You won’t find many college soccer players with more pedigree than Katie Cousins.
Cousins, a Forest, Va., native, enters her redshirt senior season in Knoxville with back-to-back All-SEC seasons and a United Coaches third team All-American selection in 2018 all while helping lead the Lady Vols to their deepest postseason run in program history.
With Tennessee facing high expectations in 2019 Cousins is looking to help bring the Lady Vols even more success on the field.
Her opening night performance could be a sign for what could be a big final season on Rocky Top.
Cousins recorded two assists in Tennessee’s 3-1 win over Fordham Thursday night despite playing just 55 minutes.
The first came on a corner kick in the 19th minute. Cousins sent a low kick to the top of the box as two Lady Vols faked a shot before MA Vignola booted one that found the back of the net for the Lady Vols first goal of the season.
“We felt like based on how Fordham lined up on their defensive corners it was going to be on,” head coach Brian Pensky said. “Then they saw the moment. Hats off to our kids, they were the ones that called that play. They saw it. Great delivery. A great couple dummies and obviously MA (Vignola) just smashed it.”
As big as Cousins first assist was, her second assist was the play of the night and the one that proved to be the dagger.
With Tennessee leading 2-0 in the 55th minute, Cousins made an impressive steal in Fordham territory before shaking multiple defenders and dumping a brilliant through pass giving Salera Jordan an open shot on net and Tennessee a 3-0 lead.
“I just remember just trying to be tough,” Cousins said. “Like our team is always trying to be. We’re always trying to be tough, and Salera (Jordan) made a really good run at the end and just put it away for us.”
Cousins’ two assists on the night already have her halfway to her 2018 total and have Tennessee 1-0 to start their 2019 campaign.
The midfielder’s strong play on the night also helped Tennessee dominate possession controlling the ball for 62% of the game.
The performance proved that there is a reason TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked Cousins as the fifth-best player in the nation going into the 2019 season. She showed it on Thursday night at Regal Stadium.