By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An early setback proved costly for the Tennessee Tech soccer team Sunday evening, as a quick score against the Golden Eagles served as the lone blemish in a 1-0 loss at the University of Alabama. Tech (3-3-0) fell victim to an own goal in the sixth minute, the only time either squad split the pipes in an otherwise defensive showcase that put a lid on TTU's non-conference campaign.
The Tide (7-1-0), who run their winning streak to five straight after Sunday evening's nod, were held to a season-low tying 13 shots, nearly six under their nightly average of 18.9.
"Overall I thought we were very organized and defended well tonight," TTU head coach Steve Springhtorpe said. "In periods of the game we transitioned well, especially in the first half, and had a couple of opportunities at a chance at a goal."
"What I'm most pleased about it the response of our team following what we felt was a disappointing loss Friday evening," Springthorpe continued. "We were up to the occasion tonight and I saw the desire in our team to do everything we could to try and get a result against an SEC team on the road. Frankly, the team is disappointed that in the end we couldn't find an equalizer, but I think it was a good Sunday for us in a number of different aspects. We learned a lot about ourselves as we head into OVC play and are in a good place, both physically and mentally, for our conference schedule."
Alabama applied pressure to the Golden Eagles from the onset, even prior to the own goal. Red-shirt freshman Chloe Maize took the first shot of the match, a third-minute try that was halted by junior Kari Naerdemann.
Naerdemann would end up with six saves, stopping all five that came her way after the own goal. On the opposite side of the pitch, senior Kat Stratton was not forced into making a save as Tech did not produce a shot on-goal.
With non-conference action in the rearview mirror, Tech will set its sights on Ohio Valley Conference play. The Golden Eagles start their conference slate away from Cookeville, continuing their longest road trip of the year with a visit to Southeast Missouri Friday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. CT. TTU will be at Jacksonville State on Sunday, Sept. 17 for a 1 p.m. first kick with the Gamecocks.
Photo by Jim Dillon