The Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team and head coach Angela Kelly are prepping to embark on a new campaign highlighted by the release of UT’s challenging 2010 fall soccer schedule.
In addition to the usual 11 matches in the rugged Southeastern Conference, the ’10 slate boasts trips to Chapel Hill, N.C., to battle 20-time NCAA National Champion North Carolina and a jaunt to Tempe, Ariz., to match up against both Arizona and Arizona State.
During the season, the Orange & White will face 11 squads that received bids into last year’s NCAA field of 64, consisting of Arizona State, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Kennesaw State, South Carolina, Florida, LSU and Auburn. Four of those squads (Wisconsin, North Carolina, Maryland and South Carolina) eventually advanced on to the “Sweet 16,” with the Tarheels emerging as national titlists.
The Lady Vols enter the 2010 season having lost just two regular starters and boasting the return of 20 letter-winners and nine players that started at least 10 matches during the 2009 campaign, as well as a senior goalkeeper.
Included among the returnees for Tennessee (with 2009 stat total included in parentheses) are 2009 SEC All-Freshman midfielder Amy Harrison (two goals, four assists; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), past Soccer Buzz Central Region All-Freshman midfield selections Chelsea Hatcher (three goals, one assist; Cincinnati, Ohio) and Tanya Emerson (Capistrano Beach, Calif.), experienced midfielders Julie Edwards (one goal, one assist; Glenmoore, Pa.), Lara Langworthy (two assists; Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Emily Shore (one assist; Gainesville, Fla.), returning forwards Emily Dowd (two goals, three assists; Gainesville, Fla.), Jayden Barrett (three goals, one assist; Corona, Calif.), Alexis Owens (Carmel, Ind.), Ashley Owens (Murrieta, Calif.) and Anna Fisher (Franklin, Tenn.) and battle-tested defenders Ali Hall (two assists; Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Melissa Speros (Lancaster, Pa.), Grace Cuenin (Midlothian, Va.), Hannah Hut (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Kylie Bono (Anaheim, Calif.). Also back to bolster the defensive effort is NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Honorable Mention goalkeeper Molly Baird (Raleigh, N.C.), who tallied 101 saves during the ’09 season.
The 2010 campaign gets rolling for the Big Orange at Regal Soccer Stadium with UT’s home opener against Western Kentucky (Aug. 20) before welcoming Richmond, Maryland and Kennesaw State for the annual First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic over Aug. 27 & 29.
The initial road trip of the season brings a tremendous challenge as the Big Orange venture to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a match-up against 20-time national champion North Carolina (Sept. 4).
Next up is a lengthy flight out to Tempe, Ariz., to face-off against both Arizona State (Sept. 10) and Arizona (Sept. 12) before returning to Knoxville for six consecutive matches.
NCAA Tourney participant Wisconsin visits UT to christen the home stand on Sept. 17 before the Lady Vols wrap-up the non-conference slate on Sept. 19 by hosting Chattanooga.
The SEC schedule gets started on Sept. 24 against Arkansas, one of six league foes slated to visit Regal Soccer Stadium in 2010, including LSU (Sept. 26), Vanderbilt (Oct. 1), Kentucky (Oct. 3), Alabama (Oct. 24) and Georgia (Oct. 29).
League road trips for the year send Tennessee to Mississippi State (Oct. 8), Ole Miss (Oct. 10), Florida (Oct. 15), South Carolina (Oct. 17) and Auburn (Oct. 21). The annual SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., will be contested over Nov. 3-7, while the NCAA Tournament kicks off at campus sites on Nov. 12. The NCAA Women’s College Cup will be held in Cary, N.C., on Dec. 3 & 5.