Canadian National Team member Rhian Wilkinson
Nov. 10, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Former Tennessee Lady Vol soccer standouts Rhian Wilkinson and Marie-Eve Nault recently helped lead the Canadian Women's Senior National Soccer Team to the championship of the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifier and, in the process, secured Canada a berth in the upcoming 2011 Women's World Cup to be held in Germany over June 26-July 17.
Team Canada registered a perfect 5-0 record to qualify for its fifth consecutive Women's World Cup alongside Mexico while the third-place finisher in the region, the United States, must now face Italy in a two-leg playoff later in November in order to earn a berth in the prestigious event.
Thus far during its 2010 campaign, Team Canada boasts a stellar overall record of 11-2-1 with four international matches remaining at the Torneio Internacional in São Paulo, Brazil. During its perfect CONCACAF run, the Canadian squad outscored its opposition by a 17-0 count with Wilkinson and Nault starting in the backline during the Women's World Cup berth-clinching, 1-0 victory over Mexico in the final.
Wilkinson has now received 85 total caps with either the Canada Senior National (82 caps) or Youth U-20 National squads since playing her first match for the Red and White back in 2003 and participated with the team at the 2003 and 2007 Women's World Cups and the 2008 Women's Olympic Football Tournament. During her playing career at Tennessee from 2000-03, the Baie d'Urfe, Quebec, product completed her stay at Rocky Top as the top scorer in Lady Vol history with 88 points on 28 goals and 32 assists, a mark since surpassed by Kylee Rossi (2005-08). Wilkinson currently rates first in the updated UT record books in career assists and ranks in a tie for third in total goals. She also recorded nine match-winning goals at Tennessee (tied for sixth all-time) and is one of just seven Lady Vols in program history ever to record a hat trick. Wilkinson was a three-time All-Central Region and All-Southeastern Conference selection, being tabbed as the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2000 after scoring 12 goals and dishing nine assists.
A veteran of 27 caps with the Canadian Senior Women's National Team over 2004, 2009-10, Nault made her first appearance for Team Canada back on Jan. 30, 2004, against China at the Four Nations Tournament. Currently ranked 10th all-time in matches played at Tennessee with 83 (72 starts), the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, native tallied nine goals and nine assists for 27 overall points for the Big Orange over 2000-03. She proved incredibly clutch as a staggering six of her nine total goals at Rocky Top served as match-winners. She was also twice selected as UT's Defensive Most Valuable Player by her teammates.
Team Canada returns to the pitch on Dec. 9th, at the Torneio Internacional in São Paulo, Brazil, for a match against the Netherlands.