Lady Saluqi soccer team looks to build on TCCAA runner-up finish

Coming off a much improved season finishing as runner-up in both the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) regular season and the conference tournament, the Southwest women's soccer team looks to build on that success in 2019.

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Top sophomore returnees for the Lady Saluqis this fall are centerback Anna Trotter and midfielder Thaina Aparecida de Paula, both of whom made first team All-TCCAA as freshmen. "Anna was one of the top players in our conference last year, if not the best overall player," said Head Coach Brandon VanCleave. "She brought leadership to the team and a never give up attitude that really took us to the next level defensively. We look forward to another productive season from Anna who will help lead one of the best defensive back lines in the conference." According to VanCleave, Aparecida de Paula was the most skilled player in the conference last season. “We look for Thaina to continue her creativity on the ball to help us create many goal scoring opportunities.”

Also returning to the team after starting as freshmen in 2018 are forward Juliane Guimaraes Alcantara and outside back Sarah McKinley. "Juliane started out slow for us last season but emerged as one of our best scoring threats with the second most goals on our team," VanCleave said. "If we are to have success scoring this upcoming season, we need her to be our number one scoring threat." As a freshman first team NJCAA Academic All-American with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, VanCleave said McKinley was a very reliable defender and sees her continuing in that role this season.

Top newcomers to the team include the following freshmen: forward Kallen Gresko (First Assembly Christian School), center midfielder Macarena Sofia Gonzalez Rivera (Santiago, Chile), center midfielder Itzel Castillo (Collierville High School), outside back Chloe Biscari (Collierville High School) and forward Emma Duke (Arlington High School). In addition, the Lady Saluqis add transfer center midfielder Kimberly Pedroza Urquia (Holmes Community College).

Some of the key games this season for the Southwest women's soccer team will be at Itawamba Community College (August 27), defending conference champion Motlow State Community College (September 6), nationally-ranked Lewis and Clark Community College (September 20) and home against nationally-ranked Southwestern Illinois College (September 29).

Shawn Loft returns as an assistant coach to VanCleave who is in his third year as head coach. They are joined by David Alsup, who is in his first season with the program.

2019 Lady Saluqi Soccer Schedule

Home games are played at St. George's Independent School, 1880 Wolf River Blvd., Collierville, TN 38017

Date Opponent Venue Time Result
August
9 East Central Community College (Preseason) Away Noon  
19 Hinds Community College (Preseason) Away 3 p.m.  
24 Meridian Community College Home 6 p.m.  
28 Itawamba Community College Away 2 p.m.  
31 *Dyersburg State Community College Home 6 p.m.  
September
6 *Motlow State Community College Away 6 p.m.  
8 *Columbia State Community College Away 1 p.m.  
20 Lewis & Clark Community College Away 4 p.m.  
22 St. Louis Community College Away Noon  
24 Rhodes College Away 4 p.m.  
28 Southwestern Illinois Community Home 6 p.m.  
October
6 *Motlow State Community College Home 1 p.m.  
9 Dyersburg State Community College Away 2 p.m.  
12 *Columbia State Community College Home 6 p.m.  
15 Itawamba Community College Home 6 p.m.  
18 Northwest Mississippi Community College Home 6 p.m.