The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team came away with a 2-0 victory over North Alabama on a soggy, chilly, rainy Friday afternoon at the UTC Sports Complex.
It was the season-opener for the Mocs who begin Southern Conference action next week. The Lions fall to 1-2 overall.
“What a phenomenal performance for a first time out in over a year,” Mocs head coach Gavin McKinney said. “Pouring rain, puddles all over the place and we still played good football, created good chances. Out of possession we were secure.”
Chattanooga’s first goal came on a penalty kick. Emily Szymanski was taken down on the left side of the box as she raced toward the net. Chloe Arnold lined up the shot and set it past the keeper giving the Mocs a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.
Rain continued to pour onto the field and created puddles that slowed the ball. The Mocs second goal was scored by Samantha Shaw in the 74th minute on an assist from Mackenzie Smith.
Smith took the ball into the box on the right and sent a pass across the front of the goal to Shaw who knocked it into the lower right corner, putting UTC up 2-0 late in the game.
McKinney was able to get keepers Ashton Shields and Abbey Saddler into the game. UNA took two shots on the day with Saddler grabbing the lone save for the Mocs. UTC took seven shots with five on goal. UNA keeper Payton Yates was able to grab three saves on the day.
With this being the only non-conference match on the slate, McKinney was able to get in several different players for different looks.
“We have one game and then we're into our league play, right?” McKinney said. “So we wanted to give opportunities and I thought everybody that got on the pitch played well. The group has been fantastic and training gave us tough decisions coming into today and good problems to have.”
The Mocs host Samford next Friday evening in the league-opener for both teams. The match is set to kick off at 6:00 p.m. at the UTC Sports Complex.