The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team rallied back from a 3-1 deficit in the second half to cut Davidson’s lead to one goal but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats pulled out a 3-2 victory in the Southern Conference opener for both teams Friday night at Finley Stadium.
The Mocs (4-4, 0-1 SoCon) got goals from freshman Monica Speth (Janesville, Wisc.) in the first half and one from junior Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) in the second, but allowed the Wildcats (2-5-3, 1-0 SoCon) three goals in between.
Mackezyk sent a free kick into the box that was picked up by Speth. Her first shot glanced off Davidson’s keeper Rachel Locke who made a diving save, but failed to gather the ball in. Speth picked up the ball on the right side in front of the goal and put it away for the score.
Davidson’s first goal would not wait long. In the 12th minute Becca Fisher scored her first goal of the season when she and teammate Stephanie Piperno passed the ball between them before Fisher collected it and connected with the net from six yards out to tie it up 1-1 at the 11:43 mark of the game. Fisher assisted on the go-ahead goal in the 22nd minute passing to Julia Singley for a shot 10 yards out to make it 2-1.
In the second half, the Wildcats got their final goal when Chattanooga keeper Taylor Mangrum (Franklin, Tenn.) charged out to stop a Davidson attack. The shot bounced off as she made a diving attempt and Sarah Tuggle picked up the loose ball and sent it into the net for the game winner.
Chattanooga played a stronger second half, possessing the ball a considerable amount of time. However, the Mocs managed just one goal despite aggressive play. On the Mocs’ second corner kick of the game, senior Aundria Aurand (Hixson, Tenn.) sent a corner to the far side of the net where Mackezyk picked up the pass and drove home her fifth goal of the season to cut the lead to 3-2 in the 80th minute.
Davidson outshot Chattanooga 20-7 and 12-5 on shots on goal. Mangrum made nine saves in 90 minutes but gave up three goals. Locke made three saves and gave up a pair of goals for the Wildcats.
The Mocs return to action Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. when they host Georgia Southern. Admission is free and concessions will be available. The game time was moved up to accommodate the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Wear pink to show your support of breast cancer awareness. The race will begin at 2 p.m. from Finley Stadium and end on the field.