On Monday, the Southeastern Conference announced Tennessee forward Jaida Thomas as the SEC Freshman of the Week.
The award comes one day after she scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Lady Vols to a 1-0 win against No. 10 Vanderbilt. The match was the first time Tennessee had beaten its in-state rival since 2013, and it was Tennessee’s first win over a top-10 team since Oct. 21, 2018 at No. 5 Texas A&M.
The redshirt freshman played in just her second match for the Lady Vols on Sunday. She made her collegiate debut off the bench last week against Alabama, after missing all last season to offseason surgery.
Thomas again came off the bench against Vanderbilt, and this time had a significant impact on the match. She logged 51 minutes versus the Commodores and tallied three shots, two on goal, including the game-winner.
The golden goal came in the 92nd minute off a corner kick. Hannah Tillet kicked it in for the Lady Vols. Wrenne French won a header in the box, Mackenzie George corralled it and Thomas was able to tap it in the right corner of the goal.
Thomas’ award marks the first time this season the Lady Vols have received a weekly conference honor. The Irving, Texas native was Tennessee’s first SEC Freshman of the Week since Isabella Cook took home the award on Oct. 7, 2019.
Tennessee’s next match is Friday, Oct. 2 against Georgia. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET in Athens. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network.