2009 Tennessee Volunteers Soccer Preview
In 2008, the Lady Vols had a season that most fans of the Orange felt was a little disappointing. Indeed, after a good deal of hype leading into the season (hype predicated by a deep roster of talent on the Lady Vols squad) the team didn't really ever get it all together. In 2008, the team finished the season with a record of 10-11-2 overall, and 5-5-1 in the conference.
One thing that has to be taken into consideration, however, when looking at 2008 season of the Lady Vols, is the tremendously difficult schedule that the team had to play. Indeed, while others in the conference were feasting on lesser talent in non-conference play, the Lady Vols endured a fairly rigorous non-conference schedule. That schedule included teams such as North Carolina, West Virginia, and Illinois ( a highly ranked team that the Lady Vols beat 1-0). And in addition to its difficult non-conference schedule, the Lady Vols then had to wade the treacherous waters of the SEC, waters which led to an equal share of success and failure. The highlight of SEC game play was probably the three game winning streak over Arkansas, LSU, and Kentucky (at the time ranked number 15 nationally) early in SEC play
Kylee Rossi developed, in 2008, to 1 of the most potent goal scorers in the conference. She managed 13 goals on the season en route to 27 total points. Only one other player had more than two goals for the season, that being Devon Swaim with 4 (Swaim was also the only other player who had a double digit point total for the season, she had 12). In the nets, Jaimel Johnson started every game and allowed a solid 1.24 goals per game average, keeping the Vols in most of their games.
The University of Tennessee women's soccer team plays its home games at the newly completed Regal Soccer Stadium, a state of the art facility that offers Lady Vols soccer a home that it can truly be proud of. And the team has responded in a big way. In fact, the team took its already impressive home field advantage (the team has an impressive .852 winning percentage on its home grass since the turn of the millennium), and raised it to another level, winning at an .864 clip since moving to its new stadium.
Thanks to bobbyuggles at flickr.com for the picture.
The Lady Vols are coached by Angela Kelly, who took over the University of Tennessee women's soccer team in January of 2000. She has be a key element in the rise of the program to a higher level within the Southeastern Conference. Prior to the arrival of Kelly at the helm, the Lady Vols had neither won an SEC tournament match, or advanced to an NCAA tournament. Since then, however, Kelly has led the Lady to Vols to three consecutive SEC regular-season crowns as well as three SEC Tournament titles. Over that period, she has also led the program to 7 NCAA Tournaments, and among those 7 appearances, appeared in the Sweet 16 5 times.
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