March 11, 2014
The spring has been anything but quiet for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team.
Once back from winter break, the Commodores swarmed to the weight room on Jan. 7. Small group activities persisted until Feb. 15, when spring practice kicked off. For the last three-plus weeks, head coach Derek Greene has been able to work with his team for four days a week.
But one thing has been missing – game action.
That ends Friday when the Commodores begin their six-game spring schedule with a neighborhood bout against Belmont at 6 p.m. at Rose Park.
“The girls have been going really hard and I think they’re ready for a game,” Greene said. “They’ve been going for literally two months and we haven’t played a game. We’re very excited to be back out on the field since, really, having not played since the end of October. I know they’re pumped about having the opportunity to play an outside opponent.”
Vanderbilt will hit the road for all six games but venture outside of Tennessee just once.
The first two matchups come against schools where Greene used to coach – Belmont and Ole Miss.
After playing this weekend at Belmont, where Greene was an assistant coach in 2009, the Commodores will head to Oxford, Miss., to play Ole Miss on March 23. Greene helped the Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament three times in seven years as an assistant coach. The Rebels are coming off a 16-6-2 season and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt lost 1-0 at Ole Miss on Oct. 11, 2013.
The Commodores then head to Johnson City, Tenn., for a doubleheader on March 29. Vanderbilt will play Virginia Tech at 10 a.m. (EST) and then match up against host East Tennessee State at 3 p.m.
The match against Virginia Tech is the highlight of the spring. The Hokies advanced to the Final Four in 2013 and went 19-5-3. The Commodores will cap off the spring at Memphis on April 5 and at Middle Tennessee State on April 13.
“(The spring) is very important,” Greene said. “Typically you take a few more risks than you might with what you want to do with your team. You tend to play players in different positions, introduce them to new ideas, concepts of play, systems, new ways of defending. Different things like that where you have some real time to devote to it and develop a system and see what you like and you don’t like about it. Certainly we are going to be toying with some of those things this spring and looking forward to the carryover to the fall.”
Greene, entering his third season as Vanderbilt’s head coach, expressed excitement and optimism for the spring slate and has been encouraged by the team’s work ethic in the weight room and during conditioning drills.
“The work rate has been tremendous and it is one of the hardest working groups we’ve had since we’ve been here,” he said. “The energy has been great throughout the spring. It is an awesome opportunity to watch players who maybe didn’t play a lot in the fall step up and get opportunities and also for players to continue to grow into leadership roles. We’re a pretty young program overall, still. So it is nice to see these players grow and mature and develop as they spend more time here in the program playing with each other.”
Greene also announced team awards from the fall.
Freshman forward Simone Charley was named the Offensive MVP. Charley, who was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team, was second on the team in goals (five) and points (15). Sophomore Erin Myers, who had two assists and was one of just three VU players to start all 19 games, was named the Defensive MVP. Junior defender Cherrelle Jarrett, who scored a goal and also started all 19 games, was named the overall MVP.
2013 Vanderbilt Soccer Team Awards
Offensive MVP: Simone Charley
Defensive MVP: Erin Myers
Overall MVP: Cherrelle Jarrett
Most Improved: Claire Anderson
Most Dedicated: Taylor Elliott
Unsung Hero: Sarah Hook
Coaches Award: Abby Carr
2014 Spring Schedule
March 14 at Belmont (Rose Park) 6 p.m.
March 23 at Ole Miss Noon
March 29 Virginia Tech (at ETSU) 10 a.m. (EST)
March 29 at ETSU 3 p.m. (EST)
April 5 at Memphis Noon
April 13 at Middle Tennessee State 4 p.m.