Lady Vols soccer climbs in polls

With four straight shutouts and a four-match winning streak in tow venturing into this Friday's matchup versus Coastal Carolina at the Regal Soccer Stadium, the Lady Vol soccer team has continued its ascension up three of the national polls for the week of Sept. 12-18.

The Big Orange climbed one position to No. 13 in the latest ranking, advanced three spots to No. 16 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll and is up to No. 23 in the latest Soccer America listing.

Tennessee, 6-1, picked up its fourth consecutive shutout for only the second time in program history last Sept. 9, with a 5-0 rout of Charlotte in Knoxville.

UT has now held its opposition scoreless over a stretch of 365:38 dating back to a Bruin goal at 84:22 during UT's 2-1 loss to then-#8 UCLA on Aug. 26. The skein marks the fifth-longest in school history, just 91:57 off the Lady Vol program's longest shutout streak of 457:35 that stretched from Sept. 7-21, 2007.

The Lady Vols have also equaled the 2002 & 2003 Big Orange soccer squads for the best seven-match start in school annals at 6-1.

Sophomore Caroline Brown helped lead the romp over the 49ers on Sept. 9, delivering her second two-goal effort of the early season to raise her team-leading totals to six goals and 14 points. The Hershey, Pa., native's score just 1:51 into the contest helped set the tone versus Charlotte and marked her fourth match-winner of 2011.

The 5'9 forward beat her defender near the right end line, dribbled in towards the post and beat 49er keeper Alex Kubrick from six yards out. Amazingly, of Brown's nine career goals over 25 contests at Rocky Top, a staggering six of those have served as match winners.

Lady Vol senior forward Emily Dowd posted her second four-point night of the early campaign by registering her third goal of the season to go along with a pair of assists versus Charlotte.

Senior forward Chelsea Hatcher picked up her second assist of the year, junior midfielder Amy Harrison registered her first goal of the season, junior midfielder Kylie Bono tallied her third helper of 2011, rookie midfielder Lexi Krause scored for the first time in her brief career at UT and junior forward Alexis Owens and sophomore midfielder Sanna Saarinen were each credited with their initial assists of the campaign.

In goal UT freshman Julie Eckel combined with redshirt sophomore Jessica Rolfs (6:15 of playing time) on UT's fourth straight shutout and has now stopped the opposition's last 22 shots on frame while lowering her goals-against-average to 0.57.

Game time for Friday's game against Coastal Carolina is 7 p.m. Eastern.

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