KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee women’s soccer team tied its highest ranking in program history at No. 6 in two polls released on Tuesday. The Lady Vols are ranked sixth in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas and SoccerTimes.com listings. UT also improved to No. 9 in the Soccer Buzz poll and now claims the top spot in the NSCAA/adidas Central Region ranking.
The last time Tennessee reached the No. 6 spot in any poll was Oct. 19, 2004, when the Big Orange sported an 11-2-2 record overall and were undefeated in Southeastern Conference play at 8-0. The No. 6 ranking in 2004 came from SocerTimes.com, while UT’s other previous highs are No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz polls.
The Lady Vols’ (7-1-1, 2-0 SEC) jump in the rankings follows a successful opening weekend to the conference season in which they topped both then-No. 12 South Carolina and then-No. 15 Florida. The Orange and White opened league play with a weekend sweep for the third time in four years.
Against the Gamecocks, UT took home a 3-2 overtime victory thanks to the golden goal from junior forward Kylee Rossi in the 97th minute of the match. Sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram and junior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar also scored for the Lady Vols in their 11th win all-time against USC.
In its 2-0 win over Florida, Tennessee turned to Rossi again, with the Pennington, N.J. native notching both goals to bring her weekend total to three. Rossi scored both goals in the first half, while the UT defense and junior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson held off the Gators. Johnson posted a career-high 11 saves, matching the fourth-best single game performance by a goalkeeper in program history.
The Orange and White will put their six-match unbeaten streak on the line this weekend. UT travels to LSU and Arkansas in the first two matches of a four-game road trip, with kickoff in Baton Rouge, La. scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Friday.