July 20, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee soccer legend Caroline Brown has signed a contract to play professionally for ASPTT Albi FC, which will open its first year in the France's premier soccer league, the Championnat de France de Football Féminin.
The Championnat de France de Football Féminin, also referred to as Division I Feminine, is the highest and largest division in France with history dating back to 1919. ASPTT Albi FC is moving from Division 2 to Division I of the 12-team league.
The league is the female equivalent to the men's Ligue 1 and is contested by 12 clubs. Seasons run from September to June, with teams playing 22 games each totaling 132 games in the season. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. Play is regularly suspended after the second week in December before returning in the third week of January. The Division 1 Féminine is one of the top women's domestic leagues in Europe currently ranked third behind Germany's Fußball-Bundesliga and Sweden's Premier League.
Brown, who played in five games this summer and recorded one assist for the Seattle Sounders Women of the W-League, completed her distinguished Tennessee soccer career last fall. She is the school's all-time leader in match-winners with 15. Her 72 career points are tied for fourth-most and her 27 goals and 18 assists rank fifth and eighth, respectively, in UT history.
"We are so happy for Caroline," Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky said. "This has always been a dream of hers - to play professionally after college. She's always been a special talent - it was just a matter of time before this dream became a reality."
Brown, who became the first UT soccer player to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, enjoyed a stellar career at Tennessee from 2010-13, thriving both on the field and in the classroom. Brown earned Second Team All-SEC honors and 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women's All-South Region Second Team accolades as a senior in 2013.
Brown previously earned NSCAA All-South Region Third Team honors in 2011. Her career accolades stand among most impressive in program history. Brown is a two-time Capital One Academic All-American (2011, 2013), a two-time NSCAA All-South Region honoree (2011, 2013), a two-time NSCAA Scholar All-South Region pick (2011, 2012) and a two-time All-SEC selection (2011, 2013).
Brown was a model scholar-athlete, earning Capital One Academic All-America and NSCAA Division I Women's Scholar All-South Region honors as a senior in 2013. She graduated with a degree is a sport management and earned academic honors in each of her four seasons at UT. In 2010-11, Brown was named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll. She was on the 2011 and 2012 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll and garnered 2011 Capital One Academic All-District 3 First Team and Capital One Academic All-America Third Team honors. Last year, Brown was named to the NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Second Team. Brown received 2013 Capital One Academic All-District 3 first-team honors on Oct. 31. Brown was the co-winner of the 2012-13 Tennessee Female Co-Student-Athletes of the Year award.