Nov. 11, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee senior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson was selected as the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week on Tuesday following her outstanding performance in the 2008 SEC Tournament. The Dayton, Ohio, native led the Orange and White to its fourth SEC Tournament title to earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Johnson took home the tournament's Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the first Lady Vol in program history to earn the honor. Through the three matches against some of the top teams in the conference, Johnson recorded a 0.62 goals against average, made 13 saves and stopped two penalty kicks in the semifinal shootout with LSU.
On Nov. 5, Johnson opened the tournament with a commanding performance in a 2-1 upset of No. 3 seed Auburn. The senior made seven saves while facing 18 shots and keeping 2008 SEC Freshman of the Year Katy Frierson off the board. The only goal Johnson allowed came on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute of the match.
In the semifinal with No. 2 LSU, Johnson continued her stellar play making the two saves necessary to send the 1-1 draw to penalty kicks. In the shootout, Johnson stopped shots from SEC Offensive Player of the Year Malorie Rutledge and junior defender Chelsea Potts to give UT the 4-2 advantage to advance to the final.
Johnson made four saves in the championship match to record her fifth shutout of the season and keep Georgia from winning its first SEC Tournament title. The 1-0 victory was the 31st of Johnson's career and marked Tennessee's sixth blank sheet of the season.
With the automatic NCAA bid, Johnson will now lead the Lady Vols into a first round matchup with Atlantic-10 Champion Charlotte. The two squads will meet on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. The winner of the match will face off against the winner of No. 1 seed North Carolina and Western Carolina in Sunday's second round game at 1 p.m.