Aug. 19, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee women's soccer players Jaimel Johnson and Kylee Rossi were named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) on Tuesday. The two seniors are among 47 players chosen to the 2008 watch list for the prestigious award which is presented each year to the top player in Division I women's soccer. Johnson and Rossi's selection marks the first time in program history that two players from UT have earned a spot on the watch list.
Following her first full year as the Lady Vols' starter in goal, Johnson enters 2008 as one of the top goalkeepers in the country. A 2007 NSCAA Third Team All-American and first-team All-Southeast Region selection, Johnson posted 10 solo shutouts last year, while making 111 saves to set a new single season record at UT. The Dayton, Ohio, native also led the Orange and White defense to a program record 457:30 shutout streak that spanned five matches and included blankings of No. 24 Wake Forest and eventual national champion USC.
Johnson enters the 2008 campaign needing just two shutouts to move into second all-time at Tennessee. Her 0.96 career goals against average ranks her behind only former Lady Vol Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart in that category in the UT annals. This season, Johnson will look to direct a young backline that lost two starters to graduation last year.
Rossi makes her second consecutive appearance on the Hermann Trophy Watch List after becoming Tennessee's all-time leading goal scorer in 2007 with 30 career strikes. Last year, Rossi set four new Lady Vol career records and one single season mark. Along with career goals, the Pennington, N.J., native now leads UT in all-time game winners (12), overtime game winners (4) and shots (249). She also established a new single season record last year with 96.
For her efforts, Rossi earned her second consecutive SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award and a spot on the Soccer Buzz All-America Third Team. The forward enters the 2008 season needing just 14 points to surpass former Lady Vol and Canadian Olympic Team member Rhian Wilkinson for the program's all-time scoring record. Teamed with one of Tennessee's strongest returning midfields, Rossi will look to continue her record setting this season.
Rossi and Johnson are joined on the watch list by three other SEC players in Florida junior defender Lauren Hyde, LSU junior midfielder Malorie Rutledge and Georgia junior forward Carrie Patterson. Along with facing the SEC squads, the Lady Vols will meet three other teams in 2008 which feature at least one player on the watch list in No. 3 North Carolina, No. 12 West Virginia and No. 19 Illinois. Also included on the list are 2007 finalist Lauren Cheney of UCLA and 2006 winner Kerri Hanks of Notre Dame.
Considered the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer, the recipient of the MAC Hermann Trophy is selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the NSCAA. A list of 15 semifinalists will be selected by a coaches committee in November, with three finalists announced in early December. The winner will be announced at a press conference and banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 9, 2009.
The Orange and White has had two players named semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy in Kim Patrick and current assistant coach Keeley Dowling. Patrick was named a finalist in 2002, while Dowling earned a spot among the semifinalists in both 2003 and 2004. Previous Hermann Trophy winners include current and former U.S. National Team players Aly Wagner (Santa Clara), Michelle Akers (UCF), Shannon McMillan (Portland), Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm (North Carolina).
Tennessee's pair of Hermann Trophy candidates will open the 2008 season this Friday at Chattanooga. The Lady Vols and Lady Mocs are set to kick off at 7 p.m. at North River Soccer Complex in Chattanooga, Tenn.