Tennessee Soccer

turbovol

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Vols have received a commitment from this Maryville player for the Class of 2023.

GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maryville glad to have Kayla Barr's elite speed, goal-scoring ability

Here is some video footage of her from what I think are high-school matches. It might be the best video of a soccer prospect I've ever
seen because the videographer is very close to the field and very close to the player, Barr, so we can get a good look at her pace and skill set. Most high-school/club highlight videos are taken from a distance and it can be hard to really see how players perform. Barr certainly looks
to be a talented prospect--not just because she's fast, but also because she displays a high level of competitive drive and she can strike the ball well with either foot--which is unusual for a high-school junior. I'm guessing she's naturally left-footed, because she plays mostly on the left. High-school games often don't offer the best level of competition by which to assess a prospect--it would be nice to see her in more ECNL action--but it's plain to see she's talented. Barr reminds me a lot of current Vol Maria Nelson, who was a speedy forward in high-school and club soccer but ended up playing a lot as an outside back as a freshman--regular starter, in fact, before she injured her knee. Nelson has got some talent and it will be interesting to see where she plays this year, what with both of our starting outside backs returning. Maybe we'll see her back at forward.

 

mad4vols

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Vols have received a commitment from this Maryville player for the Class of 2023.

GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maryville glad to have Kayla Barr's elite speed, goal-scoring ability

Here is some video footage of her from what I think are high-school matches. It might be the best video of a soccer prospect I've ever
seen because the videographer is very close to the field and very close to the player, Barr, so we can get a good look at her pace and skill set. Most high-school/club highlight videos are taken from a distance and it can be hard to really see how players perform. Barr certainly looks
to be a talented prospect--not just because she's fast, but also because she displays a high level of competitive drive and she can strike the ball well with either foot--which is unusual for a high-school junior. I'm guessing she's naturally left-footed, because she plays mostly on the left. High-school games often don't offer the best level of competition by which to assess a prospect--it would be nice to see her in more ECNL action--but it's plain to see she's talented. Barr reminds me a lot of current Vol Maria Nelson, who was a speedy forward in high-school and club soccer but ended up playing a lot as an outside back as a freshman--regular starter, in fact, before she injured her knee. Nelson has got some talent and it will be interesting to see where she plays this year, what with both of our starting outside backs returning. Maybe we'll see her back at forward.

Wow, Great pick up for Tennessee. Too bad we gotta wait until 2023.
 

turbovol

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Wilkinson was Tennessee's star player during Pensky's first two years as Vol coach. Problem was, she was effectively the only class player we had.
The team's overall talent was weak--Angela Kelly had done a poor job of recruiting the last few years of her UT stint--and the team wasn't very good. We played very direct: The players hit long balls down the field a lot, in the hope that Wilkinson--who has good size and excellent athleticism, could chase down the ball, beat a defender or two, and score. That doesn't tend to work very well against most teams, especially when they know how you tend to play. Wilkinson has participated in three World Cups, I believe, for the New Zealand women's national team, but the Kiwis (who been in six World Cup and always qualify because there in the Oceania qualifying group) have never won a WC game or advanced beyond the group stage.
 

mad4vols

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Wilkinson was Tennessee's star player during Pensky's first two years as Vol coach. Problem was, she was effectively the only class player we had.
The team's overall talent was weak--Angela Kelly had done a poor job of recruiting the last few years of her UT stint--and the team wasn't very good. We played very direct: The players hit long balls down the field a lot, in the hope that Wilkinson--who has good size and excellent athleticism, could chase down the ball, beat a defender or two, and score. That doesn't tend to work very well against most teams, especially when they know how you tend to play. Wilkinson has participated in three World Cups, I believe, for the New Zealand women's national team, but the Kiwis (who been in six World Cup and always qualify because there in the Oceania qualifying group) have never won a WC game or advanced beyond the group stage.
Seems like she was injured a lot while at UT.
 
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turbovol

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Seems like she was injured a lot while at UT.
You are right and I'd half forgotten--she had a pretty serious knee injury, maybe an ACL, and missed a season, or part of a season, with that,
and then when she got on the field again the following year was wearing a knee brace and not 100 percent--a bit like Wilson this year. Very good player for whom I felt rather bad because she didn't have much help.
 
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mad4vols

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Several players on the Tennessee soccer have have entered the transfer portal.

Brooke Wilson, a redshirt forward, transferred from Arizona in 2020, and suffered a season-ending injury in her debut for the soccer team in 2020. She started one game last season, though she averaged over 54 minutes per game and had four goals, one assist.
C8A0C3E5-B46F-4A6C-A586-02008A99D4F6.jpeg
Brooke Wilson



A couple of midfielders enter the transfer portal after the season ended – junior Isabella Cook and freshman Emily Schleifer.

