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    Rhian Wilkinson     
     
      Rhian Wilkinson
Class:
Graduate Student

Hometown:
Baie d'Urfe, Quebec

High School:
Villa Maria H.S.

Height:
5-5

Position:
Student Assistant Coach

Birthdate:
05/12/1982

Student Assistant Coach

A three-time All-Central Region and All-SEC selection at forward, former Lady Vol standout Rhian Wilkinson will turn her attention to coaching from the sidelines as she completes her undergraduate degrees in English and speech communication. Over her collegiate career, the Baie d'Urfe, Quebec, native helped Tennessee to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of SEC Eastern Division and Tournament titles. As a rookie, she paced the squad's offense in every significant category on her way to a bushel of individual accolades, including the UT Daily Beacon's Female Athlete of the Year, the SEC's Freshman of the Year and second-team Freshman All-America. In 2003, Wilkinson helped the Canadian National Team to the silver medal at the Pan Am Games and a fourth-place finish at the FIFA Women's World Cup before returning to the Big Orange and contributing 19 points on six goals and seven assists in just 13 matches. In addition to all-region and all-league accolades, she was chosen to the All-SEC Tournament and Academic All-SEC squads for the second time apiece and provided the decisive goal in the victory over Georgia that sent the Orange into the Sweet 16. Wilkinson ranks first on the school's all-time list in points (88), assists (32), match-winning goals (nine), Golden Goals (three) and is tied for second in goals (28).

COACH KELLY ON WILKINSON

"Rhian is one of the most deceptively fast soccer players that I have coached or played with. She puts fear in defenders' eyes when she is faced up with the ball at her feet. Coming off a summer in which she gained experience at the international level with the Canadian National Team, I look for Rhian to come into the fall with a renewed sense of confidence and a burning desire to leave her mark throughout the Lady Vol record book."

WILKINSON'S CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

SUMMER 2003: Competed for her native Canada between Aug. 5-14 at the Pan American Games held in Santo Domingo...Also suited up for the Canadian Women's World Cup team in its two-match series against Brazil in mid-July...Notched the tying goal in the 67th minute of her club's 2-1 win on July 17 in Montreal...Also saw time in the 2-1 decision over the Brazilians three days later in Ottawa...Was attempting to secure a spot on Canada's contingent that will participate in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup to be held in the United States starting in September...

AS A JUNIOR (2002): Joined Kendyl Michner (1997-99) as the only Lady Vols to earn an international cap when she represented Canada against the United States in a friendly at RFK Stadium on April 26, 2003...Saw 23 minutes of action in front of a crowd estimated at 5,000 in Washington D.C...Previously, Michner had competed in the 1999 Women's World Cup as a member of the Mexican National Team...Rhian bounced back from a injury-shortened 2001 campaign to re-assert herself as one of the top players in the Southeastern Conference...Was the lone UT forward to start all 25 matches and finished with 31 points on eight goals and a school-record 15 assists to rate second on the squad in scoring behind fellow All-SEC pick Kim Patrick (12G, 9A, 33 pts.)...Selected first-team All-Central Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine and was a second-team honoree by the NSCAA...Picked up first-team All-SEC accolades for the initial time...Chosen as the Lady Vols' Offensive Most Valuable Player and joined Keeley Dowling and Jen Laughridge as the Orange and White's inaugural SEC All-Tournament team choices...Ranked first in the league in overall matches in assists and was fourth in points...Even better during the nine conference matchups, as she was second in both points (14) and goals (five) and placed third in assists (four)...Should pass Laura Lauter Smith's (1997-2000) standard of 75 points early in her final season, as she is just six points back...Rhian's next assist will tie former teammate Laughridge (1998-2002) for the top spot with 26, while the striker needs eight goals to surpass Lauter Smith for the number one position...Made a triumphant return to the UT Soccer Complex in the home opener, as she set a personal record with seven points on two goals and three assists in a 9-0 domination of Arkansas State...Both she and Lyndsey Patterson tied the existing school record with three helpers, while her point total was the third-best output from a Lady Vol...Handed out a total of three assists during the Clemson/Nike Invitational and was voted as the event's Offensive MVP...Gave the Lady Vols a 1-0 advantage over defending national champion Santa Clara when she connected on a breakaway at 78:21, although the Broncos would rally for a 2-1 triumph in overtime...Started SEC play off with a bang, scoring just 5:21 into the league opener versus Auburn...Later chipped in with an assist during the 4-2 win over the Tigers...Fed Patrick for the winning goal in a 3-2 edging of Alabama on Oct. 6...Figured in every one of Tennessee's goals during identical 2-1 road victories over Mississippi State and Mississippi over the weekend of Oct. 25-27...Notched a goal and an assist against the Bulldogs, enabling her to become the first Lady Vol to reach 20 goals and 20 helpers over her career...Two days later, the forward knocked in the tying goal versus the Rebels and set up Kayla Lockaby for the Golden Goal at 106:27...Was chosen as the SEC's Player of the Week for the second time in her career and the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week for the third time soon after...Secured the Big Orange's first Eastern Division hardware when she connected on a breakaway from Marie-Eve Nault at 95:17 in a thrilling 2-1 conquest of Georgia in the regular-season finale on Nov. 1...Was an intimidating presence during her squad's successful run to the SEC Tournament crown, including four shots on goal in the championship tilt against Florida...Set up the Lady Vols' first two scores of the NCAA-opening tussle with Furman...

