Tech soccer to prepare for season with weekend exhibition
Aug 08, 2012
Golden Eagles travel to Athens to face Tennessee
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — With just a little over a week left
until the regular season begins, the Tennessee Tech soccer team
will continue their preseason regimen with an exhibition match
against Tennessee Wesleyan.
The match will pit Tech against the Bobcats in a Saturday match
at 2 p.m. CT in Athens, Tenn. The team will look to test itself
before next Friday's season home opener against East Tennessee. The
Golden Eagles will rely on several returning players to improve
upon last season's 5-13-1 record.
The veteran-laden team returns eight seniors and five juniors to
the mix this season. This will mark head coach Daniel Brizard's
third year with the team, but more importantly the third year with
the returning upper classmen. That experience and knowledge of each
other will be key in putting up victories this season.
Another key to a successful season will be the incoming
freshman, who will compete for starting positions and key minutes
right out of the gate.
"I think the newcomers have added quite nicely to the depth and
strength of our team," said Brizard. "We're hoping they all get a
bit of playing time and some experience, especially in the
beginning of the season. We have two goal keepers, Allison Barlow and
Brown, who are battling it out for the spot. We have quality
there and it's like a ray of sunshine on a spot we haven't had in
the past. "
But it won't just be the keepers that have a chance to leave a
mark on the team this season. Three other youngsters will look to
make an impact as well.
"Between Taylor Sutton, Taylor Blazei,
and Mackenzie Miller
we're looking for them to help out. Whether it's a starting role or
coming off the bench and getting us some minutes, I think they're
all going to play a role and get some minutes. How much will depend
on them and what they can bring. I think it's nice that we have
depth now and we have people competing. It's picked up the level of
our returners with Blazei helping us up top and kind of giving us a
good rotation. Sutton in the middle will definitely add some depth
where we needed it. We want our central mid-fielders to work a
whole lot which will require good rests and good rotations to keep
them fresh throughout the whole year. Mackenzie on the flanks will
also add some depth and hopefully some quality minutes out
As for Saturday's matchup against Tennessee Wesleyan, Brizard
knows that they can't look past the matchup to the beginning of the
season. He and assistant coaches Rachel Yepez and Corey Boyd are
looking to finish the preseason strong with a victory over the
Bulldogs, who finished 9-8-2 last season while placing second in
the Appalachian Athletic Conference of the National Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Tech is also looking to emerge
with a better idea of what the team will look like going into the
"We are going to try to work out the few kinks that we have and
try to work into everybody's role as far as what we'll start with
and which rotations we'll use. We'll try to play everyone we can,
given the opportunity. We are obviously working towards next Friday
and solidifying our lineup and substitution rotation."
"I think Saturday is important for us. It's the first
competition we've had outside of ourselves, so we'll see how we
react and hopefully have a bit of fun. We always want to win. It
doesn't matter if it's an exhibition or a practice match. The girls
want to be competitive. That's why you play sports. If we can learn
some more about the team, solidify some roles, and win I think that
that would be a fantastic weekend."