Covenant Lady Scots Begin 2013 Season At Berry

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Heading into the 20th season of its existence, all under current head coach Mark Duble, the Covenant women's soccer program is getting set to start the 2013 year on Friday at Berry.

The Lady Scots are coming off an outstanding 2012 campaign that saw them claim a share of the Great South Athletic Conference regular season title and finish 15-5-1, but the program has experienced change since last season.

Covenant is no longer in the Great South Athletic Conference as the institution was officially accepted into the USA South Athletic Conference over the summer. Covenant was also admitted as active members to NCAA Division III meaning postseason and national award opportunities.

The USA South offers a step up in competition, but the Lady Scots look to be in good shape. Covenant was picked to finish fifth in the 13-team league by the conference coaches in the preseason poll.

"We are very excited to be headed into the USA South Conference where we hope to compete for the conference title and a bid into the NCAA National Tournament," said Duble. "The level of competition in the USA South is significant and we are a relatively young team, but we are very accustomed to these type of challenges and we relish the opportunity to challenge ourselves and our conference opponents for a chance for an NCAA berth."

The Lady Scots also had 10 seniors depart after last season, opening the door wide for new talent to shine on Lookout Mountain. Just two seniors in Mary Buys and Beth Wilkening are listed on this year's roster to go along with 10 freshmen.

Buys and junior Ally Jennings look to lead the team in the back line as both were key contributors to last season's success. Buys had two goals last season and Jennings recorded an assist, but the work of these two players goes beyond the box score.

Covenant also boasts two solid goalkeepers in juniors Lucy Johnson and Hannah Bales. Bales got the majority of the starts last season as she compiled a 9-4-1 record with a 0.88 goals against average. Johnson was also impressive as she went 6-1 and allowed three goals in 595 minutes at the net.

The Lady Scots received solid play from a pair of midfield freshmen last season in Ruth Terry and Anne Charlotte Strawbridge, both of whom return this year. Terry is the team's leading returning goal scorer as she netted four last season, which was good for third on the team. Strawbridge had a goal and an assist in 2012 and earned GSAC all-freshmen team honors.

Also returning this season is junior Bethany Logan and sophomores Rachel Bernard and Jenna Vreeland. All three players saw significant playing time in 2012 and look to contribute this season.

There is a wealth of incoming freshmen on the roster as well. Duble expects Natalie Smith (Johnson City, Tenn.), Kaitlyn Winking (Waynesville, Mo.), Rachel Setzer (Knoxville, Tenn.), Andrea Hunt (Greenville, S.C.), Anna Porch (Arden Hills, Minn.), Gabby Powell (Woodbridge, Va.) and Madison Smartt (McMinnville, Tenn.) to "come in with immediate impact potential and enhance an already stellar returning lineup."

Three other freshmen also joined the Lady Scots this season in Abby Horton (Ringgold, Ga.), Sophie Gianis (Sag Harbor, N.Y.) and Katherine Keller (Dyersburg, Tenn.).

Entering into a new phase of the program's history with the transition complete to the USA South and NCAA Division III, Duble is looking for his young but talented team to make the adjustment to a "higher level of play."

The schedule certainly offers the challenge. Covenant will begin the season at Berry on Friday followed with a match against Guilford on Saturday. Six times this season Covenant will play matches on consecutive days, with four of those occurrences coming inside USA South play.

Covenant will host three of the top four preseason USA South selections in Maryville (Oct. 2), Meredith (Sept. 28) and Piedmont (Oct. 30), and go on the road to preseason favorite Averett (Oct. 25).

"Overall, we are looking for our girls to make a quick transition with an eye on challenging for a conference title over the next few years," said Duble of the new conference.

In non-conference play, Covenant will face HCAC preseason favorite Transylvania along with Centre, Birmingham Southern and Sewanee, among others.


Gregory, White Voted To Class 4A Preseason All-State Team

Hixson's Brody Gregory and Sequoyah's Aaron White have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Preseason Class 4A All-State team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Gregory, an offensive lineman, and White, a kicker, were the only Chattanooga-area players voted to the team. Offense Pos       Name ... (click for more)

Lewis Wins Choo-Choo Invitational

Taylor Lewis won Choo-Choo Invitational on Wednesday at the Council Fire Golf Club. The 30-year-old Lewis, a member at Council Fire, finished the tournament at 15-under 201 (67-66-68) for a two-shot margin over a field of college golfers. Lewis called it the biggest tournament he has ever won. University of Kentucky player Tyler McDaniel finished second at 203. Neil ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

The Silence Is Deafening - And Response

In this week’s news cycle we have the international uproar over the killing of Cecil the lion. In the same time most national news outlet refuse to even mention the undercover videos of so call doctors and technicians discussing the harvesting, processing and sale of human baby body parts.  The argument by those liberal, progressive Democrats has been that the “fetus” was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Palmer, You’re Toast

America is absolutely furious! By 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon there were 36,000 people who had petitioned the White House to extradite Walter Palmer, who is today the most despised man in all of North America. On the Yelp.com website, that promotes his dentistry business in Eden Prairie, Minn, over 6,000 had posted violent, vulgar and vicious notes and, for the record, 60 of them ... (click for more)