AS A SOPHOMORE (2001): Suffered a broken left foot in the sixth game of the season against seventh-ranked Clemson on Sept. 23...Season-altering injury occurred just over five minutes into the match against the Lady Tigers...Worked her way back into the lineup to play 85 minutes in the four-overtime NCAA affair against Duke on Nov. 16...Assisted on Sue Flamini's match-winner at #13 Brigham Young in the season opener...Scored in victories over James Madison and Rutgers as the Orange claimed the JMU/Comfort Inn Invitational...

AS A FRESHMAN (2000): Turned in the most outstanding rookie season in school history en route to a bevy of individual honors, including selection as the UT Daily Beacon's Lady Vol Athlete of the Year...Highlights included being tabbed as a second-team Freshman All-American by Soccer Buzz, as well as second-team All-Central and All-Freshman Central Region by the publication...Joined teammate Kelly Berrall on the NSCAA All-Central Region squad...Chosen to the third team, Wilkinson became the second Tennessee player to earn all-region laurels as a freshman, as Allison Campbell had previously done so in 1998...Led the Lady Vols in every single offensive category: shots (83), points (33), goals (12), assists (nine) and game-winning goals (four)...In overall matches, Wilkinson ranked fourth in the league in points and was fifth in goals...Registered impressive numbers in conference action as well, tying for first in assists with Kentucky's Elizabeth Ramsey with six helpers...Rated third in points (18) and was third in goals (six)...Rewarded for her efforts by being selected as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, marking the first time a UT player claimed the hardware...Joined Campbell as the lone Lady Vol to earn All-SEC accolades as a rookie when she was selected to the second team...Amazingly, UT was a perfect 9-0 when she scored and was 10-0 when she registered at least a point...Debuted before the home crowd in Knoxville with a four-point effort against Arizona, coming on a goal and two assists...Scorched UNC Asheville on Sept. 10 for a hat trick and an assist...The seven-point outburst was the second best in school history and tied Florida All-American Abby Wambach for the top individual effort in the SEC that season...Picked all-tournament at the First Tennessee Bank Classic...Put together string of four straight league matches in which she tallied at least one goal: South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Vanderbilt ...Over the stretch, she accumulated 11 points on five goals and an assist...Lifted Lady Vols to first-ever win over Vandy by netting the tying goal at 58:46 and the Golden Goal at 3:10 into sudden death from Berrall...Equaled Jen Laughridge's school record by handing out three assists in 3-0 blanking of Mississippi...Credited with a pair of assists and recorded another Golden Goal at 97:10 to catapult the Orange over nemesis Georgia, 4-3...Capped off spectacular season at the UT Soccer Complex by hitting pay-dirt with 48 seconds remaining in regulation to lift her squad past a pesky Northwestern club, 3-2...Later tabbed as SEC Player of the Week and to Soccer America's Team of the Week following her heroics against the Bulldogs and Wildcats...Selected twice as the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week (9/12, 10/30) and was named as the edsouth Lady Vol Athlete of the Month in October...

