PREVIEW: @soccerpatriots to host season openers
RHODES (0-1)
UT Tyler (1-0)
9/1/2017 | Tyler, Tx | Attendance: 275
UT Tyler314
UTTW20:49Caitlyn Mortus (Taylor Tarsi , Kaelyn Steitz)
UTTW38:14Bailey Wooten
UTTW42:46Willow Herndon
UTTW62:07Caitlyn Mortus
RHODESAnna Maldonado90:0045
UTTWEmily Hurley90:0002
Stats at a GlanceRHODESUTTW
Shots (on Goal)5 (2)9 (9)
Corner Kicks15

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler women’s soccer team will open its 2017 season this weekend by hosting Rhodes College at 7 p.m. on Friday and then Hendrix College at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in a pair of non-conference games at the Citizens 1st Bank-Perkins Soccer Complex.

The Patriots are coming off a 14-3-1 record last season and the senior class is 44-7-5 entering their final campaign. Along with UT Tyler’s games, No. 8 Hardin-Simmons will play Hendrix at 4 p.m. on Friday and Rhodes at noon on Sunday in neutral field games in Tyler. The Cowgirls topped American Southwest Conference Preseason Poll, while the Patriots were second after reaching the tournament finals for the third straight season. The UT Tyler senior class is also 23-1-2 on its home field entering this season where the team will host nine home games, including its American Southwest Conference opener against UT Dallas on Thursday, Sept. 14. 

UT Tyler returns Kathleen Johnson and Vanessa Rangel who both recorded four goals as sophomores, while Caitlyn Mortus and Taylor Tarsi added three goals each as juniors. Rangel led the team last season with nine assists and Mortus had four. The Patriots had 19 players score goals in the 2016 season, including Bailey Wooten and Willow Herndon who return for their sophomore seasons after three-goal freshman seasons. Kaelyn Steitz, Jenna Malone, Mariah Harmon and Ashton Peeks provided two goals each last year.

Johnson, Caroline Williams, Tarsi, Rangel and Taylor Peimbert earned all-conference honors last season, while goalkeeper Emily Hurley earned ASC All-Tournament. A senior from Sulphur Springs, Hurley recorded 57 saves and had nine shutouts as a junior.

“I think the most exciting part of this group is that we are very young and very talented,” said UT Tyler head coach Stefani Webb, who has led the Patriots to a 155-47-16 record in 12 seasons and has won 246 games in her 20-year career. “We have a strong group of juniors and seniors that haven’t really lost many games in a UT Tyler uniform so that gives us some experience and grit but at the same time we have a wealth of young talent that we are very excited for. We need to compete every day, focus on our character and our team cohesion for this year to be special. Our culture has to be right and something we fight for every day in training.”

The Patriots, who are 7-6-1 in season openers in program history, opened last season on the road with a 2-1 loss to Hendrix, but then bounced back with a 2-1 overtime win over Rhodes College. The Lynx are coming off an 11-4-1 season where they dropped a 1-0 decision to Centre in the Southern Athletic Association finals, while Hendrix was 11-7-1 in 2016.

UTTylerPatriots.com will provide a free broadcast and live stats for each game this weekend.

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