Tennessee leads the all-time series over Auburn 10-5-0 with UT holding a 3-2 advantage over the last five meetings. The Lady Vols are 3-0 against the Tigers at the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., with meetings in 2005 (1-0), 2006 (5-2) and 2008 (2-1).
The Blue & Orange enters the contest at 12-6-2 overall and 5-5-1 in SEC action, good enough for the seventh seed in the league tournament. Auburn is just 1-2-1 over its last four matches, including a 2-0 loss to Tennessee in Knoxville back on Oct. 23. AU opened its run in Orange Beach with a commanding 3-0 rout of second-seeded LSU.
Senior MF Katy Frierson (6 G, 12 A), junior MF Ana Cate (8 G, 4 A) and freshman F Tatiana Cole (7 G, 7 A) lead an Auburn offense that boasts five players with four or more scores. Between the pipes, redshirt freshman Chandler Hillen owns a 7-1 record with a 1.07 GAA and 24 saves, while junior Amy Howard is 5-5-1 with a 1.44 GAA, 47 saves and four shutouts.
Auburn enters its contest against the Lady Vols with the second-highest scoring offense in the SEC, totaling 43 total goals for a 2.15 goal-per-match average. Tennessee is currently third in scores with 42 while tallying at a 2.10 GPM clip (third). UT is tied for second in the league defensively, allowing just 16 goals for a 0.80 goals-per-match mark, while the Tigers are tied for seventh in the SEC, having permitted 27 goals for a 1.35 GPM average.
Tennessee Soccer Free Kicks
The Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team boasts a strong history of success in the annual SEC Tournament, rating second all-time in league annals behind Florida with four titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2008). UT owns a 13-10-3 all-time record in the conference's yearly showcase with its 13 victories rating second behind the Gators (35). Since the start of the 2002 event, the Big Orange is 13-5-3 with the four crowns. Over the past two seasons, the Lady Vols had lost in quarterfinal action, 1-0 (2OT) to #10 Florida (2009) and 1-0 (OT) to LSU (2010) before taking down Kentucky in the 2011 opening round, 2-1.
The dynamic Tennessee forward duo of senior Emily Dowd (six goals, four assists in SEC action) and sophomore Caroline Brown (four goals, five assists in SEC action) have been awarded ALL-SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM accolades while goalkeeper Julie Eckel (7-4 record, 0.97 GAA, 59 saves, five shutouts in SEC action) were tabbed to the SEC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM for their outstanding efforts during the conference season. By virtue of their selections, they became the 24th, 25th, and 26th Lady Vols to be honored as All-SEC in program history and gave the Big Orange 49 all-time nods to the all-conference squads. In all, 43 of those 49 selections have occurred during the 12-season tenure of head coach Angela Kelly.
At 15-5-0 overall through its first 20 matches, Tennessee is off to one of the best starts to a campaign in program history. The best previous 20-match opening to a season was 15-3-2 (2004). With a run to a title at the SEC Tournament, the Lady Vols could equal the 2003 & 2004 UT teams for the second most wins in a single-season in school annals (17).
The combination of Tennessee's backline (most frequently made up of freshman Allie Sirna, junior Ali Hall and sophomores Tori Bailey and Caroline Capocaccia) and freshman goalkeeper Julie Eckel have worked to turn in one of the best defensive seasons in Lady Vol soccer history. UT has permitted JUST 16 OPPONENT SCORES OVER ITS OPENING 20 MATCHES, rating as the second-best goals allowed mark in school history behind the 2004 Big Orange defense (15 goals). That 2004 UT "D" was anchored by current Tennessee soccer assistant coach and then-senior All-American defender Keeley Dowling.