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Chosen as the Greater Montreal Athletic Association's Most Valuable Soccer Player in 2000...Played for the Quebec Provincial Team from 1997-99...Was tabbed as MVP in '99 after helping club to silver medal at nationals...Picked up a pair of silvers at the national club championships in 1997 and 1998 while playing for Lac St. Louis Lakers...Attended the National Training Center Camp for the Under-19 Canadian National Team in 2001...Finalist for Player of the Year accolades in '99 after being selected as the Most Valuable Forward on the Under-19 Ballon d'Or club...Participated in the 1997 Quebec Winter Games in ringuette...Competed for the Lakeshore A Feminin ice hockey team and also enjoyed the sport of rugby in 1998-99...

PERSONAL: Majoring in speech communication and English...Earned Academic All-SEC honors for the first time...Valedictorian of her high school class...Was her school's delegate to "Encounters Canada 2000"...Was awarded gold medals at the Villa Maria science fair in 1997 and '98...Claims biggest thrill in soccer was being chosen for the Under-19 Canadian National Team...Enjoys canoeing and rock climbing...Member of church youth group and also serves as a lifeguard...Chose to attend Tennessee because of the school's commitment to academics and athletics...Patterns her playing style after soccer stars David Beckham and Michael Owen...Admires writer Jane Austen...Plays both the cello and the trumpet...Member of the Suzuki Strings Orchestra since 1994...Has an older brother, David, 24, and a twin sister, Sara, 21...Rhian Emily Wilkinson was born May 12, 1982, in Pointe-Claire, Quebec...Her parents are Keith Wilkinson and Shan Evans...Her father is a former director of the national men's rugby team in Canada.

WILKINSON'S CAREER STATISTICS

OVERALL
YearGP/GSShotsGoalsAsst.PointsGWG
200019/1983129334
20017/672150
200225/2560815311
Totals51/501502225695
SEC
YearGP/GSShotsGoalsAsst.PointsGWG
20009/94366182
2001Did Not Play - Injured
20029/92054141
Totals18/18631110323

UP CLOSE WITH RHIAN
Nickname: Rhirhi

I wear number "12" because... I was one of the last people to pick a number my first year and 12 was the best number that was left. Since then it has become my lucky number.

Favorite song: Clocks (Coldplay)

Favorite TV show: Alias

Favorite class at UT: British Lit

Most impressive person you know: My mother

Person in history you'd like to meet: Jane Austen

First thing you'd do if you were head coach for a day: A picnic and dodge-ball on the game field

Person you would most like to trade places with for a day: My sister Sara

Teammate who has the best sense of humor: Sue Flamini

People who have most influenced your athletic career: My parents

Most memorable moments in athletics: Playing for Canada, and winning the SEC title last year

Best player you've ever faced: Shannon MacMillan

Craziest ambition: I really want to participate in an Eco Challenge

One thing you wish you were better at: Heading

Favorite sport besides soccer: Hockey

One possession you'd keep if you lost all but one: A ring my mother gave me when I turned 18

Team you'd most like to see added to the schedule: I always hope North Carolina will be on the schedule. They are a great team that always challenges us the most. Our day will come against them.

Ultimate SportsCenter highlight: Kim Patrick's diving headers. I can't just pick one of them since she has had so many awesome ones.

The best advice I've ever been given is... "You can never forget to laugh"

If there were a movie about your life, what would it be called? "The Ultimate Soap Opera"

Who is the actress who would play the part in a movie about your life? Jennifer Ehle

What actor would you like to play your romantic interest? Ewan McGregor

Nobody knows how much I... love my pillow

A place I've always wanted to visit, but never had the chance is... Seville, Spain

What motivates you? Love of life and the people around me

Why did you choose to attend Tennessee? I loved everything about it. I have never made a better decision.

Since I've been at UT, I've learned... that fitness days are the worst things in the world but the feeling after you're finished is second to none

The best thing about playing soccer for the Lady Vols is... the great team feeling and how much fun I have with the girls

Which teammates will be the biggest surprises in 2003? Marie-Eve Nault and Melissa Amado

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