July 11, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Fifteen exciting newcomers comprise the Tennessee soccer team's 2013 signing class, its second under head coach Brian Pensky.
The 2013 Tennessee soccer roster is 32 players strong with 17 returning from last year. UT welcomes Bailey Beattie, Michele Christy, Kathryn Culhane, Madison Del Duca, Megan Erskine, Maddie Fancher, Eleanor Gabriel, Maddie Gangi, Cali Hutson, Emily Morrow, Amy Neal, Aaran Parry, Cheyenne Spade, Jamilah Tejan and Amalie Thestrup to the Big Orange family. Beattie, Erskine and Fancher enrolled in the spring and took part in Tennessee's spring games. Below is a player-by-player breakdown of the 2013 Tennessee soccer signing class.
The Lady Vols play Duke on Aug. 16 in an exhibition in Durham, N.C., and open the 2013 season at Regal Soccer Stadium against Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. on First Tennessee Friday.
In 2012, Pensky's first season in Knoxville, UT went 14-5-3 and made its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, falling in the First Round to Miami (Ohio). Tennessee also outperformed preseason league expectations, finishing third in the SEC after it was picked to place 11th in the SEC Preseason Coaches' Poll in August. Tennessee boasted one of the nation's elite defenses. The team's 0.69 goals-against average set a new program record and the Lady Vols recorded 11 shutouts. UT also produced the longest shutout streak in school history with 533:22 of scoreless defense from Aug. 19 through Sept. 9.
UT finished 2012 at No. 18 in the final NCAA Women's Soccer RPI and the Lady Vols ranked 25th in the final Soccer America poll of 2012. Hannah Wilkinson was named an NSCAA third-team All-American. She and Ali Hall also earned All-SEC honors.
|2013 Tennessee Soccer Signees|
|Bailey Beattie||5-5||F||Fr.||Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford HS|
|Michele Christy||5-5||M||Fr.||Loveland, Ohio/Ursuline Academy|
|Kathryn Culhane||5-8||D||Fr.||Knoxville, Tenn./Knoxville Catholic HS|
|Madison Del Duca||5-3||F||Fr.||Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS|
|Megan Erskine||5-6||D||Jr.||Ventura, Calif./Buena HS/San Diego State/Ventura College|
|Maddie Fancher||5-11||GK||Fr.||Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville, HS|
|Eleanor Gabriel||5-4||F||Fr.||Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy|
|Maddie Gangi||5-3||D||Fr.||Frisco, Texas/Centennial HS|
|Cali Hutson||5-1||F||Fr.||Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic HS|
|Emily Morrow||5-4||M||Fr.||Argyle, Texas/Marcus HS|
|Amy Neal||5-8||F||Fr.||Los Alamos, N.M./Los Alamos HS|
|Aaran Parry||5-9||F||Fr.||Frederick, Md./Tuscarora HS|
|Cheyenne Spade||5-9||F||Jr.||Frederick, Md./Tuscarora HS|
|Jamilah Tejan||5-5||M||Fr.||Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Mission Viejo HS|
|Amalie Thestrup||5-6||F||Fr.||Hellerup, Denmark/Øregård Gymnasium|
Beattie was ranked No. 24 in the South Atlantic Region by Top Drawer Soccer. She was a three-year soccer letter winner and a two-year indoor track letterwinner at Northern Guliford High School. She earned all-area honors in 2012 and was named MaxPreps Player of the Week on March 6, 2012. Beattie played club ball for Charlotte Soccer Academy from 2009-12 and was part of ODP soccer from 2007-11. She was an ODP Coaches Pick in 2007 at Sub-Regionals and attended the ODP Region 3 camp in 2009. She plans to major in business with a concentration in logistics.
Michele Christy, M (Loveland, Ohio)
Christy was four-year soccer letterwinner and two-year captain at Ursuline Academy. She was also a three-year letterwinner and one-year captain for basketball. She helped lead Ursuline to a district championship and a regional runner-up finish as a senior in 2012-13. As a junior, she helped lead the team to a GGCL championship and a district runner-up finish. Christy was a first-team all-state selection as a senior, first team all-city as a junior and a senior and first-team All-GGCL the last three years. She played club soccer for Cincinnati United Premier, serving as a team captain from 2005-13. With the Cincinnati United Premier, she won the National League in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and was the state runner-up in 2011-12. Christy was part of the ODP G95 state team that competed at ODP Nationals and the ODP Region 2 team that competed at Inter-regionals. She intends to major in biomedical engineering.
