Scoring important goals doesn't appear to be a foreign concept to Lady Vols soccer player Caroline Brown.
The senior forward proved this in the Lady Vols' 3-0 win over No. 25 Ole Miss, but this game-winning goal meant so much more.
Last Friday night, Brown punched in her 15th career game-winning goal in the 68th minute, tying the program record set by Kylee Rossi (2005-08).
Fellow senior forward Katie Lenz found Brown flying through the middle of the field. After cutting past a defender, Brown beamed a ball into the upper-left corner of the net, safely pocketing her fifth goal of the season.
Brown refuses to take all of the credit, insisting that her teammates played a vital role in her success on the field.
"I knew I was close," Brown said. "But all of those goals took eleven people on the field. I try not to compliment myself for that when it took everyone else as well. I just happen to be the one at the end that finishes. It can build up all the way from the back, meaning everyone is involved."
Brown entered this season coming off of injuries, but she refused to let that stop her from making crucial plays.
"Caroline played last year with a partially torn meniscus and partially torn ACL and still had three game-winners," said head coach Brian Pensky. "She comes to life when the ball gets to her feet. You look at her and realize she probably feels most at home and comfortable when she's dribbling a soccer ball, taking a player on, and looking to go to the goal."
Although she's a Pennsylvania native, Brown was born with orange blood. Following in her family's footsteps, she admits she has always been a Volunteer.
"I had never been to Tennessee until I came to college," Brown said. "I was always a fan, and I knew this was always my dream school."
Brown's success on and off the field has not gone unnoticed. As a junior, Brown was named to the NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Second Team and the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. As her final season continues, the senior said that she wants to be remembered as someone who gave her heart to the program.
"This whole experience has been fun," Brown said. "It's a great memory to have. I want my teammates to remember me as someone that's been there for them and as someone that has been consistent in what I'm giving to this team. I will go out there and give my all for everyone on that field."
Moving forward, the possibility of breaking from the Rossi tie to hold the record still lingers. Regardless, Brown has found a place in the program to leave a long-lasting impact through her dedication and determination on and off the pitch.
Pensky said, "The impact she's had in this program is tremendous. As a sophomore she had 11 goals, last year (she had) a huge impact despite being injured, and this year, after being cleared just a month before season, she already has four game-winners. The hard work shows and pays off.
"Her impact will be forever remembered in this program, and she has every reason to be honored in this program forever."