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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team has worked hard in the preseason to prep for the 2013 schedule that features 10 Southern Conference matches, nine home contests and a tournament at Gardner-Webb. Today we are featuring the defenders and goalkeepers.

The Mocs line of defense is the most experienced of the Chattanooga lineup. All three seniors are featured in this group beginning with backs Andria Aurand (Hixson, Tenn.) and Kelly Crew (Brisbane, Australia).

Aurand has started 32 games of the 47 she has played for Chattanooga. Over her career she has taken just three shots but found the back of the net in her freshman year and assisted on another goal as a sophomore. In two seasons with the Mocs, Crew has started 30 of 35 games and assisted on a pair of goals in her first season after transferring from Tennessee Wesleyan.

The pair, along with sophomores Logan Higgins (Louisville, Ky.), Sarah Ghale (Fayetteville, Tenn.) and Crystal Cuevas (Clarksville, Tenn.) and freshmen Brandi Bivens (Lenior City, Tenn.) and Hailey Callis (Jackson, Mo.), will be the first line to stop opponents from getting to the goal.

In goal, the Mocs have a pair of proven choices this season. Senior Taylor Mangrum (Franklin, Tenn.) returns to the lineup after sitting out last season recovering from ACL surgery.  In her first two seasons with UTC she started 34-of-35 games and posted a saves percentage of .768, allowing 2.23 goals per game and had four shutouts in her career.

She will have strong competition from sophomore Lauren Thomas (Germantown, Tenn.) who started in net in 15 of Chattanooga’s games as a rookie. She led the Southern Conference in saves and saves per game and recorded two shutouts. She posted double-digit saves against Furman (19), The Citadel (18), Samford (13) and College of Charleston (11).

The Mocs host Austin Peay Friday, August 23 to open the 2013-14 season of athletics for Chattanooga. This will be the eighth meeting between the two schools with the Lady Govs holding a 4-3 advantage. APSU won the last meeting 4-1 on the road. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Finley Stadium. Admission is free and concessions will be available. Fans can subscribe to MocsVision to watch live streaming video with audio of all the Mocs home games this season.

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