Piedmont College Soccer Preview

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Here at the Walker Athletic Complex is where the 2021 Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams will play this season. Photo Credit: Piedmont College Athletic

Davis Barlow, Contributing Writer

Piedmont College’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are due to start their unusual spring campaigns this month. Both of these teams would usually play in the fall semester, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to play. The decision to not host contests was devastating at the time, as it left much uncertainty to the future of fall sports as a whole. However, Piedmont and the USA South Athletic Conference will be conducting all sports during the spring semester.

 

Looking at the men’s team, Piedmont has brought in a ton of young talent. After going 7-10-2 in 2019, including a first-round exit in the conference tournament, the Lions are looking to have a much-improved season. The Lions have lost important pieces to graduation since the last time they saw action at the Walker Athletic Complex and will need players to step up to fill roles. Despite losing talent, the Lions do have anchors returning to the team. Senior defender Ian Addison, senior forward Cameron Earls and senior goalkeeper Cameron Verona will anchor down the Lions and provide much needed experience and leadership.

 

“I think we have a good chance to win the conference this year just based on the circumstances of the COVID season,” said Earls. The senior from Tifton, Ga. has received All-USA South First Team honors two years in a row and will look to make it a third. “We’ve got a couple of young guys that have the potential to make a big impact this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this year.”

 

On the women’s side of the ball, the Lady Lions begin their 2021 campaign with a trip to the Lone Star state to take on East Texas Baptist University. The team will also take on Letourneau University and Centenary College while in Texas as they look to get off to a hot start. During their 2019 campaign, the Lady Lions found great success with a 14-7-1 record but saw their hopes of a conference title dashed by a 2-0 loss to Salem College in the quarterfinals. Piedmont does not need to worry, as they return key pieces to the team including senior goalkeeper Miranda McNalley, senior midfielder Cassie Kirk and senior defender Madison Hatfield who will provide veteran presence in the lineup.  However, sophomore forward Anya Olson is ready to get back on the field after a long absence.  

 

“Speaking for myself and all of my teammates, we are just excited to finally be back on the field. We haven’t played against another team since November 2019, which has been a difficult thing to deal with. Now, we are just looking forward to going out on the field and putting in work at every practice,” said Olson.  “We have so many positive attitudes and powerful players that are going to be great assets this year. I can’t wait to see how our new players adjust to a college game and see them flourish in such a competitive environment. Hopefully our hard work pays off this weekend when we compete against the four Texas colleges to start off our pre season.”

 

The Lady Lions will see their first game action on Friday, Feb. 5 against East Texas Baptist University. The men’s team will open up their season on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Brevard College.