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August 19, 2011

Late goal lifts Chattanooga past Tech in season opener

Tech hosts Belmont at 1 p.m. Sunday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Despite controlling most of its season-opening match against Chattanooga Friday afternoon, Tennessee Tech fell 2-1 thanks to a Mocs goal in the 87th minute.

In addition to their goal, the Golden Eagles hit the crossbar on two shots and managed seven shots on goal compared to just three for Chattanooga.

Tech took an early lead in the 28th minute when junior midfielder Kerri Reid scored unassisted off the crossbar. Reid won the ball just inside Chattanooga territory and fired a shot from near the top of the box to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 advantage.

“It felt great to get the goal,” Reid said. “It was good for my team. It was a combination play through the forwards. As an attacking midfielder, I got on the left side, had a little time, little space, I was able to attack between their back and midfield line, had the shot, took it, and luckily it went in.”

Chattanooga got the equalizer, however, in the 40th minute when Becca Smith intercepted a pass back to Tech goalkeeper Becca Toler and scored on the empty net, salvaging a tie at halftime despite the Golden Eagles controlling possession for the majority of the half.

 The two teams played more than 40 minutes of stalemate in the second half before Smith delivered her second goal of the game on a long shot from outside the box into the top of the Tech net at the 87:47 mark.

With the win, Chattanooga improved to 1-0 on the season while the Golden Eagles fell to 0-1.

“Everything went according to plan,” said Tech head coach Daniel Brizard. “We had two seconds, two mistakes and two goals in 90 minutes where we just lapsed in judgment twice and let them score some goals.”

Tech launched 10 shots on the afternoon compared to Chattanooga’s nine and the Golden Eagles also won six corners compared to just one for the Mocs.

Junior forward Kris Cambron was the shots leader for Tech with three on the afternoon, two of which were on goal. Reid, junior forward Andrea Meloff and sophomore forward Ellie Iaciofano each took two shots while sophomore midfielder Taylor Hicks took one.

Chattanooga goalkeeper Taylor Mangrum collected six saves while Tech’s Becca Toler had one.

The Golden Eagles return to the pitch Sunday afternoon as they host Belmont at 1 p.m. Admission to all regular-season matches is free.

Brizard said his club will need to put Friday’s loss behind them in preparing for the Bruins.

“Hopefully we’ll grow from it,” he said. “We’ll have to turn around and play in less than 48 hours Sunday. You’ve got to have a short memory, remember it, hopefully learn from it, and then forget about it.”