COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 16, 2012) – For the first time in the 15-year history of women’s soccer at ETSU, the Lady Bucs will open the new season as defending regular season champions when they take on Tennessee Tech on Friday at Tech Soccer Field starting at 4 p.m.
With two weeks of practice and two exhibition games in the rear-view mirror, second-year head coach Adam Sayers will lead a squad of 24 Lady Bucs into Cookeville looking to spoil Tech’s home opener as the Golden Eagles did to ETSU a year ago. In that game, Tech’s Ellie Iaciofano capitalized on an unfortunate bobble by ETSU keeper Caitlin Gaughan in the 65th minute, putting away the eventual game-winning goal to lead Tech past the Lady Bucs, 2-1. ETSU won the shot battle 16-11, including an 11-4 advantage in the second half, but never found the second equalizer through the remaining 25 minutes.
This year’s Tennessee Tech squad returns nine starters, and will be led under the watch of third-year head coach Daniel Brizard. In his two seasons at the helm, Brizard has compiled a record of 9-25-2, but returns a dangerous 2012 squad of 13 upperclassmen and all 100 percent of last year’s goal scorers who will be looking to improve upon their 5-13-1 record from a season ago.
Iaciofano and senior Kerri Reid enter the season as the Golden Eagles’ top returners, having led the team last year with three goals apiece. Iaciofano also added an assist to her 2011 campaign, ending the season as Tech’s leader in points with seven. Tennessee Tech also returns Sarah Gawthrop, Jacquie Watkins and Andrea Meloff, who each scored two goals and played in all 19 games last year.
Tennessee Tech leads the all-time series 4-3-3, including a 2-1-1 record when playing at home. The last time ETSU met Tech in Cookeville was in 2006, when it defeated the Golden Eagles, 2-1.
Live stats for Friday’s season opener will be available courtesy of PrestoSports.com.
2012 ETSU Season Outlook
The 2012 edition of the ETSU women’s soccer team will be looking to continue the success it experienced in 2011, capped off by its first conference championship in program history. The 2011 Lady Bucs went 12-5-1 (7-1-1 A-Sun), setting multiple school records en route to a three-way share of the regular season title. The historic season included program records in goals scored (43), points (118), wins (12) and conference wins (7). ETSU’s No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament was also the highest it had ever received in postseason play since its inaugural 1997 season, as the Lady Bucs boasted the A-Sun Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year.
This year, ETSU welcomes in seven new freshmen faces, four of which arrive in Johnson City from across the pond in Europe. One in particular, Megan Wynne (St. Albans, England) made her mark in ETSU’s first exhibition by scoring in the final minutes to lift the Lady Bucs past VMI, 1-0. Wynne, as well as defender Hannah Short (Bristol, England) and midfielder Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria), have represented Wales, England and Austria, respectively, in international play, while midfielder Alexa Passingham (Leicestershire, England) has spent two seasons at Arsenal Ladies FC Academy. Sophomores Ellis Parsons (Cardiff, Wales) and Jasmin Dutton (Kinmel Bay, North Wales) were teammates of Wynne’s on Welsh squads.
Other newcomers to the squad include goalkeepers Sierra Campbell (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) and Kara Krajenta (Cordova, Tenn.), as well as forward Sydney Carden (Knoxville, Tenn.). Between the three are a multitude of Tennessee All-District and All-Region honors, with Tennessee State quarterfinals, semifinals and All-Star Game appearances to their credit. Campbell’s senior season, she made 230 saves and posted seven shutouts in her first year as Fred J. Page’s starting goalkeeper. Carden combined for 43 goals her junior and senior seasons, while Krajenta posted eight shutouts her senior season while helping her club team to a Disney Showcase Tournament title.
Of the returning members, ETSU will look to Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) and Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) for increased goal scoring production after losing roughly 63 percent of its goal scorers from a year ago. Thomas ended the 2011 season with four goals and shared the team lead with five assists, while Kerns scored three times and notched three assists. Kerns also pulled through with the game-winning goal against Mercer in the regular season finale, clinching ETSU a share of its first regular season championship. Dutton will also contribute to the ETSU attack, looking to give the Lady Bucs an added boost after suffering an unfortunate season-ending injury at the beginning of last year. Also on the attack for ETSU this season will be sophomore Kristi Davis (Edmond, Okla.), as well as juniors Molly Vaughn (Nashville, Tenn.) and Tori Head (Kingsport, Tenn.), with Head looking to bounce back after missing most of the 2011 season with a knee injury.
At the midfield, sophomore Emilee Engelhaupt (Charlotte, N.C.) will need to continue to produce the amount of game time she did in 2011, logging the second-most of any freshman with 1,402 minutes. Engelhaupt was recognized at the beginning of 2012 season by TopDrawerSoccer.com as one of the top-20 players to watch in the A-Sun, and will be joined by a supporting cast of Wynne, Passingham, Zadrazil, Thomas and Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England). Other members of the midfield looking to breakout this year include sophomore Summer Peterson (Lorton, Va.), senior Kathy Musacchio (Nashville, Tenn.) and redshirt junior Charlotte Summerall (St. Augustine, Fla.).
The Lady Bucs return a healthy portion of their back line in Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Lindsay Bickel (Hampstead, Md.) and Parsons. All three were named top-20 players to watch in the A-Sun by TopDrawerSoccer.com, and will be vital to the success ETSU hopes to have in 2012. Junior Hannah Goffe (Birmingham, England) will look to contribute on defense after earning six starts in 12 games played last year, while newcomers Short and transfer Andie Stone (Austin, Texas), out of the University of San Francisco, will look to hold down the opposing attack.
With the coaches having picked the Lady Bucs to finish third in the preseason poll, expectations face the 2012 ETSU women’s soccer team, along with the hopes of advancing and winning its first A-Sun Tournament Championship.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.