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No. 12 Vols win fifth straight SEC match

16 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: TENNESSEE ATHLETICS

COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 12 Tennessee picked up its fifth straight SEC win on Sunday, taking down No. 19 South Carolina on the road, 1-0.

It's the first time UT has managed five straight SEC wins since 2007, when the team went 8-2-1 in the SEC before making it to the NCAA Sweet 16.

UT's win broke South Carolina's home unbeaten streak in conference play dating back to 2018.

Tennessee improved to 12-1-0 on the season and 5-1 in SEC play. USC falls to 9-4-0 on the year and 4-2 in conference games.

Freshman Taylor Huff put in the game winner for Tennessee, while junior Lindsay Romig made four saves on the day to secure UT's ninth shutout of the season.

"The margin for error between wins and losses in some of these games is so slight. Being responsible and limiting chances is a big deal, and for the most part, we did that today. Hats off to our kids for earning two shutouts on the weekend. That's not easy in this league," said Tennessee head coach Brian Penksy.

"This is a tough place to play, as is evidenced by them not losing a home SEC game here since 2018. Our kids were pretty determined to end that streak. And then of course there's Taylor Huff just being Taylor Huff. To win big games like this, you need players to step up and make big plays, and this is the second time against a high-quality opponent where Taylor has come up huge for us. That was one heck of a shot."

The match was a back-and-forth affair in the first half with both teams managing four shots, and Tennessee logging two saves to USC's one.

South Carolina got a chance early in the form of a penalty kick 15 minutes in, but Jyllissa Harris missed wide right.

Huff got a couple chances midway through the half, but couldn't land either, and the game went to half tied, 0-0.

Huff got two good looks early in the second half, rocketing a shot on goal from inside the box four minutes in, and then beating three defenders before ripping a shot high and toward the corner at the 61-minute mark, but Hinz was able to make saves on both.

UT nearly scored again in the 70th minute when Mackenzie George beat a South Carolina defender in a foot race to get off a great cross, finding Huff on the six-yard box, but the shot missed wide left.

Tennessee's pressure paid off in the 87th minute when Jaida Thomas found Huff in the offensive third and Huff blasted a shot into the net from 25 yards out to give UT the win on the road.

UP NEXT: Tennessee returns home to host Mississippi State in a Friday night match. The game is set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET and will be streamed on SECN+.

SECOND HALF TEAM: Tennessee is outscoring opponents 24-3 after halftime, has scored eight goals during the final 10 minutes of regulation and has landed two golden goals this season.

FRESHMAN PHENOM: The goal moves Taylor Huff's goal total to a team-leading seven. She sits at 17 in total points, one point shy of the team leader Claudia Dipasupil.

DIPASUPIL DISHING: Junior Claudia Dipasupil recorded her sixth assist of the season against South Carolina. She has six goals and six assists on the year to lead UT in total points (18).

PROTECTING THE NET: The win against the Gamecocks is UT's second straight shutout and ninth of the season. It's the most shutouts Tennessee has recorded since 2018 when they managed a program-best-tying 12.