By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off a stellar 2022 campaign for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, the Golden Eagles and head coach Steve Springthorpe and his staff have already set their sights on the future behind the signings of seven incoming freshmen to join the Tech ranks for the 2023 season.
Sydney Clements, Kendall Curran, Abigail Davis, Emerson Ladd, Samantha Schroeffel, Tori Soutuyo and Ashley Wood will throw on the purple and gold in the fall of 2023 with an eye on bolstering a Tech club that is fresh off a storied season that featured the program’s second-ever OVC regular-season title and first since 1998.
“We are very excited about this class of players,” associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Corey Boyd said. “As a staff we have focused in on wanting not only quality players, but also quality people in our program. With this 2023 class we feel we accomplished that in a big way and want to continue to establish a culture of success both on and off the pitch.
“In the recruiting process you get a small snapshot of the players you bring in, but in speaking with their coaches and building a relationship with each player over time, it was evident that these seven we are bringing in are all high-character individuals,” Boyd continued. “From a playing perspective, we feel we have added depth in multiple positions, and overall, this class will bring energy, excitement and personality to an already established group. We are grateful that they chose Tennessee Tech as their new home.”
Sydney Clements (pictured left) comes to Cookeville with a sturdy soccer resume that features success both within the high-school ranks as well as on the club stage during her tenure with FC Alliance in Knoxville. A two-sport athlete that also ran track and field throughout her time at Knoxville Catholic High School, Clements starred on the pitch as a member of the 2021 All-Region first team in addition to claiming the team MVP and team Offensive Player of the Year. In the classroom, the Knoxville native was a member of the National Honors Society, her school’s honor roll and the Spanish Honors Society.
“Sydney is a technical midfielder who is just really solid across the board, including in her ability to play in the air and has the skill set to play both as a defensive midfielder as well as an attacking midfielder,” Boyd claimed. “She has a calm presence on the ball and has just a really easygoing nature about her. Sydney has a big upside to her game and we look forward to her competing in our midfield.”
Kendall Curran (pictured right) makes her way to the Upper Cumberland as an incoming goalkeeper that enjoyed a wealth of success both on the high-school level as well as the club circuit while suiting up for the Tennessee Soccer Club. A three-sport athlete that also competed in lacrosse and girls flag football while at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., Curran is coming off a 2022 campaign in which she was named the District II-AAA Goalkeeper of the Year.
During her tenure at Ravenwood, the Brentwood product was part of two Class AAA state title teams and carried that successes into the club ranks behind a TSAA DI state championship as well. A three-time winner of her high school’s Raptor Award for leadership and character, Curran has also been a three-time member of the Principal’s Honor Roll.
“Kendall is an athletic goalkeeper who makes good reaction saves in addition to being springy and quick off her line,” Boyd said. “She will add depth to our goalkeeper position and played with current Golden Eagle, Katie Toney, on the same club team. Kendall is a player we are excited about coming in and competing with both Addison [Johnson] and Maggie [Conrad] in what makes up a fantastic core of goalkeepers.”
A four-year starter on the pitch throughout her career at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Abigail Davis (pictured left) gets ready to join the Tech squad with a resume chock full of accomplishments on the high school and club levels. Serving as a two-year team captain while at Hardin Valley, Davis was honored as a three-time All-District performer and a three-time All-Region winner. The Knoxville native helped lead her team to a district title in 2019 and a district runner-up showing in 2021.
On the club circuit, Davis was a member of FC Alliance in Knoxville, and as a starter at outside back, she helped lead her team to a trio of national playoff appearances. Off the pitch, the incoming freshman is a member of the National Honors Society.
“Abigail is a smart defender that can play both fullback or defensive midfielder,” Boyd commented. “She is a calm player that plays very connected and keeps possession, while defensively she takes good angles when closing down forwards. A level-headed and mature player both on and off the ball, we are looking forward to Abi joining us and know she will be a fantastic fit for our program.”
Emerson Ladd (pictured right) lands in Cookeville following a sensational run at Paige High School in Franklin, Tenn. that featured Ladd helping guide her squad back-to-back DI AA state titles to go along with reserving spots on the All-District team, All-Region team and State All-Star team. Despite serving primarily as a defender, Ladd managed to score nearly 20 goals and add over 10 assists throughout her high-school tenure.
The Franklin, Tenn. native also lettered in basketball and suited up for NUSA 05 Maroon in Nashville within the club ranks. Off the pitch, Ladd was a member of her school’s honor roll.
“Emerson is a tall fullback that can play either the left or right side as well as center-back,” Boyd claimed. “She will add great size to our backline and has tremendous service into the box as well as the ability to get forward with the ball and shoot from distance. Emerson will give us another target on set-pieces and add even more depth to our defensive group.”
Samantha Schroeffel (pictured left) will suit up in purple and gold with more than her fair share of high-school accolades in her back pocket after a successful four-year run at West High School in Knoxville. An All-State distinction in 2022, Schroeffel was also a four-year All-District performer, a three-time All-Region recipient and a two-time team Defensive Player of the Year. Playing as a defender, the Knoxville product still managed to score 12 goals throughout her career. Schroeffel was also a member of FC Alliance in Knoxville within the club ranks, and off the pitch, the incoming freshman was found herself on her school’s dean’s list.
“Sam is a very solid and athletic center-back with a ton of upside,” Boyd remarked. “She is a player that has this knack for coming out with the ball and organizing, as well as cleaning up things that get through the backline. Sam is a reliable and steady defender and we are looking forward to her development in our program.”
A two-sport athlete that also lettered in basketball during her days at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tori Soutuyo (pictured right) excelled on the pitch to the tune of receiving All-State recognition to along with being named a three-time All-District player, a three-time All-Region performer and her team’s Rookie of the Year, Midfielder of the Year and MVP. The Chattanooga native displayed a propensity for finding the back of the net behind 48 goals to go along with 44 assists throughout her high-school stint.
Soutuyo also suited up for a series of club squads, including Chattanooga FC, Huntsville FC, Red Wolves Soccer Club and FC Alliance. Academically, the incoming freshman was a member of the National Honors Society, the Spanish Honors Society and is an AP Scholar with Distinction.
“Tori is a very smooth, two-footed attacking player that can play multiple positions as an attacking midfielder or winger as well as a holding midfielder if needed,” Boyd said. “She loves to run with the ball and can shoot with either foot from distance. Tori can also take set-pieces really well and we are thrilled about the attacking and creative presence she will bring to our team.”
Ashley Wood (pictured left) will become one of the newest Golden Eagles after lettering in track and soccer while at Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tenn. A four-year starting forward, Wood was a two-time THSSAA Senior All-Star team recipient, a three-time All-Region first-teamer and her school’s Offensive MVP in 2021. The Germantown, Tenn. product played a pivotal role in helping lead her team to the 2019 state title and No. 11 national ranking with a 19-1 overall record. Wood also helped guide Briarcrest Christian to a state runner-up showing in 2022 to go along with four Division 2AA West Region championships and a combined 54-6-6 overall mark during her four years with the program.
The incoming freshman tallied 20 goals and 21 assists throughout her career and suited up for Lady Lobos Premier within the club ranks. Off the pitch, Wood was a member of the National Honors Society her school’s academic honor roll and the National Spanish Honors Society.
“Ashley is a feisty, relentless and quick winger that can play fullback as well,” Boyd noted. “She’s deceptive for her size and has the ability to drive at defenders as well as add more depth in wide areas. Ashley is good at serving into the box and getting on the back post. She is a high work rate kind of a player with a tough mentality.”
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