Feb. 20, 2013
The Commodore soccer program began its spring training schedule this week, practicing as a full squad at Vanderbilt's track and field complex.
Head Coach Derek Greene, who will be his third season at the helm of the Commodores this fall, has been looking forward to beginning preparations for the 2013 season in earnest.
"We're always excited to get back on the field training with our team," Greene said. "We've been doing a lot of hard work in the weight room with our strength coach, Kristina Jeffries, who does a great job with our team. Most every player on our team improved her strength during the offseason training period.
"We've been working in our small group, individual training sessions to get better technically, to break the game down and work on some more sophisticated things--individually, by position--that we might not have as much time for in the fall. Now we're ready to get back training as a group, to have some fun but also to prepare for next year."
Vanderbilt has scheduled four exhibition contests for the spring season. All four games will be played on the road against universities in the state of Tennessee.
"We get an opportunity to play some regional opponents that we won't typically have a chance to play in the fall," Greene said. "While the results might not 'matter,' winning does matter all the time for this program. We do want to compete and we do want to improve. We want to make sure we go in with a winning mentality in all these games."
The Commodores open the slate at Lipscomb at Belmont on Thursday, March 21, and then travel to Clarksville to take on Austin Peay on Sunday, March 24. Vanderbilt will head to Murfreesboro on the first Saturday of April to face MTSU.
"The highlight of the spring will be the MTSU game," Greene said. "We're playing there as part of the Bash in the 'Boro, which is a great soccer tournament that they have in Murfreesboro every year. That will be a Saturday night game under the lights with the potential to have 1,000 people at that game. It'll be great for our players to have a chance to compete in that environment."
Vanderbilt will close out its exhibition schedule by traveling to Chattanooga to take on Lee University at the East Ridge Soccer Complex. See VU's entire spring schedule.
Coach Greene also used the beginning of spring practice to announce postseason award winners from 2012. Freshman Cheyna Williams was voted the team's Offensive MVP, while sophomore Taylor Richardson was named the Defensive MVP. Senior Amanda Essay received the David Elia 110 Award, given annually in honor of former Commodore Kate Elia's late father to the player who continuously strives to work for the betterment of her team.
2012 Vanderbilt Soccer Team Awards
Offensive MVP: Cheyna Williams
Defensive MVP: Taylor Richardson
Overall MVP: Alexa Levick
Most Improved: Lauren Hart
Unsung Hero: Taylor Elliott
Most Dedicated: Erin Myers
David Elia 110 Award: Amanda Essay