Staff Report: SPORTS

Tennessee redshirt freshman Jaida Thomas has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Thomas scored the game-winning goal to set up the Vols’ 2-1 win at Florida last Friday.

Thomas’ goal came in the 70th minute. She finished a corner kick from Claudia Dipasupil with her head to put the Vols up 2-0. The goal was Thomas’ third game-winner of the season, also having notched winning goals against Vanderbilt and Missouri.

The Irving, Texas native leads the Vols in goals (3) and is tied with Dipasupil for the team lead in points (6). Thomas also ranks first in the SEC and third in the NCAA with her three game-winning goals.

This is the second time this season that Thomas has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week. She earned the award on Sept. 28 after scoring the golden goal in overtime to give Tennessee a 1-0 victory against No. 10 Vanderbilt.

Thomas’ game-winner set up an SEC East championship match this Friday when the Vols take on No. 9 South Carolina. The winner will clinch the Eastern division title, an achievement Tennessee has not won since 2005, and a top-2 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET in Regal Soccer Stadium.

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