CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's soccer team lost a hard-fought Southern Conference opener Sunday afternoon at Finley Stadium 3-0 to Samford. The Bulldogs improve to 6-5 overall and 1-0 in league play while the Mocs move to 1-8-1 on the year and 0-1 in conference action.
Samford got the scoring started early on a header by Malcanisha Kelley in the fifth minute. Virginia McNeill served up a shot from the far right side into the box and Kelley picked it up high and headed it home for the first goal of the game. Chattanooga's defense kicked in for the remainder of the half and didn't allow another goal despite many efforts by the Bulldogs.
In the second half, Samford got a quck goal again just moments into the half to make it a 2-0 match at the 48:33 mark of the game. Taylor Borman sent a pass into the box and it was picked up by Ariane Lukens.
One of two strong opportunites for the Mocs to score came in the 51st minute when junior Skylar Brewer (Farragut, Tenn.) took the ball back from the Samford player and got past the defense to go one-on-one with the Bulldog keeper, but her shot was deflected.
Samford scored its third goal of the game when Jermaine Seoposenwe darted down the field and around the Chattanooga defense. Racing down the middle, she passed the ball to Kelley who was just ahead of her on the left. Kelley was then one-on-one with Chattanooga keeper freshman Hannah Dunn (Cookeville, Tenn.) and put it just out of her reach.
The ball bounced just the wrong way for the Mocs on a shot by freshman McKenzie Gregg (Newport, Tenn.) in the 76th minute from more than 20 yards out, hitting off the crossbar.
Dunn had a stellar performance in the goal with 15 saves, 10 in the second half. Samford outshot the Mocs 29-6 with an 18-3 shots on goal difference. Samford's keeper Anna Maddox made three saves. UTC sophomore Ashley Simmons (Hixson, Tenn.) had two shots.
The Mocs remain home next weekend with a Friday matchup against Western Carolina at 7 p.m. at Finley Stadium and ETSU Sunday afternoon.