Two nights after the East Tennessee State volleyball team beat Tennessee, the women’s soccer team faced a tougher task.
Tennessee, ranked ninth in the country, remained undefeated as international star Bunny Shaw scored her first two goals of the college season in a 4-0 victory over the Bucs on Thursday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Shaw plays for the Jamaica national team and leads the entire world in goals during World Cup qualifying with 16 in eight games. She had missed the Vols’ last four games while playing for her country.
“We were containing them well, but the difference was some world class finishing,” ETSU coach Adam Sayers said. “She’s a first class striker and she took her chances well. That was the difference.
“We prepared a slightly different way and were working on how we were going to defend, and they carried it out to a T. I couldn’t be happier with the players, the attitude, the confidence and the courage.”
Shaw had played in the Vols’ first two games and an exhibition, but hadn’t scored for her team until Thursday. Tennessee coach Brian Pensky was happy to have her back in the lineup.
“We couldn’t be more happy for Bunny, playing for her country, having success for her country,” Pensky said. “But obviously it’s fantastic to have her back. She’s such a unique player, such a unique talent. There it is. One training session, yesterday, and two goals tonight. That’s why she’s special.”
A crowd of 1,012 watched as the Vols improved to 6-0-1 by outshooting the Bucs 21-7. ETSU fell to 1-6.
The Vols seized the lead in the 14th minute when Shaw took a pass from Amy Thompson, made a couple of moves to create some shooting room and put a 14-yard shot past ETSU goalkeeper Lee Ann Cutshall.
The Bucs had to feel pretty good about the 1-0 halftime deficit considering Tennessee controlled the vast majority of the action, outshot them 13-4 and forced seven corner kicks.
Shaw connected again early in the second half when she trapped a pass from Makenzie Gouner against her chest turned and fired from the edge of the penalty area.
MA Vignola added Tennessee’s third goal and Anna Bialczak had the fourth.
The Bucs were expected to have a tough time cracking a Tennessee defense that had allowed one goal in its first six games. ETSU forced Vols goalkeeper Shae Yanez to make only one save.
The Bucs return to action Monday night at Virginia Tech.