CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (gomocs.com) --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team reported to campus a couple of days ago, but didn’t hit the pitch until Friday morning in preparation for the upcoming season.
Over the last two days, the Mocs moved into their dorms, filled out a mound of paperwork, had physicals and took pictures as well as team bonding activities. Today they got down to business.
The morning started with conditioning and testing before the team held small scrimmages with each other.
“The first day back was good,” UTC first-year head coach Gavin McKinney said. “Today was an evaluation day altogether. Our performance coach Ron Dickson was out here today doing some fitness testing and I’m going to have to sit down with him and go over it.
“We got them a quick touch and scrimmage as well. I’ll have to go over my notes and see what the best direction will be to go.”
The Mocs have 27 on the 2015 roster including 17 returning players and 10 newcomers. Senior keeper Lauren Thomas (Germantown, Tenn.) will be in competition for the starting job in goal with freshman Molli Miller (Maryville, Tenn.) and junior transfer Katie Emig (Knoxville, Tenn.). Thomas suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener last season at UNC Asheville.
Chattanooga returns 62 percent of its offense from last season. Leading the way is senior Clare Latham (Memphis, Tenn.). She was second on the team last season with 11 points and a team-high seven assists. McKenzie Gregg (Newport, Tenn.) was third on the team in scoring and second for goals scored with three. She was nominated for Freshman of the Year for the Mocs.
Also on the roster of returners is seniors Skylar Brewer (Farragut, Tenn.), Logan Higgins (Louisville, Ky.), Loryn Queen (Lanesville, Ind.) and Alanna Warrick (Memphis, Tenn.). Redshirt junior Hannah Wyatt (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) returns to the lineup after suffering an injury in her sophomore year. She will be joined by Hailey Callis (Jackson, Mo.), Micalah Crafton (Portland, Tenn.) and Ashley Simmons (Hixson, Tenn.). Sophomores on the squad will be Abby Linder (Germantown, Tenn.), Amanda Ortiz (Arlington, Tenn.), Emily Moseley (Nashville, Tenn.), Samanthat Hogan (Gallatin, Tenn.) and Brandy Herrera (Nashville, Tenn.).
Newcomers include transfers Emig and Peyton McCollum (Oak Ridge, Tenn.). They are joined by freshmen Miller, Rachel Giampapa (Jackson, Tenn.), Masey Fox (Greenback, Tenn.), Shelby Williams (Jackson, Tenn.), Hannah Durden (Harrisonburg, Va.), Karsyn Sewell (Collierville, Tenn.) and Maddy Coleman (Georgetown, Ky.).
“They all seem to be getting along quite well,” McKinney said of his first UTC team. “Some of them are familiar with each other, they’ve played through the same clubs.
“We’re expecting some of the newcomers to make impacts for us. I think the ones who are returning did quite well in the spring and improved a ton. We’re looking to them as well. We’ve got a big squad – 27 players – and I think that makes for great competition.”