The ETSU women’s soccer team drew over 1,000 fans for its home contest against No. 9 Tennessee, falling 4-0 at Summers-Taylor Stadium Thursday night.
The official crowd of 1,012 marks ETSU women’s soccer’s largest crowd since the 2016 season opener against USC Upstate — a 1-0 win in front of 1,100 fans.
“I’m very proud of the performance,” said eighth-year ETSU head coach Adam Sayers. “(Tennessee) is a top-class team and a great opponent for us. We’re very grateful for the crowd, as our girls fed off the amplitude they provided…we spoke about playing consistently well and that was our challenge — and the girls executed that very well.”
The ninth-ranked Vols struck in the 14th minute of an otherwise solid defensive first-half by the Bucs.
The goal came from senior Bunny Shaw — who returned to the Vols after participating in a Women’s World Cup qualifier for the Jamaican national team. Shaw leads all World Cup qualifiers across all levels with a world-best 16 goals for Jamaica.
The Bucs anchored down defensively in the first half, fighting off seven corner attempts and 12 shots successfully. Senior goalkeeper Lea Ann Cutshall (Johnson City, Tenn.) recorded two of her three saves in a strong first half between the pipes.
Tennessee would go on to score three more goals in the second half. Shaw doubled Tennessee’s lead with her second goal and was later followed by MA Vignola and Anna Bialczak — all scoring their second goals of the season.
ETSU finished with seven shots on the night with two shots on goal from the duo of Fiona Dodge (Pontypool, Wales) and Raffaella Giuliano (Caserta, Italy).
“We knew this would be a challenge, but you have to accept these challenges and not duck them,” Sayers added. “We were brave and courageous and approached today with a lot of positivity. It was one of our better performances of the season.”
The Bucs will face another Power 5 conference opponent in its next match as the Blue and Gold travel to Virginia Tech Monday, Sept. 10. Kickoff from Blacksburg, Va. is set for 7 p.m.