Last season, the East Tennessee State soccer team had their best season in the four-year history of the program.
In 2000, the Buccaneers had program records in wins (6) and goals (33). They also registered their largest win in their history, shutting out South Carolina State, 9-0 on Oct. 3, 2000.
Individually, many records were set as well. Kristin Redfern set the program record with 18 points and tied the single-season record with seven goals. Elizabeth Smith broke the single-season assist record with seven on the season. Melissa Wilder tallied the second hat trick in ETSU history with three goals in the South Carolina State match on Oct. 3.
Head coach Heather Henson looks to build off of that solid foundation and achieve bigger and better things during the 2001 season.
This will be the final season for the two leading scorers in Buccaneer soccer history. Lisa Gallagher and Redfern spent last season re-writing the ETSU record book. They will look to further establish themselves as the best scoring tandem in Buccaneer history in the 2001 season.
Joining Gallagher and Redfern in the 2001 senior class is hometown star Lena Summers. In her four years at ETSU, Summers has become one of the most feared defenders in the Southern Conference.
To go along with an extremely talented and experienced senior class, coach Henson has compiled a dynamic recruiting class that will only add to the Bucs firepower.
With an excellent mix of experience and talent, the Bucs will look to make some noise in the Southern Conference in 2001.
The Bucs made giant strides in 2000 from an offensive standpoint. ETSU almost doubled their scoring output, tallying 33 goals in 2000 after scoring just 17 in 1999.
The top three scorers from the 2000 team return this season. Gallagher, the ETSU career leader in goals (15), assists (9), points (39) and shots (94) will look to continue her prolific scoring in 2001.
"With Lisa's speed and vision, she makes us a more potent and dangerous team," said Henson.
Redfern had a breakout season in 2000, leading the team with seven goals and adding four assists. Redfern will look to improve even more in 2001 and establish herself as one of the premier scoring threats in the Southern Conference.
"After a breakout junior year, we expect a tremendous senior from Kristin," said Henson.
As a true freshman, Wilder stepped in and became a scoring threat for the Bucs. A forward with blazing speed, Wilder finished second on ETSU with six goals.
"She has a nose for the goal and she puts herself in all the right places," said Henson.
Junior Louisa Sawyer is a versatile player that can play either as a forward or midfielder.
"She has great shots and has improved her attacking skills," said Henson.
Freshmen Katherine Gentry and Katie Kilday will add to the Bucs depth and will have an opportunity to contribute immediately.
The midfield will have a solid mix of scoring and defense for the Bucs in the 2001 season.
Smith is a threat in the midfield, due to her speed and ballhandling ability. She is destined to be one of ETSU's all-time scoring leaders, as she is already fifth on the career points list (16) after just to years in the program.
"Liz will be the key to the Bucs midfield," said Henson. "With her improved strength, she will be hard for opponents to handle."
Joining Smith in the midfield is sophomores Andrea Brown.
Brown saw significant playing time as a true freshman in 2000, playing in all 18 matches and starting 10. She finished fourth on the team in scoring with nine points (2G, 5A).
"Andrea is a talented player that will play a key role for us this season," said Henson.
Freshmen Lisa Cain, Ashley Richards and Jennifer Fields will also contribute in the middle.
Even though the backs will be one of the younger positions on ETSU's squad, it will also be one of their strengths.
Summers will lead the Buccaneer backs. She has started every game she has played in at ETSU and has proven herself to be a solid defensive force as well as a scoring threat.
"Lena is a solid defender who gives us a physical presence in the back," said Henson.
Sophomore Erin Lotzer returns from a successful freshman season and looks to improve into a defensive stopper for the Bucs.
"Erin is a tremendous defender with the vision to attack out of the back," said Henson.
Freshmen Erica Odom, Jennifer Meslar and Natalie Jeske will also compete for time in the backfield.
The Bucs return their same solid pair of goalkeepers that established the lowest goals against average in ETSU history during the 2000 season.
Sophomore Heather Sanden returns following a tremendous freshman campaign in which she had a 2.33 GAA in 12 matches.
"Heather is a strong, athletic keeper that controls the box with her size and vocal presence," said Henson.
Junior Lauren Fannon has shown consistent improvement in her two seasons in the Buccaneer program. Fannon was 4-4-0 last season with a 2.90 GAA.
"Lauren is an aggressive keeper that leads by example," said Henson.
The Season Ahead
The Bucs open their season at Tennessee Tech on Aug. 21, a rematch of a 2-1 Buccaneer victory on Sept. 16, 2000. ETSU plays their first Southern Conference game at Georgia Southern on Sept. 21.