Feb. 16, 2012
NASHVILLE - The Vanderbilt women's soccer team held a banquet Wednesday night in the Admirals' Room at Memorial Gymnasium to celebrate the 2011 fall season and kick off preparations for the 2012 spring schedule.
Following a catered dinner, Head Coach Derek Greene and assistants Sebastian Vecchio and Christine Breaux handed out seven awards, all chosen by a vote by team members. Seniors Emily Grant and Candace West shared the team's overall Most Valuable Player award after team voting resulted in a tie.
Both seniors started every game of 2011 for the Commodores. Grant was a steadying force in the Commodores' defensive midfield, while West led the squad in scoring with 12 points moving between attacking mid and forward. West also took home the Offensive MVP award.
Junior CJ Rhoades was recognized as the squad's Defensive MVP. Injuries early in the year moved Rhoades from a midfield role to center back, where she helped the Dores' secure seven shutouts on the year.
In other awards, sophomore Kendra Hendricks was named the team's most improved player, sophomore Abby Carr earn the title of most dedicated and redshirt-freshman Alexa Levick was recognized as the team's unsung hero.
The final award of the evening was the David Elia 110% Award, given in honor of the late father of former Commodore Kate Elia to recognize a student-athlete that goes above and beyond for the betterment of the soccer program at Vanderbilt. The team's overwhelming choice for this great honor was senior Bridget Lohmuller.
With the 2011 season behind them, the Commodores are preparing in earnest for the 2012 season. Coach Greene will lead his team into five match dates this spring, all in the state of Tennessee.
Vanderbilt's 2012 spring schedule begins on Saturday, March 17, when the Commodores face Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Vanderbilt's lone "home" game of the spring will actually take place in Hendersonville at Pope John Paul II High School, where the Dores will play host to 2011 NCAA Sweet Sixteen participant Louisville on March 24.
The Commodores end March by simulating a fall weekend and playing road games at local rival Belmont and Memphis on March 29 and 31, respectively. The final date on VU's schedule, April 14, features games against Lee University and Austin Peay as part of an event at UT-Knoxville.
Note: Our introductions of the 2012 soccer signing class will continue next week.
2011 Award Winners
(Left to right) Hendrix, Lohmuller, West, Rhoades, Grant, Carr and Levick.
Most Valuable Player
Candace West (tie)
David J. Elia 110% Award
Coach Greene's thoughts on the Spring 2012 schedule:
"Our staff and team are very excited about getting back to the field full-time to train and do what we all love to do. This has been one of the best off-season weight training programs I have been around, and that is largely due to how much effort and energy our strength coach, Kristina Jeffries, has brought to the weight room every day. The team has responded and worked extremely hard to improve their strength, quickness and overall fitness.
"Our staff feels like we have put together a very solid regional schedule that will challenge us each time out. We will play two teams that advanced in the NCAA tournament last year and both of those teams are talented and extremely well coached. Lee University is the 4-time NAIA defending national champion and what Matt Yelton has done there is remarkable. We know they will pose a huge challenge for our team both physically and psychologically.
"The other three opponents are huge regional rivals that are well-coached. We know those teams and staffs will be motivated to play us and tear us apart, so we will have to be ready to bring our best effort.
"We will be trying something a little different this spring by playing 80- to 90-minute games as opposed to the shortened games that teams typically play in the spring. We are also playing all of our games over four-week stretch as opposed to the more typical eight weeks. We hope this will simulate our fall schedule for the girls, requiring a lot of focus and effort in a short period of time."
2012 Spring Schedule
|03/24/12||vs. Louisville||Pope John Paul II High School
|03/29/12||at Belmont||Nashville, Tenn.||TBA|
|03/31/12||at Memphis||Memphis, Tenn.||TBA|
|04/14/12||vs. Austin Peay||Knoxville, Tenn.||TBA|
|vs. Lee||Knoxville, Tenn.||TBA|