They may not be related, but you would never be able to tell that of Lady Vols soccer players Emily Dowd and Emily Shore.
“For me personally coming up from Gainesville (Fla.) and knowing someone right away has been great,” Shore said. “Dowd is like a sister, to have her on the field and off is great.”
Both the seniors have been playing soccer together since they were 10 years old in Gainesville. They first played together with a local club team called the Gainesville Hotshots, and later joined the club team IMG Academy Team, with which they won the Region Premier League in 2007 and the Disney Showcase Championship in 2008.
Dowd attended Gainesville High School and helped her school to two District Championships. During the process. she became the Alachua County all-time scoring leader, notching 163 career goals.
Shore attended Oak Hill High School in Gainesville and helped her school to three district titles. She was named Gainesville Sun Player of the Year from 2005-2007. She finished her high school career with 133 goals and 79 assists.
Both players got offers from several colleges, including Tennessee, Florida and Florida State. The pair chose Tennessee for multiple reasons.
“I knew I would grow the most under Coach Angie (Kelly),” Dowd said. “She cared so much about her players. I didn’t feel like I would get that anywhere else.”
Shore knew she wanted to attend an SEC school, but did not want to attend Florida, where she lived just minutes from. She believed if she stayed close for school she would never leave.
The two followed each other to Tennessee and have never looked back. Both saw playing time when they arrived in 2008. Dowd made 21 appearances and started six games for the Lady Vols. She made an immediate impact, scoring her first collegiate goal in the opener. Shore, also a major factor as a freshman, saw time in 19 matches while getting the start nine times. She received Academic All-SEC honors her freshman and sophomore years.
“They have taken responsibility of their games and have grown as players,” Kelly said. “When players embrace their games, they become responsible for their game.”
Kelly believes when Shore and Dowd committed to Tennessee, it was a steal from the state of Florida.
Although they have had many favorite off-the-field moments, their favorite soccer moment at Tennessee is winning the SEC Tournament in 2008 as freshmen. The two have been playing for so long they know the others moves and where they will be on the field at all times.
With the little free time they have away from school and soccer, both like to spend time with family and friends, but they have to replace going to the beach with the pool or the lake in Knoxville.
After the Lady Vols’ season comes to an end, the two may have to be separated to fulfill their other goals in life. Dowd, who is majoring in sociology and criminal justice, hopes to continue her career overseas with a European soccer club. Shore, a political science major, plans to work and maybe come back to Tennessee to enroll in law school.
“We will be separated for a little bit, but I am positive we will stay in touch,” Shore said.