CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The 2014-15 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics season gets underway Friday night when the women’s soccer team heads to UNC Asheville to take on the Bulldogs in a non-conference battle.
The Mocs return 64 percent of it’s scoring from last season. Senior Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) posted a team-high 19 points with six goals and seven assists last season. She is ranked fourth in the SoCon among active players for scoring and fifth for assists, adding seven last year. She is joined by Chattanooga’s No. 2 scorer last season, junior Clare Latham (Cordova, Tenn.) who scored 14 points on five goals and four assists.
Chattanooga defeated Asheville 2-1 at home last season with goals from Hailey Callis (Jackson, Mo.) assisted by Hannah Wyatt (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) and the unassisted game winner from Mackezyk. The Bulldogs outshot the Mocs 16-9, but UTC combined for eight saves between its two keepers.
The game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. at Bulldog field. Live stats and video will be available on the schedule page of GoMocs.com
Scouting the Bulldogs
This will be the season opener for both teams. The Bulldogs were picked to finish 10th in the Big South in the coaches’ preseason poll. Asheville was 6-11-2 last season and ninth in the league with a 2-7-2 mark. The team returns eight starters including four seniors. UNCA fell 1-0 to Western Carolina in the lone exhibition matchup.
The Mocs return 15 from last year’s squad and add nine newcomers this season. Chattanooga was picked to finish ninth in the league after posting an overall mark of 5-13. UTC has three seniors and eight juniors.
The Mocs return forwards Melanie Arrendondo (Tampico, Mexico) and Loryn Queen (Lanesville, Ind.). They had two goals each last season and combined for nine points. Arredondo has seen action in 23 games after transferring to UTC at the start of her sophomore year. Queen scored the game winner against South Carolina State last season. They are joined by freshmen McKenzie Gregg (Newport, Tenn.), a highly decorated player from Cookeville High School, and Amanda Ortiz (Arlington, Tenn.) who is a two-time “Best of Preps” player for Shelby County.
The midfield in controlled by senior Crystal Mackezyk (Columbia, Tenn.) at center mid. She had a team-high six goals and seven assists last season and is a two-time preseason all-conference selection this year. Joining her in the midfield are juniors Clare Latham (Cordova, Tenn.) who was second on the team in scoring and in goals, Skylar Brewer (Farragut, Tenn.), senior Taylor Pannell (Sale Creek, Tenn.), sophomores Micalah Crafton (Portland, Tenn.) and Natalie Irwin (Nashville, Tenn.) who sat out last year with knee injury. Freshmen Abby Linder (Germantown, Tenn.), Brandy Herrera (Nashville, Tenn.) and Kat Andrews (Dickson, Tenn.).
Chattanooga will be most senior in the defense beginning with keeper Lauren Thomas (Germantown, Tenn.) who started the majority of games her freshman year and started last season in goal four times. She is joined in goal by freshman Hannah Dunn (Cookeville, Tenn.) who was the District 6AAA Defensive MVP last year for Cookeville High School. The backfield is anchored by juniors Logan Higgins (Louisville, Ky.), Sarah Ghale (Fayetteville, Tenn.) and Alanna Warrick (Memphis, Tenn.) along with sophomores Hailey Callis (Jackson, Mo.), Ashley Simmons (Hixson, Tenn.) and Allie Sullivan (Hixson, Tenn.). Newcomers Elena Sanchez (Homestead, Fla.) and Emily Moseley (Nashville, Tenn.) will bolster the lineup.