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    Melissa Speros 33    
     
      Melissa Speros
Class:
Senior

Hometown:
Lancaster, Pa.

High School:
Ephrata

Height:
5-5

Position:
Defender

AS A JUNIOR (2009): Started 19 of 20 matches as a stalwart for UT's defense last season and 10 of 11 Southeastern Conference contests...Managed six total shots, including one on frame...Played a key role in a Big Orange backline that tallied a shutout streak of 323:36 (starting during the Pepperdine match on Aug. 30th and ending versus Memphis on Sept. 11th -- a span of four contests) and seven clean sheets during 2009...Among the shutouts UT posted in 2009 was a 0-0 (2OT) tie at #19 Minnesota (9/4), 1-0 victories at Arkansas and Kentucky and a 2-0 triumph at Alabama...Was credited with a shot on frame during Tennessee's 1-0 victory over Wisconsin (9/6) in Minneapolis, Minn....Played outstanding defense, including clearing a sure score off the goal line during matches against both Arizona State (8/28) and Pepperdine (8/30)...Started and helped the backline post a shutout of ETSU (8/22) while also being credited with one shot.

AS A SOPHOMORE (2008): Missed just one match, making 18 starts on the backline...Joined Sarah Jackyra as the only returners to the Lady Vol defense...Helped UT post a 1.29 goals against average and six shutouts on the year...Saw time in 10 SEC matches, making six starts...Played every minute in the SEC Tournament, helping Tennessee secure the championship...Part of the backline that posted a 0.62 goals against average for the tournament...Earned Academic All-SEC honors for the second time.

AS A FRESHMAN (2007): Played in every match, making 20 starts...Helped solidify a back line that posted 11 shutouts on the season...Part of the defense that set a new program record with a 457:30 shutout streak...The streak began in the 20th minute against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 and ended on Sept. 21 in the 90th minute against UNC Greensboro, spanning five matches...Helped Tennessee hold opponents to just three goals at Regal Stadium...Part of a backline that has not allowed a goal at Rocky Top in six matches...The home shutout streak dates back to Sept. 27 against South Carolina and sits at 569:52 coming into the 2008 home season...Helped UT shut out three ranked opponents in 2007, including eventual NCAA Champion Southern Cal...Earned a selection to the Top Drawer soccer All-Rookie First Team...Named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.

HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Earned three varsity letters in soccer at Ephrata Senior High School...Earned three Lancaster-Lebanon League first-team all star selections...Named Ephrata's best midfielder in 2005-06...Led the Mountaineers in scoring during the 2003-04 season...Played for the FC Pennsylvania Strikers, the same club as her former and current Lady Vol teammates Kylee Rossi, Devon Swaim and Julie Edwards...Helped the Strikers to the 2003 USYSA national title...A Region I Olympic Development Program (ODP) pool player, she led her 2006 team to the ODP national championship...A Soccer Buzz Top 150 recruit...Also participated in winter track for the Mountaineers...Participated in several extracurricular activities outside of soccer, including Ephrata's prom committee and science fair...Was a member of the homecoming court.

PERSONAL: Majoring in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at Tennessee...Enjoys shopping and spending time with family and friends in her spare time...Highest ambition in soccer is to compete for a national championship...Has two older siblings, Laura and Andrew Yost...Parents are James and Sharon Speros.

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