Lady Vols soccer coverage

New Zealand native Hannah Wilkinson has arrived in Knoxville after a whirlwind summer in London and Japan. The Lady Vols soccer player and coach Brian Pensky met Wednesday with the media.

Hannah Wilkinson, a sophomore transfer to Tennessee via New Zealand, was recruited via Skype by first-year head coach Brian Pensky. She has arrived in Knoxville after spending the summer playing for New Zealand in the Olympics in London and then heading to Japan to play for the national team at the 2012 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Wilkinson is expected to make her home debut this Friday in the SEC opener against Alabama at Regal Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Wilkinson actually joined the team on the West Coast road trip and made her Tennessee debut in the win over Cal State Northridge for the now 5-1-0 Lady Vols.

Pensky is easing in the newcomer after a grueling summer of international soccer.

"We just want to slowly bring her along and not expect the world from her," Pensky said. "We've got a great group of kids on our team and they're putting their arms around her and making her feel welcome. We're just happy that she's finally here.

"Our expectations and hopes for her have to be very realistic. She's a human being – we can't be expecting ‘Hannah the machine' even though she has had all of these experiences. She's a sweet, sweet kid and a very family-oriented person."

Wilkinson is now using Skype to keep up with her family in Whangarei, New Zealand.

Wilkinson and Pensky spoke to the media after practice and Inside Tennessee was on hand for coverage.


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