University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) scored the lone goal for the Mocs in the season finale Wednesday night in Birmingham, Ala., falling 7-1 to Samford.
Chattanooga closes out the season at 5-14 overall and 0-10 in league play while the Bulldogs improve to 13-5-2 on the year and 6-3-2 against the Southern Conference securing the No. 4 seed for the upcoming conference championships.
Samford got two scores on the board before Chattanooga got on the board, cutting it to 2-1 in the 20th minute. Senior Andria Aurand (Hixson, Tenn.) sent a long pass downfield that was picked up by Mackezyk and sent into the net for Chattanooga’s lone score.
“We were in the game in the first half,” Chattanooga head coach J.D. Kyzer said. “We figured out how to score, but with our numbers we can’t play six games in three days.
“Soccer is not a game where you can rest on the field. That many games in that short a time is too taxing on the body where larger teams are not affected. Their starters can play fewer minutes where on our team many have to play the whole 90 minutes. It’s harder to recuperate.”
Samford first goal was a shot from the top left corner of the box into the right side of the net by Michelle Moll (Jordan Johnson) in the ninth minute. Malcanisha Kelley (Diana Getzewich) scored the first of her two goals in the game on a through ball to make it 2-0 at the 16:53 mark of the game. It would stand as the game winner.
Sara Smeltzer scored the first of her two goals in the 26th minute to make it 3-1 and that score would stand into intermission. Trine Taule quickly scored twice into the second half with goals in the 49th, assisted by Michelle Moll, and 52nd minutes, assisted by Kelley and Taylor Borman, to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead. Kelley added her second goal at the 55:46 mark unassisted and Smeltzer got the final score of the game as she gathered her shot that hit the right post and knocked it into the net at the 61:01 mark.
Senior Taylor Mangrum (Franklin, Tenn.) made seven saves in 72:57 and gave up three goals. She played the entire first half and then reentered the game in the 63rd minute to finish out her career at Chattanooga.
Mangrum finishes her career at Chattanooga in second all-time for the Mocs with 368 saves through three years. She has a 2.42 goals against average (8th all-time), 12 wins (2nd) and four shutouts (T-3rd).
Mackezyk moves to eighth on the all-time scoring list at Chattanooga and ties Jolene Johnston (1996-97) for eighth on the all-time list for goals while her nine career assists ranks tied for ninth at UTC with Tirza Ridgely (2002-04), Melyna Valdez (2003-05) and Oddbjorg Haugen (2000-01). She has 133 shots with 69 on goal placing her fifth at UTC for career shot attempts.
“We have some holes that need to be filled,” Kyzer said. “But these last three games, it was a double whammy. We had to play three high-level teams all on the road at the end of a hard season. I’m proud of our team and the heart they showed.”
The Bulldogs wrapped up the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Appalachian State in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament.