By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --The Tennessee Tech soccer team had one escape from their grasp Friday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles surrendered a second-half lead in a 2-1 loss to UT Chattanooga at a packed Tech Soccer Field.
Despite TTU (1-7-0) outshooting the Mocs 23-9, Chattanooga (4-3-0) struck when it mattered most with a pair of second stanza goals to sink the Golden Eagle hopes in the team's first home match since Aug. 30.
In the 54th minute, with Tech leading 1-0, the Mocs deadlocked the affair on sophomore Claire Latham's fourth goal of the 2013 campaign. A free kick from well outside the box by junior Crystal Mackezyk bounded right off the noggin of Latham and into the back of the net for the equalizing score.
Knotted up at 1-1, the Golden Eagles continued to apply pressure, outshooting UTC 11-5 in the second half. A slew of well-timed plays ending in shots that missed high seemed to be Tech's second half theme, before the Mocs took control of the tilt in the 79th minute.
Sophomore Melanie Arredondo used a rebound off a Katie Phillips blocked shot, and ripped one past the leaping try of TTU goalkeeper Jordan Brown for the go-ahead and ultimately game-winning score, sending the droves of fans into silence at an overflowing Tech Soccer Field.
The Golden Eagles jumped on the board first, finally converting after a number of scoring opportunities had gone by the books in the early stages of the contest. In the 36th minute, senior Ellie Iaciofano made a perfect throw in to freshman Abi Gearing, who then fed it to senior Jessica Wilson inside the box, before Wilson took care of the rest for the affair's first score.
It was Wilson's second goal of the season, one behind Iaciofano for the team lead.
Iaciofano topped all players with an impressive nine shots for the match, including seven in the first half. The 6-foot forward from Loveland, Ohio kept the Chattanooga defense on its heels throughout the first stanza, including smacking one off the left post midway through the period.
Tech sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Brown, who entered the match with an Ohio Valley Conference leading 53 saves, recorded three saves, all in the first half. Across the way, senior Taylor Mangrum duplicated Brown with three stops of her own.
The Golden Eagles have just one non-conference match remaining, as they travel to East Tennessee on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. CDT.
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