After starting in 13 games both her freshman and sophomore season, Cook did not start in 2020-21. She appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 26.6 minutes on the field.
9C9D40B9-5C82-4E4F-9C71-B0A6C0893388.jpeg
Isabella Cook

Schleifer played in four games at the beginning of the 2021 season, scoring a goal and an assist in one game.
063CCB17-3999-4CF4-94A9-FAD365FB2011.jpeg
Emmy Schleifer
 

turbovol

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Where did you see this transfer news, Mad? I've been waiting to see which Vols would be entering the portal. There were going to be some if only because with 8 freshman coming in--plus the possibility of getting a transfer ourselves--the squad would be too big--and surely not enough scholarship money to go around.

For some reason I thought Wilson's eligibility was all gone--but I guess she's got her extra Covid year in the same way that Burdette and Zaluski do. We will miss her as she's talented---one of those somewhat rare players in women's soccer who is a genuine scorer. Her game-winning goal against Auburn was not just a catalyst for the rest of the season but a pure class goal. That would have been a half-chance for about two-thirds of the fowards in collegiate women's soccer; not many in the exact same situation could have put the ball in the net in the way she did, getting her hips turned just enough as the ball arrived at her feet to whelp it into the net. She had 3 goals against Missouri that were all nulllified--two by offsides calls (one of them questionable) and the other by that crazy ref's decision related to the ball hitting him, as I recall. That would have been the game-winning goal. Wilson's minutes as a sub went down in the last third of the season as Pensky opted to boost the minutes given to the strong Carel Ellis. I didn't really understand that decision, frankly, as Ellis does not seem to possess Wilson's scoring talent. It's nice to be big and physical but those qualities don't help much when it comes to putting the ball in the net--and late in the first half or game, you want a forward in the game who, if she gets a half-chance, could score. We've lost that now in Wilson. I'll be keen to see this freshman forward from Richmond United--Kameron Simmonds. I've seen some video of her and she's looks pretty impressive--also strong like Ellis, but seemingly a bit faster and more athletic. We'll see. It can't be overstated how important it is to have some genuine goal-scorers on your team.

Cook is interesting. She too is talented, but Pensky had her playing defensive mid behind Burdette, and she didn't get as much playing time as I thought she might. Pensky rode his starters pretty hard all year. Cook is not the physical defense player Burdette is; she's more of a classic ball distributor and frankly better at that than Burdette. Burdette was pretty clumsy with the ball early in the season--so much so that I thought Cook should be playing more--but Burdette's decision-making improved as the year progressed and she's just too valuable defensively to keep off the field for very long. While we played a 4-4-2 most of last year, with 4 mids, we didn't have a classic ball distributor among them. What we did have was a good attacking mid in Fusco--which we've been lacking for a while---plus two mids on either side of her in winger roles (the left-footed Dipasupil and Zaluskiu on the left and the excellent Huff on the right, plus Burdette protecting our back line. Of that group, the Dipasupil/Zuluski pair was a bit of a weakness, in my opinion. They are both smart, responsible players, and Dipasupil is a good free-kick specialist who scored some goals early in the season (and Zaluski scored the game-winner against Missouri)--but neither of them is especially athletic, strong or great with the ball, as Huff is, and it's noticeable in run of play against strong opponents. Every team has players who are perfectly fine against average opponents but struggle somewhat when the competitive level goes up a notch or two and you're playing a truly good opponent.

Schliefler looks to be another good midfield player, and she scored a goal playing in one of our early non-conference games, but just didn't see enough action and seems to have decided to look for a better situation elsewhere.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Vols have made their official signing announcement yet for incoming 2022 players. The freshman signees were announced on Twitter, but the program hasn't officially announced, I don't think. This leads to think that the coaches are scouring the portal for at least one good player who can come in and help. The squad is full already, we've got some enviable talent plus most of our starters coming back--but with so many players in the portal, many of them experienced, any coach would be silly not to look for potential upgrades.
 
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mad4vols

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Where did you see this transfer news, Mad? I've been waiting to see which Vols would be entering the portal. There were going to be some if only because with 8 freshman coming in--plus the possibility of getting a transfer ourselves--the squad would be too big--and surely not enough scholarship money to go around.

