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Lady Vols dominate possession, take win at FAU

79 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Lady Vols closed out their non-conference schedule with a 2-0 win at Florida Atlantic on Sunday.

First-half goals by juniors Nolyn Bartholomew and Jordan Fusco fueled the Tennessee (5-1-1) victory. Sophomores Ally Brown and Kameron Simmonds earned assists on the day. The UT defense was stout, holding FAU (3-3-2) without a shot until the 75th minute. The game went into a weather delay in the 76th minute that extended beyond the time limit for resuming play, so the 2-0 score stood as final.

"It was great to pick up a road win as we wrap up the non-conference portion of our season," said Tennessee head coach Joe Kirt.

"Our team's commitment to defending has been impressive to start the year, and we must continue to take pride in our pressing and counter-pressing entering league play. In possession, our players have been tremendous and continue to gain poise and confidence on the ball each time out. Through that confidence, we have been dominant in creating chances and scoring goals. Overall, we have been very pleased with our team's approach, energy and physicality each time we have stepped on the field."

Bartholomew logged the first game-winner of her career against the Owls, entering in the 22nd minute and immediately connecting on a corner kick by Brown to beat Lexi Gonzalez near post.

Seven minutes later, Fusco scored her second goal of the season, running onto a ball played into the box by Simmonds and sliding it past the FAU keeper from 12 yards out.

The score remained 2-0 through the break, with UT out-shooting the Owls 9-0.

In the 62nd minute, redshirt-sophomore Jenna Stayart played a ball across the box to graduate Nayeli Diaz, who got a head on it but couldn't bring it down on frame.

Two minutes later, Fusco nearly added a second goal on the day, beating a defender before ripping a shot from 20 yards out but missing wide left.

Gonzalez made an excellent save in the 75th minute, diving to knock away a Jenna Stayart shot headed for the far post. A minute later, the game was delayed due to lightning, and Tennessee took the 2-0 win.

UP NEXT: The Lady Vols will open SEC play at home, welcoming #7 Arkansas to Regal Stadium for a 7 p.m. ET matchup on Friday.

SIMMONDS DISHING: Sophomore Kameron Simmonds, who leads the team in goals with six on the season, has tallied assists in the last two contests. Her 14 points on the season leads the SEC, and her six goals ties for first in the conference with Jordyn Rhodes of Kentucky.

CREATING CHANCES: The Lady Vols outshot the Owls 12-1 and took seven corners to their one. Through the last five contests, UT has out-shot opponents 107-24 and taken 45 corner kicks while limiting the opposition to just seven.

SCORING THREATS ABOUND: With the second goal of her career, Nolyn Bartholomew became the ninth Lady Vol to register a goal during the 2023 campaign.