Senior Kylie Bono punched in the winning goal in overtime to lift No. 23 Tennessee past Alabama 2-1 in their SEC soccer opener Friday at Regal Stadium.
Bono recorded her third goal of the season on a rebound off the goalkeeper with 3:10 left in the first overtime as Tennessee improved to 6-1-1 this season.
"We talk a lot about getting something across the goalkeeper's face and disrupting her and making it hard for her," head coach Brian Pensky said. "When you're fortunate enough to have a 5-11 striker on the team as Hannah Wilkinson is, she got across her face and kept the ball alive. I tell you what, a lot of kids sky that ball over the crossbar. Kylie Bono did a great job, clinically just punching it into the back of the net. Great effort all around from a number of players."
Both teams did their scoring in the opening minutes of the match. Laura Lee Smith put Alabama (5-2, 0-1 SEC) in the lead early when she took a header off a corner kick by Merel Van Dongen and an assist by Theres Diederich in the 12th minute.
Alabama's lead did not last for long, thanks to the work of Tennessee's newest addition. Hannah Wilkinson evened the score at 1-1 with her first goal in Tennessee uniform on an unassisted play from six yards out, shaking one defender and freezing the goalkeeper before firing a shot on the right side of the net.
Wilkinson was playing just her third match for Tennessee and was making her home debut for the Lady Vols. She joined the team during its road trip to California last week after completing play for New Zealand in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
NOTES: Tennessee improved to 11-5-1 in SEC openers and 7-1 in conference openers at home ... UT outshot its opponent, leading Alabama 25-12 in that category ... Wilkinson had a team-leading eight shots, three of them on goal ... Iyana Moore and Susan Ferguson both had two shots on goal.