For some reason I thought Wilson's eligibility was all gone--but I guess she's got her extra Covid year in the same way that Burdette and Zaluski do. We will miss her as she's talented---one of those somewhat rare players in women's soccer who is a genuine scorer. Her game-winning goal against Auburn was not just a catalyst for the rest of the season but a pure class goal. That would have been a half-chance for about two-thirds of the fowards in collegiate women's soccer; not many in the exact same situation could have put the ball in the net in the way she did, getting her hips turned just enough as the ball arrived at her feet to whelp it into the net. She had 3 goals against Missouri that were all nulllified--two by offsides calls (one of them questionable) and the other by that crazy ref's decision related to the ball hitting him, as I recall. That would have been the game-winning goal. Wilson's minutes as a sub went down in the last third of the season as Pensky opted to boost the minutes given to the strong Carel Ellis. I didn't really understand that decision, frankly, as Ellis does not seem to possess Wilson's scoring talent. It's nice to be big and physical but those qualities don't help much when it comes to putting the ball in the net--and late in the first half or game, you want a forward in the game who, if she gets a half-chance, could score. We've lost that now in Wilson. I'll be keen to see this freshman forward from Richmond United--Kameron Simmonds. I've seen some video of her and she's looks pretty impressive--also strong like Ellis, but seemingly a bit faster and more athletic. We'll see. It can't be overstated how important it is to have some genuine goal-scorers on your team.

Cook is interesting. She too is talented, but Pensky had her playing defensive mid behind Burdette, and she didn't get as much playing time as I thought she might. Pensky rode his starters pretty hard all year. Cook is not the physical defense player Burdette is; she's more of a classic ball distributor and frankly better at that than Burdette. Burdette was pretty clumsy with the ball early in the season--so much so that I thought Cook should be playing more--but Burdette's decision-making improved as the year progressed and she's just too valuable defensively to keep off the field for very long. While we played a 4-4-2 most of last year, with 4 mids, we didn't have a classic ball distributor among them. What we did have was a good attacking mid in Fusco--which we've been lacking for a while---plus two mids on either side of her in winger roles (the left-footed Dipasupil and Zaluskiu on the left and the excellent Huff on the right, plus Burdette protecting our back line. Of that group, the Dipasupil/Zuluski pair was a bit of a weakness, in my opinion. They are both smart, responsible players, and Dipasupil is a good free-kick specialist who scored some goals early in the season (and Zaluski scored the game-winner against Missouri)--but neither of them is especially athletic, strong or great with the ball, as Huff is, and it's noticeable in run of play against strong opponents. Every team has players who are perfectly fine against average opponents but struggle somewhat when the competitive level goes up a notch or two and you're playing a truly good opponent.

Schliefler looks to be another good midfield player, and she scored a goal playing in one of our early non-conference games, but just didn't see enough action and seems to have decided to look for a better situation elsewhere.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Vols have made their official signing announcement yet for incoming 2022 players. The freshman signees were announced on Twitter, but the program hasn't officially announced, I don't think. This leads to think that the coaches are scouring the portal for at least one good player who can come in and help. The squad is full already, we've got some enviable talent plus most of our starters coming back--but with so many players in the portal, many of them experienced, any coach would be silly not to look for potential upgrades.
Love reading your takes on the team.

By the way I haven’t seen the official announcement either.

Here is the article I read about the transfer news.

 

turbovol

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Love reading your takes on the team.

By the way I haven’t seen the official announcement either.

Here is the article I read about the transfer news.

Thanks. A lot of solid/good players in solid/good programs are opting to leave and use their last year (or, some cases, two years) at other schools. It's a bit perplexing that there are so many. I think some good players want to play for a program they perceive is better than they one they've been in for three or four years. Vanderbilt, for example, has a good soccer program--it won the SEC tournament the year before last. And yet last year Vandy's best player, forward Haley Hopkins, transferred to Virginia (an even better program). She didn't even visit UVA before deciding to join that team but was certainly aware of it's excellent winning tradition and outstanding coach. She played regularly this past season and will be using her 5th year of eligibility with the Cavs this fall. Vandy wasn't so good this past season, partly because Hopkins left! That said, I'd venture that most transfers involve players who haven't been getting enough playing time and want to find a school where they can get on the field regularly.

Get this: I read today that 756 Division 1 soccer players are in the transfer portal. Of that number, 285 are 5th years. Those are big numbers. You can bet Pensky and his staff have put out feelers to a few whom they think could help the team--as most every staff in America has done/is doing. Sometimes transfers are a help, and sometimes they don't quite pan out. TopDrawer.com has a list of transfers that have already been announced--search for its "transfer tracker" on the site. None of these UT players are on it yet; it hasn't been updated in a couple of weeks but probably will be soon. It will eventually be a very long list.

The portal will enhance the parity in collegiate sports, IMO. It used to be, of course, that if you, the coach, had a couple of weak or mediocre recruiting years, you'd just have to suffer through some poor seasons and hope to recruit better. Now, the portal has become a valuable recruiting "redo" for teams that have talent holes: Coaches recruit potential transfers just like they do high-school seniors. Some coaches will pitch a lot of players in the portal and if they're persuasive can bring in 2, 3, 4 new players with experience who can quickly improve the team. Pensky and staff would only want to bring in someone they were fairly confident is a good/very good player who could help our already talented squad. I"m sure he'd want to avoid convincing someone to join the Vols who, as it turns out, isn't going to help--but that's the thing: Coaches never really know until they put eyes on a player on the field.
 
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