Soccer team in Sweet 16 matchup

The third-seeded Tennessee women's soccer team travels to Portland, Ore., this weekend to take on Portland in the NCAA Tournament Third Round. The Lady Vols will play in their fifth Sweet 16 in program history after topping Clemson and Furman in the opening rounds last week.

The Big Orange heads into the match with a 15-4-2 overall record following the 2-0 win over Furman and the 1-0 double-overtime victory versus Clemson last weekend. Tennessee will be looking for its first-ever berth in the NCAA Quarterfinals against the Pilots. Last season, UT fell to eventual national champion North Carolina, 6-2, in the Round of 16.

The Lady Vols are playing in their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament and have compiled a 10-5-2 record in the NCAA postseason. The Big Orange boasts the 2007 SEC Offensive Player of the Year in Kylee Rossi, who, with her two goals last weekend, is now Tennessee's most prolific goal scorer in program history. Rossi leads the squad with 30 points on 12 goals and six assists.

Tennessee has posted 11 shutouts this season, thanks, in part, to junior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson's 0.853 save percentage and 0.78 goals against average. Johnson and the Tennessee backline shut out their first two opponents in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

Three of UT's all-time leading NCAA Tournament scorers are active members of the 2007 squad. Rossi's 11 points on four goals and three assists are the most by a Tennessee player in the NCAA postseason. Senior forward Emily Redberg is just behind Rossi with eight points, and sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram has posted six points in just five NCAA Championships matches.

Portland is coming off back-to-back shutouts of its own in the NCAA opening rounds after downing Denver, 5-0, and knocking off Colorado, 1-0, last weekend. The Pilots are 17-3-0 this season and ranked third in the final regular season National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll.

Portland enters the Sweet 16 riding a 10-match winning streak and has not allowed a goal since Oct. 13. The Pilots have won two of the last five national championships, taking the NCAA crown in 2002 and 2005.

The two teams are set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Merlo Field in Portland, Ore. Live statistics will be available at UTLadyVols.com.


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