Lady Vols To Face 17th-ranked Auburn for Southeastern Conference Lead on Friday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. ET
Following a weekend in which the Lady Vol soccer squad improved its winning streak to a school-record nine straight matches and clinched its third-consecutive SEC Eastern Division title, the Orange & White remained at a program-high sixth in the Soccertimes.com rankings, while improving across the board in the other three national polls.
Tennessee (11-2-2, 8-0-0 SEC) rocketed up four spots to eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas listing, improved one position to No. 8 according to Soccer America Magazine and climbed from 14th to 12th in this week’s Soccer Buzz Magazine rankings.Once again, the top position in the polls remained unchanged with 18-time NCAA National Champion North Carolina (14-0-1) heading the Soccertimes.com and Soccer Buzz Magazine rankings, while undefeated BIG EAST power Notre Dame (15-0-0) is number one according to Soccer America Magazine and the NSCAA/adidas listings.
Tennessee remains the highest-ranked SEC squad in any poll and is still the only opponent to blemish No. 1 UNC’s unbeaten season with a 0-0 tie at the UT Soccer Complex back on Sept. 10. The Lady Vols will face No. 17 Auburn (12-2-1, 7-0-1 SEC) this Friday night on the Plains at 8 p.m. (ET) with first place in the SEC on the line.
Last weekend, the Lady Vols posted a pair of 1-0 shutout victories over Vanderbilt and Kentucky to clinch the program’s third consecutive SEC Eastern Division title.
With a perfect 8-0 mark in league play, the Orange & White continue to improve on the program’s best start to a conference campaign and remain unbeaten in their last 15 regular-season league matchups (14-0-1) dating back to a 1-0 loss against No. 23 Mississippi on Oct. 5, 2003.
Senior Lyndsey Patterson (Puyallup, Wash.) tallied the game-winning goal just 27 seconds into the second half during the contest against in-state rival Vanderbilt as UT registered the 1-0 victory. For Patterson, the goal was her first since scoring Tennessee’s initial goal of the campaign during the Orange & White’s, 4-3, come-from-behind win in the season-opener against then-No. 15 Duke. The 5’2” forward now has 19 career tallies and ranks third on the Lady Vol all-time match-winning goal list with eight.
Despite several solid scoring opportunities throughout the contest against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Orange & White utilized nearly every possible second of regulation time to post a 1-0 win. Senior defender Keeley Dowling controlled a long pass up the left wing by sophomore midfielder Ali Christoph (Columbus, Ohio), turned and chipped the ball into the right corner of the net over the hands of UK goalkeeper Liz Butler with just four seconds remaining in regulation play. For her efforts, the Carmel, Ind., native and preseason
All-America was selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. The occurrence marked the third consecutive week in which a Lady Vol has been honored by the league office. Senior midfielder Kayla Lockaby (Hamilton, Ohio) and freshman forward Genna Gorman (Lakewood, Colo.) received SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, respectively.
Tennessee returns to the road for the final time in the 2004 regular-season when it travels to the Plains of Auburn, Ala., to face the 17th-ranked Auburn Tigers in a Friday night (8 p.m.) battle for first in the conference standings. After facing AU, the Orange & White return home to the UT Soccer Complex for a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Live stats (Gametracker) for both matches will be available through utladyvols.com.