Part 23 in a series of articles on the players that make up the Los Angeles Sol.
The University of Tennessee, located in the heart of Knoxville, is known for a number of things: the most storied head coach of women's basketball in Pat Summitt, the tenacity of its football and men's basketball teams, and the marching band playing the strains of "Rocky Top," one of the Volunteer State's seven anthems.
Indeed, the thunderous roars of the crowd and melody of this song resonate in the crisp, cool solace of autumn at General Robert R. Neyland stadium.
Some of the maxims that were preached by General Neyland include: "The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win," "If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up...put on more steam," and "Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE."
These are maxims that the Lady Volunteers women's soccer team applies when they step out onto the pitch. One of those former Lady Vols that flourished at Tennessee is current Los Angeles Sol midfielder Lyndsey Patterson.
Not only has her footballing career translated to success on The Hill, but Patterson has also seen success playing with the Seattle Sounders and Atlanta Silverbacks of the W-League. A teacher of the game, Patterson has also spent time as an assistant coach.
As a member of the Sol, Patterson looks to add to her curriculum vitae of the beautiful game.
Patterson's story begins in the town of Puyallup, Washington, where she was born on December 7, 1982.
This small town of 33,011 was named after the local Native American tribe who already settled in the area. Pronounced "pew-all-up," it located five miles east of Tacoma, the home of the Ventures, the greatest instrumental surf rock band in history.
Puyallup, which means "the generous people," is home to some of the world's finest daffodils, as well as the Puyallup Fair, Washington's largest fair which attracts at least one million people every year.
Aside from the daffodils brandished with love at the Daffodil Festival Parade, Puyallup is a city of antiques, more antiques, and even more antiques. Indeed, the curios of the city are perused by citizens and visitors alike at the downtown Antique District.
Puyallup is also known for being the only city west of the Mississippi River to have a museum owned and operated by a school district. The Paul H. Karshner Memorial Museum is managed by the Puyallup School District, the ninth largest in Washington.
After carving out a name for herself playing prep and youth club ball in the Evergreen State, Patterson signed with Angela Kelly's Lady Vols.
One of the stars on Patterson's teams was Keeley Dowling, who currently plays for Sky Blue FC and is currently on Kelly's coaching staff.
In her freshman season, Patterson did catch those breaks. As a matter of fact, the whole team did, as the Volunteers experienced a breakthrough year.
An 11-6-1 season was complemented by four victories over Top 25 teams, including the #8-ranked Florida Gators. Patterson herself didn't earn any plaudits, but she did see the Lady Vols take Duke to the distance before being eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The following season, Patterson earned All-Southeastern Conference Honorable Mention. This time, the Lady Vols prevailed to beat Florida to win the SEC Tournament Championship.
Tennessee would progressed to the sweet 16, where they were eliminated by Anson Dorrance's North Carolina Tar Heels.
2003-Patterson's junior season with the Vols-will go down as the greatest in Tennessee women's soccer history, as they claimed both the SEC regular season and tournament titles.
Patterson led the way with 11 goals and earned Soccer Buzz All-Central Region Second Team Honors to go with team MVP and All-SEC honors. However, Florida would get their payback for their defeat to Tennessee at the SEC tournament final with a 1-0 victory over the Lady Vols in the Sweet 16.
In Patterson's final season, the Lady Volunteers defended their SEC regular season title, while reaching the Sweet 16 once again, only to fall to Ohio State. She earned NSCAA/adidas All-Central Region Third Team and Soccer Buzz All-Central Second Team honors.
Patterson left Knoxville with 20 goals, 24 assists, and 64 points.
After Tennessee, Patterson had coaching stints with the Lady Vols and the Embry-Riddle College Eagles in between playing in the W-League.
While Patterson helped the Sounders women to a second-place finishes in the W-League Western Conference, it was her role as a midfielder for the Silverbacks that saw the best in what she could do.
Patterson helped Atlanta to 1st-place finishes in 2007 and 2008. In the 2007 W-League championship, the Silverbacks lost to the Washington Freedom, who would later compete in the WPS while continuing to compete in the W-League as the reserve team.
In late June 2009, the Los Angeles Sol would sign Patterson to a developmental contract while promoting McCall Zerboni to a senior player.
Throughout her career, Lyndsey Patterson has seen the breaks go with her and against her.
And like a brave ship captain in the middle of a raging storm, she has developed the moxie, the tenacity, and the perseverance that would make General Neyland proud.
Armed with a savvy for scoring, a knack for coaching, and an uncanny ability to pick up steam like the Chattanooga Choo Choo, you can count on her to help the Los Angeles Sol solidify their position as one of the strongest teams in Women's Professional Soccer.