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UT soccer upsets UCF, 2-1

9:06 PM, Aug 30, 2013   |    comments
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From UT Sports--

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Tennessee soccer team surged in the second-half on goals from Cheyenne Spade and Hannah Wilkinson and amazing saves by Julie Eckel to upset No. 17 UCF, 2-1, on Friday night in Orlando.

Tennessee improved to 2-1-0 while UCF fell to 2-1-0. Spade scored the equalizer in the 54th minute and Wilkinson netted the winner in the 81st minute. UCF led at the half thanks to a 21st minute score by Jennifer Martin.

Eckel showed why she is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the SEC and improved to 2-1-0 with the win. She had six saves, most in stunning fashion.

"Julie Eckel is an absolute stud," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "She made some big-time saves. Then Cheyenne's free kick changes the game. One kick, one play, one moment can change a game - whether it was Julie's saves keeping us in the game or out team defending or Cheyenne's goal."

Tennessee's defense survived several UCF attacks as the Knights owned a 17-7 shot advantage on the evening and a 11-3 edge on corner kicks.

Early in the second half, UT had a great offensive opportunity when a UCF foul was committed outside the left side of the box. Spade sent in a nice kick about six yards in front of the goal, but Wilkinson's header was high of the crossbar.

On a free kick about 10 yards outside the UCF box, Spade netted the equalizer in the 54th minute, bending in a beautiful shot over defenders that bounced in near the right post. The goal evened the game at 1-1 and was Spade's second of the year.

In the 62nd minute, Eckel made a spectacular save. Lena Petermann sent a ball into the box from the far left side that got bounced around in traffic before Eckel made the save, diving to her left on the ground.

Another UCF offensive barrage followed in the 67th minute. Marissa Diggs fired a shot off the crossbar from outside the box. Kayla Adamek's rebound attempt was smothered by Eckel, keeping the game locked at 1-1.

In the 78th minute, Spade played another beautiful free kick into the box from the left side. The ball was headed in by Caroline Brown, but offsides was called on Tennessee, negating the score.

In the 81st minute Wilkinson had a running header to give UT the match-winner. Spade took a free kick from the exact same spot she had on the offsides call. This time, Wilkinson zoned in on the ball near the far post and a running, diving header punched the ball into the right side of the net. The score was Wilkinson's first score of the season.

The first half played pretty even through the first 20 minutes, but Martin's goal in the 21st gave all the momentum to the Knights, who controlled possession until halftime.

The Knights fired the first shot of the game in the eighth minute as Kayla Darden rocketed one in the box. Eckel came up with a save by the far post.

In the 11th minute Tennessee sophomore Susan Ferguson fired a shot from about 25 yards out on the far side. The shot carried well, but landed right into the arms of Maldonado.

In the 16th minute, Carleigh Williams was issued a yellow card for a foul at midfield.

Fifteen seconds into the 21st minute, Spade took Tennessee's first corner kick. Her ball went in at a low trajectory and was knocked away by the UCF defense. The Knights charged the other way immediately.

UCF took a 1-0 lead later in the 21st minute when Sophie Howard found Martin on a cross to the left side of the box. Martin punched in the score from outside the box just past a diving Eckel.

With 13:20 left in the half, Brown had the ball in the UCF third when a random female ran onto the field. Stadium security chased down the individual and the clock was stopped. A drop ball followed to determine possession.

At the half, UCF held a 10-1 advantage on shots and a 5-1 edge on corner kicks.

Tennessee returns to Knoxville on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match against James Madison. There will be a free live video feed with Brian Rice on the call, Tori Beeler Watson providing analysis and Dani Klupenger as the sideline reporter.

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