Soccer Season Outlook
The Brenau University Golden Tigers soccer team enjoyed their best season in the program's history in 2008 with an 11-6-1 overall record and 6-3-1 in conference play. Brenau finished the 2008 season in third place in the conference behind the 2008 NAIA national champions Lee University and tenth ranked Berry College. Although losing five starters to graduation, Brenau returns the nucleus of the team including three all-conference performers.
With the loss of three solid defenders to graduation, the re-building of the defense will be one of the keys for Brenau's success in 2009. The Golden Tigers will turn to junior all-conference goalkeeper Lisa Lesnick (Surfside Beach, SC)for her leadership in back. Lesnick set a school record for shutouts in goal during the 2008 season and will once again be called on for her shot stopping abilities. Joining Lesnick in back will be senior defender and 2008 co-captain Leanne Rowley (Brampton, Ontario). Rowley is back to her solid form - after sustaining a knee injury during spring training- and will add much needed leadership as a central defender. Also helping to anchor the defense will be sophomore Tori Futrell(Savannah, GA). Futrell spent much of the 2008 season playing in an attacking role but demonstrated during the off season her effectiveness in a defensive position. Taylor Bates (Locust Grove, GA) will add additional height to the back line and will help fill the shoes of last year's talented defenders.
The Golden Tigers midfield should undoubtedly be stronger with the return of a couple of veterans and some new talent. Marilyn Anderson (Gainesville, GA), another 2008 all-conference performer, returns for her final season as a Golden Tiger as the playmaker for Brenau. She will count on a lot of help from junior flank midfielder Lauren Hagin (Hiram, GA). Newcomers to the program who will see a lot of action their first year are Shawnna Manchette and Ryan Clelland both from Deltona, FL -both should have an immediate impact on the midfield. The addition of Dola Obahor (Kaduna, Nigeria) will add depth and experience to the position as her calmness under pressure will be an invaluable asset to the success of this team. On the other flank, newcomer Shauna Rowley (Brampton, Ontario) brings added depth and quickness to the position.
Finally, Brenau returns two dynamic senior players, Lily Futrell (Savannah, GA) and Alyssa Schmucker (Warner Robins, GA) to lead the attack. The two of them combined for the majority of the goal production in 2008. Additionally, Shawnna Manchette will likely step in and contribute as an attacker- Manchette has demonstrated prior success as a goal scorer in high school and has been equally impressive in pre-season for the Golden Tigers.
Brenau soccer fans should once again be excited about what could once again be a record setting season for the Golden Tigers soccer team! The schedule is a challenging one but will demonstrate early on what this team can achieve!