers who thought Iacionafo was offside, "but you can't expect the referee to always do what you expect," he noted.

Iaciofano, a junior, got the second goal 9:51 into the second half, and senior Meloff had the assist. Her shot bounced off the post and Iaciofano was there for the rebound score.

The Mocs outshot their guests and had a 5-0 edge in corner kicks. In the first half, UTC clearly controlled possession but created few really dangerous opportunities, and Tech lived off counterattacks.

The Eagles' Kerri Reid and Koch sent shots just over the goal in the first 13 minutes. UTC senior Becca Smith missed one early shot wide and nearly squeezed a later attempt between TTU keeper Jordan Brown and the near post after a pass from the right flank by Skylar Brewer.

Brewer was one of five freshmen starting for UTC, including keeper Lauren Thomas, and three others played significant minutes. Brown was the lone freshman starter for the Eagles, and only two others subbed in.

"Our youth showed today," Kyzer said. "The freshmen carried us Friday [in a 6-0 defeat of Tennessee Temple], but it's the unknown when you're dealing with youth.

"I thought our first half was good -- there was just a goal that shouldn't have happened -- but the second half was horrendous. But that's why you have these [preconference] games."

He specifically praised freshman midfielder Clare Latham for playing well and working hard throughout, but she wasn't the only one whose effort he liked.

"I feel good about our entire team," Kyzer said. "We saw that we have to be more physical and we saw some places to clean up. It was a great learning experience."

UTC hosts Alabama State at 2 p.m. Sunday at Finley.