A Knoxville native, Culhane was a four-year letterwinner and one-year starter for Knoxville Catholic High School. As a freshman, she was her team's rookie of the year. The next year, she made All-KIL first team, earned all-region honors and was the MVP of her team. She sat out her junior season due to an injury, but came back strong as a senior, earning all-state and All-KIL first team honors. Culhane was also named the MVP of her region, district and team as a senior. She played club soccer for FC Alliance, serving as a team captain for four years and making the state finals from 2008-12. In 2011, her FC Alliance team was the state champion and the Las Vegas champion. In 2012, she helped lead FC Alliance to another Las Vegas championship and a Disney championship. Culhane intends to major in engineering.
Del Duca was a four-year letterwinner in both soccer and track & field and was a soccer captain as a junior and a senior. As a senior, she was named the Tampa Bay Times All-Pinellas County Girls Soccer Player of the Year, tying for the county lead with 32 goals to go with 11 assists. She set the East Lake High School record for goals at 79 and also posted 31 assists. She garnered all-county honors each year and led East Lake to the Class 5A state semifinals as a senior. As a junior, Del Duca had 21 goals and nine assists and led her team to regional and district titles. She played club soccer for HC United and the Tampa Bay United. She led the Tampa Bay United to the State Cup Elite 8 I 2011 and 2012. She was also a member of the ODP state team from 2008-10. As a track athlete, she was a regional finalist in the 100m hurdles, 100m dash, long jump and 4x100m relay.
Erskine joins Tennessee after last playing for Ventura College in 2011. She was a 2011 NSCAA JC first-team All-American (Division III) after totaling 14 assists and five goals while leading Ventura College to an 18-4 record and a No. 11 final ranking in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches Poll. Erskine was also part of the U20 National Team Pool and attended the U20 National Team Camp in 2011. She transferred to Ventura College after spending 2010 at San Diego State. She played in 21 games with 16 starts for the Aztecs and recorded one assist. She was named to the Mountain West Conference All-Academic team as a freshman. Erskine was a four-year soccer letterwinner and two-year team captain at Buena High from 2007-10, helping her team win the Channel League D1 championship each season. As a high school senior in 2010, she was named the Offensive Player of the Year of the Channel League and also earned All-CIF Southern Section and VC Star all-county honors. Erskine was also recognized among the2010 ESPN Rise Top California Players. Her ODP '92 team won its Region IV championship from 2006-09 and the national title in 2008.
Fancher was a three-year soccer letterwinner and one-year team captain at Noblesville High School. She earned all-state honors in 2011 and 2012 and garnered all-conference and all-district accolades from 2010-12. Fancher played club soccer for Carmel United and was a three-year captain, helping the team win the 2011 state championship. She also swam for Noblesville and was a team captain. She intends to major in communications studies.
Gabriel was a three-year soccer letterwinner and a two-year swimming letterwinner at Sacred Heart Academy. She enjoyed a sensational junior season, scoring 31 goals and to go with 14 assists while leading her team to the state finals. As a junior she was named to the all-state tournament team and earned all-state second-team honors. As a sophomore, she had 12 goals and seven assists. Gabriel did not play her senior year due to injury. She played club soccer for Javanon '96 and Javanon '97. The latter club team competed in Las Vegas for the National League title and reached in the regionals in Michigan.
Gangi was a four-year soccer letterwinner at Centennial High School. She earned Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-district honors for three consecutive years. Top Drawer Soccer ranked her as the No. 21 player in Texas. She totaled eight goals and 56 assists in her four-year career at Centennial with two scores and 18 assists as a senior. Gangi played club soccer for Solar 95 ECNL and was a one-year captain. She helped Solar 95 ECNL to a tournament wins in Colorado Springs (2009), the Denver Cup (2010), the North America Memorial Cup (2011) and the Disney Tournament (2010). Gangi plans to major in journalism.
