Chattanooga’s goal at the end of the first half resulted in extra energy in the second as the Mocs held off Mercer 1-0 at the UTC Sports Complex in the Southern Conference opener for both teams.
“It’s a big win for us,” Mocs head coach Gavin McKinney said. “It seems to be a goal anytime we play to get off on the right foot and to start with the win at home is huge. We need to carry that momentum into Sunday and carry on.”
Zoey Mize delivered a pass to the far post off the corner and Mackenzie Smith got her head on it and then pushed it into the bottom left corner for the lone goal of the match as time was winding down in the opening frame.
That led to a greater energy from the Mocs throughout the second half, holding off the Bears to earn the shutout.
“I think the late goal helped at the end of the first half,” McKinney said. “I thought they were on top of us for some spells that first half. I think we grew in confidence and came out in the second half and played good football.”
Chattanooga outshot the Bears 12-5 with a 7-1 shots on goal advantage. With each team taking three in the first half, the Mocs were much more aggressive with nine in the second.
The Mocs defense held off Mercer’s attempts in the second. The Bears had two corners in the final 10 minutes of play, but they were cleared out by UTC.
Caroline Ekern had just one save behind a staunch Mocs defense and earned her third win of the season. UTC is now 3-3-2 overall and 1-0 in SoCon action while the Bears drop to 5-4-2 on the year and 0-1 against the league.
Chattanooga will host The Citadel Sunday afternoon at the UTC Sports Complex. The Bulldogs also opened with a win, defeating Samford 1-0 on the road with the game winner in the 71st minute. The match is set to kick off at 1:00 p.m.