Accompanied by tremendous work ethic and an unrivaled personality, sophomore Iyana Moore has found herself in the spotlight along with the rest of the Lady Vols Soccer team.
With six points and three goals to her credit from Monday night's 6-0 victory over Mississippi State, Moore has found herself atop the UT sports world. Since her first career start against Samford this year, the Marietta, GA., native has accrued three assists and four goals in the early season. But, Moore hasn't always only been a soccer player.
"I would jump from a lot of sports, from gymnastics to track," Moore said.
Beginning at a young age, Moore gravitated towards soccer. Moore became active in club soccer at age eight, and her love for soccer has yet to subside.
"I just think that soccer was the one that was closest to my heart," said Moore. "I love the game."
Iyana and her family relocated to Mississippi when she was a child, but she did not allow that get in the way of her love of soccer. In fact, she began to be recognized by many scouts as a young high school student, helping Ridgeland High School to numerous state championships and assisted in the winning of numerous club soccer championships after relocating to Georgia when Moore started her junior year of school.
She was heavily recruited out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA., by many highly touted soccer programs, such as Miami and Vanderbilt. Moore decided upon Tennessee, though. She described her choice as being determined by a "gut feeling."
"Obviously on that date there are a lot of college coaches that fill up your email, but you look for the school that best fits you," she said. "After a lot of visits and meeting coaches, this place was definitely the place that I wanted to be."
Her choice to play at such a large university was one that would put her on the national map of major college athletics, but it would also be one that leaves her with little downtime to enjoy her campus life.
"When I have my moments of downtime I just cherish them. Whenever I can take a break and relax, usually something I like to do is read," Moore said. "I just take advantage of those times."
Outside of soccer, Iyana has been hard at work deciding her major, one that truly fits her best.
"I went from biomedical Science, to anthropology, to sociology and now it's psychology," laughed Moore. "I think we're sticking with psychology."
Along with her skillset on the field, her personality is also an asset to the Lady Vols program. While on the trip to Mississippi for last week's match against Ole Miss, Coach Brain Pensky recalls his van as being one with some pretty quiet kids.
"Then all of a sudden Iyana needed a van to jump into, and the whole personality and tone of our van changed," Penksy said. "The kid had all six of us dying laughing with her wit and youthful exuberance.
"I think our team feeds off of that energy in the locker room," he said.