Brian Pensky of Tennessee named SEC Coach of the Year; Taylor Huff is Freshman of the Year

Cora Hall
Knoxville News Sentinel

In his 10th season with Tennessee women's soccer, Brian Pensky was named SEC Coach of the Year on Sunday. Six UT players were selected for postseason awards, which were voted on by league coaches

Mackenzie George was selected for All-SEC first team and Jaida Thomas, Taylor Huff and Wrenne French made  second team. Huff, Jordan Fusco and Claire Rain were all selected to the All-Freshman team and Huff was awarded Freshman of the Year.

Pensky led No. 12 Tennessee to its second consecutive SEC East Championship, a 15-2 overall record and 8-2 in the SEC which earned the Lady Vols a No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament. They'll face No. 10 Florida, who beat No. 7 Vanderbilt on Sunday on penalty kicks, at 1 p.m. Tuesday. 

TALE OF TWO SENIOR NIGHTS:Wrenne French had more to give Tennessee soccer, so she came back for a second senior season

BACK-TO-BACK:Tennessee soccer beats Kentucky, wins second consecutive SEC East championship

TOURNAMENT TIME:SEC Women's Soccer Tournament 2021 bracket, schedule and TV info

It's Pensky's first SEC award and he's the first UT coach to win it since Angela Kelly in 2005.

George has now earned two All-SEC awards in her third season at Tennessee. She has eight assists, which ranks first on the team, and five goals. Three of those were in the last three games of the season, two of them game-winners against Georgia and Kentucky.

Tennessee players surround forward Mackenzie George (31) after George scored a goal in an NCAA women's soccer match between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Kentucky Wildcats in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Huff is tied for second on the team in goals scored with seven along with four assists. Her rookie campaign looked more like a performance from a veteran at times, including back-to-back games where she scored and assisted to force overtime and keep Tennessee at the top of the SEC. She is only the third Tennessee player to win SEC Freshman of the Year.

A redshirt t sophomore, Thomas leads UT in goals scored with eight, along with four assists. She has three game-winning goals and earned SEC All-Freshmanlast season.

French, a fifth-year senior, has led Tennessee's back line, which has only conceded 10 goals this season. She leads UT in minutes played at 1,325 and had a significant role in UT's 10 shutouts.

Tennessee defender Wrenne French (15) is hugged by Soccer Coach Brian Pensky during Senior Night ceremonies before the start of an NCAA women's soccer match between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Kentucky Wildcats in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Fusco has started in nine games. She's scored three goals and has five assists, one of which was to Brooke Wilson to win the double-overtime thriller over No. 11 Auburn.

Rain started 16 games at outside back for Tennessee. She was on the field for 405 minutes of Tennessee's program-best 633:53 shutout streak and is third in minutes played at 1,317. Rain has scored twice with three assists.

First Team All-SEC



Ashley Orkus, Ole Miss

At Large

Taylor Malham, Arkansas

Second Team All-SEC




Maddy Anderson, Mississippi State

At Large

Abby Boyan, Georgia

SEC All-Freshman