Nov. 30, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has named Tennessee sophomore forward Hannah Wilkinson as a 2012 NSCAA/Continental Tire Women's NCAA Division I All-American.
Wilkinson garnered third team All-America honors to become just the fifth Lady Vol to be named an All-American (first, second or third team), joining Keeley Dowling, Ali Christoph, Jaimel Johnson and Kylee Rossi. She is also the fourth Lady Vol to garner NSCAA All-America honors (Dowling, Christoph, Johnson) and the first since Johnson earned third team accolades in 2007.
"Hannah is a special athlete and a special soccer talent," Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky said. "Of course her international experience speaks for itself. Hannah scored some very, very big goals for us this fall, so it's nice to see her receive this honor."
Wilkinson was also a first team All-SEC selection last month. The Whangarei, New Zealand, native had a banner debut season at Tennessee, which made its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and finished the year at 14-5-3. Wilkinson led the team in scoring with eight goals and was a clutch performer, posting a team-best four match-winners. She also had one assist and her 17 points tied for the team lead. Wilkinson also led the SEC in goals in conference matches as all eight of her scores occurred during league play.
Wilkinson only played in 16 of Tennessee's 22 matches this season as she joined the team on the road in early September during its California road trip for matches at Cal State Northridge and UCLA. Her late arrival to Rocky Top was a result of her busy summer representing her home country of New Zealand in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
At the Olympics, Wilkinson led the Kiwis to the quarterfinals and played in New Zealand's matches against Great Britain, Brazil and the U.S., totaling 248 minutes. The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup took place during the start of UT's regular season schedule. Wilkinson totaled 271 minutes and three starts over three matches and helped New Zealand force a 2-2 tie with host Japan after forcing an own-goal by the Japanese.
After a grueling summer of soccer on the international stage, Wilkinson shined for the Lady Vols as soon as she donned the Orange and White. She made a big splash in her first match in front of the home crowd at Regal Soccer Stadium. Against Alabama on Sept.14, Wilkinson flew down the left side and broke past two defenders to score the equalizer (her first UT goal) in the 17th minute. UT went on to defeat the Crimson Tide, 2-1, in overtime.
With her speed, athleticism and creativity on the offensive end, Wilkinson has quickly emerged as one of the most dynamic forwards in the SEC and the nation.