Women’s Soccer Preview: Youthful roster looks to make playoff push

Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

FULTON, Miss. – The ICC women’s soccer fans will see a lot of new faces taking the pitch while a small but solid core of sophomores expect to help lead the Lady Indians back to the playoffs this season.

Schedule Breakdown
The Lady Indians will host nine home events, including five conference matches against Southwest Mississippi (Sept. 16), Gulf Coast (Sept. 27), Jones (Oct. 7), Holmes (Oct. 18) and East Central (Oct. 25). Other home matches include Southwest Tennessee (Aug. 22), Mineral Area (Aug. 28), Hinds (Sept. 9), and Columbia State (Sept. 18). Conference road matches include Co-Lin (Sept. 23), Meridian (Sept. 30), Pearl River (Oct. 4), Hinds (Oct. 14) and Northwest (Oct. 21).

All home matches are scheduled to be streamed on LetsGoICCTV.com – weather permitting.

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Key Returners
Brianna Huckaby (Saltillo) returns after leading the team with five goals and earning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First Team All-Region honors. Emma Logan (Fulton), Madison Copeland (Tupelo) and Abby Earwood (Tupelo) are expected to take on bigger roles on and off the pitch this season. The Lady Indians picked up a transfer keeper in Inna Vannual (Lahit, Finland) from Blue Mountain College. She led the team with 95 saves and 2 shutouts in 10 starts as a freshman.

Important Newcomers
Coach David Strother welcomed 13 new faces to the roster, and all are expected to play and contribute right away this season. Jenna Claire Johnson (Fulton), Lillian McDonald and Macey Riggs (Hernando), Julia Benneckenstein (Furstentum, Liechtenstein), Beth Lloyd (Failworth, England), Esme Kilburn-Thompson (East Budleigh, England), Camryn Summerall (Brookhaven), Jordan Allen (Ridgeland), Macie Williams (Amory), Adelin Mathis (Mooreville), Addison Pletzke (Clinton), Briana Benton (Florence) and Megan Davis (Guntown) will all be battling for a spot in the starting lineup during preseason training.

New MACCC Playoff Format
This is the first season the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) will not compete in the traditional North and South divisions and not have a conference tournament. The No. 1 team in the regular season will be the conference champion and will get a bye into the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament. The teams that finish second, third and fourth in the regular season will host the fifth, sixth and seventh teams respectfully in the quarterfinals. The men’s champion will host this season’s women’s and men’s Region 23 tournaments.