Good news keeps on coming for the University of Tennessee, even if some NWSL coaches and fans may not be thrilled. New Zealand forward Hannah Wilkinson has been granted eligibility for the 2015 NCAA season, allowing her to play one more season of college soccer.
The news comes following Tennessee’s stunning upset of nationally ranked No. 8 Florida in the SEC tournament on Wednesday.
“I’m truly thankful to be granted another opportunity to play with such a strong and driven team,” Wilkinson said in a statement. “I cannot wait for another exciting journey through the SEC and the NCAA.”
Wilkinson enrolled at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2012 and the NCAA assigned her sophomore playing status. She previously attended classes at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand for a year. She was an All-American in her first season at Tennessee.
Wilkinson made her senior team debut for New Zealand in 2012 and has since played in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2012 London Olympics and the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She scored a goal in each game last year in a pair of friendly matches against the United States — a 4-1 loss in San Francisco and a 1-1 draw in Columbus, Ohio, where Wilkinson scored the 87th minute equalizer. Wilkinson has 19 goals in 58 appearances for the Football Ferns, who recently qualified for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Tennessee defeated Florida, 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 match through extra time on Wednesday in the SEC quarterfinals. Wilkinson scored the first penalty kick for Tennessee and she assisted on the Volunteers’ lone goal from the run of play. Next up for Tennessee is No. 17 Kentucky in the SEC semifinals on Friday night.
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