University of Tennessee at Chattanooga forward Chloe Arnold scored the game winning goal on Senior Day at the UTC Sports Complex in a 1-0 win over Mercer in Southern Conference women’s soccer action.
“Another big win,” a smiling coach Gavin McKinney said after the game. “Hard-fought again. I thought Mercer was really good today. They put us on the back foot. They were dangerous in moments.”
The Mocs score came in the 13th minute when senior Osa Iyare passed the ball to Arnold.
“I dribbled into the box and shot it into the lower left-hand corner,” the Bristol, Tenn., senior said. The goal was her third of the season and 24th of a career that was celebrated just before kick-off.
The Mocs were able to keep the Bears out of the net on a windy, mostly sunny day. While each team had eight shots, the Mocs outpaced Mercer 6-1 on shots on goal.
Chattanooga keeper Abbey Saddler tallied her fifth career shutout and had just one save, a testament to the Mocs’ defense that has only allowed four goals this season.
“We said it after the game Friday, that part of our team identity is how we’ve defended over the last few years,” McKinney said. “Phenomenal stuff from us when we’re under pressure just to keep a clean sheet. Really proud of the effort from the girls.”
Saddler made one save and Mercer keeper Jordyn Ebert had five. Ally Fordham and Kendall Cook had three shots apiece for the Bears while Arnold and Iyare had two tries each to lead Chattanooga.
Chattanooga closes out the regular season next weekend at UNCG Thursday and VMI on Saturday. The top four teams in the SoCon standings will move on to the postseason with the top two seeds hosting Nos. 3 and 4 in the semifinal round on April 9 or 10.
The Mocs honored seniors Chloe Arnold, Lauren Dluzewski, Osa Iyare and Emily Szymanski. Arnold and Szymanski’s parents escorted their daughters onto the field while Canadians Dluzewski and Iyare did not have parents at the match due to the pandemic. Strength and conditioning coach Colin Engstrom walked out with Iyare and Maggie and Samantha Shaw accompanied Dluzewski.