Senior defender leads Tennessee into the season
finale against Georgia on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
For the second consecutive week and the third time this season, senior defender Keeley Dowling has been tabbed as the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week. The Carmel, Ind., native tallied her third assist of the campaign on freshman forward Genna Gorman’s eventual match-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Alabama and helped limit the Crimson Tide to zero shots over the last 9:21 of regulation play as UA tried for an equalizer. The Lady Vols’ win, combined with Auburn’s 1-1 tie at Georgia, gives UT the lead in the race for the SEC regular-season title and the top-seeding in the conference tournament with just one match remaining.
“I’m proud of Keeley for winning this award two weeks in a row,” said Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly. “She has been a fixture on our defense and has continued to grow and mature as a player each time she steps out on the field. Her contributions as well as those of her teammates have me very excited for the rest of the season.”The Lady Vols are in the midst of an incredible streak of receiving honors from the conference office as Dowling’s selection marks the fourth straight week in which a Lady Vol soccer player has been granted either an offensive or defensive player of the week award. Dowling was tabbed on Oct. 18 after her goal with four seconds remaining in regulation time against Kentucky gave UT a 1-0 victory and clinched the program’s third-consecutive SEC Eastern Division crown. Two weeks ago, Gorman, a Lakewood, Colo., native was chosen as the league’s weekly offensive honoree after registering three goals during victories over Arkansas (3-1) and LSU (2-1, OT). The freshman also registered a “golden goal” at the 99:39 mark to end the match-up with the Bayou Bengals. Senior midfielder Kayla Lockaby (Hamilton, Ohio) began the month-long skein of honorees by being named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week after her “golden goal” in the second sudden-victory overtime period beat Florida, 2-1, and ended the Gators’ 36-match home SEC unbeaten streak.After limiting the 17th-ranked Auburn Tigers to just nine shots in a 2-1 loss (Oct. 22), Dowling helped Tennessee rebound to post an important 2-1 victory over Alabama by assisting on Gorman’s match-winning goal at the 59:31 mark. After a late Crimson Tide score (80:39) cut UT’s lead to just a single goal, she led a defensive charge that held UA without a single shot over the last 9:21 of regulation and to just two shots in the second half.
The Lady Vols will close out the 2004 regular-season this Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., on “Senior Night” as Tennessee faces the Georgia Bulldogs at the UT Soccer Complex. Tennessee will honor the senior class of Keeley Dowling, Sue Flamini, Kayla Lockaby, Lyndsey Patterson, Kristin McGrath, Ashley Dawes and Mimi Couns. Live stats (Gametracker) of the match will be available through utladyvols.com.