Alabama StateHornets sting Mocs in soccer

Alabama StateHornets sting Mocs in soccer

August 27th, 2012 by Ron Bush in Sports - College

UTC Mocs logo

For the second Sunday in a row, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga soccer team outplayed a visiting team at Finley Stadium but failed to score.

For the second Sunday in a row, victorious visitors left with a 1-1 record.

This one was a Pleasant experience for Alabama State, which won 1-0 despite being outshot 21-6 and being on the short end of an 8-1 margin in corner kicks. The Lady Hornets went 2-17-1 last year.

Chattanooga native and former Baylor School player Alex Cannon took their one corner, and she served the free kick that resulted in the sole goal. Her boot into the box in front of the net resulted in a close-range shot by Anastasia McCleary that Mocs keeper Lauren Thomas blocked, and India Pleasant poked in a putback 16:28 into the second half.

"I just wanted to get it in the 6, because I knew my center forward, India, would be there," said Cannon, a sophomore who transferred to the Montgomery school from the University of the Ozarks. "It ricocheted off [Anastasia], and India was there to finish."

No defender was to blame for the opportunity, UTC coach J.D. Kyzer said. It was just a matter of the way the bounces went.

"That's that weird sport," Kyzer said. "You can dominate somebody as we did today and most of the game [a week earlier] against Tennessee Tech, but you've got to put it in the net. Sometimes it doesn't go in, and sometimes it does, and it fell their way today in that one instance.

"The other goal had plexiglass on it."

The Mocs (1-2) failed to convert three good scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, and they outshot ASU 14-2 in the opening half. Then with 39:33 left in the game, all-conference forward Becca Smith kicked just right of the goal on a nicely set up cross from Loryn Queen, and a Crystal Mackezyk header from a corner kick with 31 minutes to go banged off the crossbar.

Two minutes later, the Hornets stung.

Pleasant had another chance from a Cannon cross thwarted by Thomas with 24:33 to go, but UTC had several offensive pushes after that. Even in the last 1:20, the Mocs' Clare Latham had one shot in the box stopped by keeper Kylee Hathaway and another deflect off the right post.

"We hit the crossbar; we hit the post; we hit the keeper; we hit other players. We hit everything but the back of the net," Kyzer said. "But I think we see where we're going and where we need to go. We're knocking the ball around very well. We've just to find a way to find the net."

And they've got to do it away from home. The Mocs will be the visitors their next five games, beginning Friday at Lipscomb.