Alexis Owens earns SEC, national honors

As a result of registering the first Lady Vol hat trick since 2002, Alexis Owens earned national and conference honors.

The honors stem from Sunday's 4-2 victory over No. 6 Florida with Tennessee Junior Alexis Owens accounting for three goals.

She was honored Monday as both a member of Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week and as the SEC's Co-Player of the Week for Sept. 26.

The athletic accolades all represent the first of Owens' career in the Orange & White while the selection to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week marks the first for any Lady Vol soccer player since goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson was honored by the organization on Nov. 9, 2008.

The Carmel, Ind., native joins UT sophomore forward Caroline Brown (Aug. 22) and senior forward Emily Dowd (Sept. 19) in receiving nods as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week thus far in 2011. That gives the Tennessee soccer program three of six possible weekly selections for that particular league accolade.

"I'm really excited for Alexis Owens on her hat trick yesterday against Florida," Lady Vol Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "It was a complete team effort, and Alexis demonstrated a tremendous amount of composure in front of goal. She did a great job of finishing three of her opportunities.

"Each of these is a terrific honor and really represents the amount of accountability our players have to their overall, team and game development."

In her very first start of the season Owens registered the finest match of her Lady Vol career, scoring just the 10th hat trick in UT history, and the first since Kayla Lockaby turned the feat back on Sept. 8, 2002. The 5'6 forward had entered the contest owning just two career goals over 43 matches played at Rocky Top before her offensive explosion against UF.

Owens scored on all three shots she took in the match, getting things started just 4:05 in by beating UF keeper Taylor Burke from 10 yards out. That goal marked the third time this season that Tennessee had scored on its very first shot of a match.

She won a one-on-one battle with a Gator defender at 35:48, taking the ball into the box and sliding it past Burke for the eventual match-winner to improve the Big Orange advantage to a staggering 3-0.

That also marked the first time in the history of the series between the two schools that the Lady Vols had recorded three goals in a match versus Florida. With the Gators having cut their deficit to just 3-2 late in the match, Owens sealed the victory at 85:11 by taking a feed from Brown and blasting home a drive from six yards out to complete the hat trick.

After a long home stand it's back to the road for the Big Orange as #11 Tennessee ventures to LSU (Sept. 30 – 7 p.m. CT) and Arkansas (Oct. 2 – 1 p.m. CT) to continue its league slate.


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