Hutson was a four-year letterwinner in soccer, a four-year letterwinner in track (indoor and outdoor) and a two-year letterwinner in swimming at Paul VI Catholic High School. Top Drawer Soccer ranked her as the No. 16 player in the Mid Atlantic Region. Over four years, she tallied 60 goals and 60 assists. She was an All-Met second-team pick as a senior in 2012 and an All-Met honorable mention in soccer in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Hutson was named offensive player of the year three times and was tabbed for the First Team WCAC four times. She was also named a Fall ESPN Rise all-star in 2011. As a senior in 2012, she won the Virginia Catholic Schools state title in the 300m hurdles. She played club soccer for McLean MPS Power Soccer, helping the team win the 2010 Disney Showcase Championship and the 2012 ECNL National Championship. Hutson intends to major in kinesiology and special education.
Morrow was a four-year soccer letterwinner and one-year captain at Marcus High School. She enjoyed her best year as a junior, when she scored six goals and had 15 assists to earn Dallas Morning News first-team all-area, first-team All-District 8-5A, All-VYPE Denton County MVP and District 8-5A co-MVP honors. As a sophomore, she had five goals and five assists to earn first-team All-District 8-5A accolades. Morrow played club soccer for Solar Chelsea 95. She intends to major in nutrition.
Neal was a four-year letterwinner in soccer, diving and track at Los Alamos High School. She is a two-time State 4A Player of the Year (2011-12) and was the overall scoring champ in 2011 and the regular-season scoring champ in 2012. Neal was the District Player of the Year form 2009-12, leading her team to district championships each season. Her 2009 Los Alamos team was the state runner-up. She was also the 2012 state champion in the 200m. As a senior, she had 32 goals and 20 assists. She totaled 33 goals and 19 assists as a junior. She played club soccer for the Fusion and won the State Cup each year from 2009-12. Neal was a National Honor Society member and intends to major in civil engineering.
Parry was a 2011 and 2012 NSCAA/adidas Regional High School All-American and a four-time all-state selection. She was also a two-time first-team Washington Post All-Met, a four-time all-area and All-MVAL selection and an Area Player of the Year. She led Tuscarora to a state title and two regional titles. In her four-year high school career, Parry totaled 67 goals and 37 assists and was a team captain. She was a member of the Bethesda WCNL Team and Region I and Maryland ODP Teams. Parry recorded a goal in all four games of the 2012 ECNL Championships. She also played club ball for FC Frederick
Spade comes to Tennessee after playing two seasons at NC State. As a junior in 2012, she played in 19 matches and made 14 starts for the Wolfpack, totaling one goal and four assists in 1,205 minutes. In 2011, she played in 20 matches with one start and one goal. Spade was a four-year varsity forward at Midd-West High School and tallied 75 goals and 65 assists. In her high school career, she was a four-time all-conference selection, a three-time team MVP and a team captain as a junior and a senior. Spade played club soccer for FC Pennsylvania.
Tejan was a three-year soccer letterwinner and one-year captain at Mission Viejo High School and earned 2013 First-Team All-CIF and district MVP honors. As a midfielder and a forward, she totaled 18 goals and one assist in her career and was twice named the OC Varsity Player of the Week (2011 and 2013). Top Drawer Soccer ranked her at No. 12 in its 2010 Top 20 Girls Soccer Players in Southern California. Tejan played club soccer for WCFC and won the National Cup Championship in 2009 and 2010 playing for WCFC Premier. Her club team also won Far West Regionals in 2010. Tejan intends to major in nursing.
Thestrup is a standout forward on Denmark's women's U19 team and has been a scoring sensation in her young career. In Denmark, she led her Brondby IF team to U18 Danish National Championship s in 2011 and 2012 and the National Cup title in 2012. In 2012, she led the Danish National League in scoring with 25 goals in 23 matches. She was the leading scorer during the 2012-13 season for her B93/HIK/Skjold club team in the highest league in Denmark, 3F Ligaen. Her U17 Danish National Team took third place at the U17 2012 Euros. This past spring, Thestrup scored in three straight games to lead Denmark to the final tournament of the 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in Wales, which will be held in late August.