Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team welcomes the addition of four in-state players to the 2016 roster following National Signing Day, Wednesday.
Coming off an 8-10 record last season, head coach Kelley Guth and staff have traveled throughout the state to assemble this year’s recruiting class. With the addition of four freshmen, the 2016 women’s soccer squad will feature a wealth of young talent, with half the roster being sophomores or newcomers.
“Being able to recruit in this area within our state is a great way to add to our program, but also to bring in that familiarity from different areas in the state of Tennessee,” Guth said. “All four played for the strongest clubs in the state, so we’re really excited about this class.”
First is Melody Fisher, a multipurpose player who starred at Sycamore High School. Under head coach Taylor McCullough, Fisher broke the girls school record for most career goals with 76, while also recording 39 assists. In addition, she was named both team Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner for top scorer as a freshman and sophomore. Fisher also received league recognition, with All-Conference accolades in her first two seasons.
Fisher was a member of the Tennessee Soccer Club 16, which won the 2015 Disney College Showcase. With experience playing both attacking and defensive roles, Fisher provides the Govs a range of abilities.
“She is a very versatile player, great work ethic and the kid has a heart of gold,” Guth said. “She’s someone you could probably put anywhere, and I’ve seen her put in a number of different positions as we’ve watched her develop over the last couple of years. She’s good in the air, a tough tackler, strong and I love that attitude about her.”
Renee Semaan, of Knoxville Catholic High School, joins the Govs after an impressive prep career. The center back/center midfielder was named district MVP as a senior, a year after the Irish won back-to-back Region A/AA state titles in 2013 and 2014. As a junior, Semaan was named Region A/AA Defender of the Year and added All-State hardware.
Semaan also competed for FC Alliance 98G Black under head coach Kris Ray.
“Renee has great athleticism, good size and good build,” Guth said. “She’s a center back who could also play defensive mid. She’s excellent in the air, so I think she’ll really help us both offensively and defensively when it comes to set plays. She has scored a number of goals off corners for her club team, and is definitely a threat on set pieces.”
Completing the 2016 class are a pair of teammates from Houston High School, Taylor White and MaryParker Powell, who played for a program that amassed a 67-1-3 record over the past three seasons.
“Taylor is a very calm player, and I like her composure and how she handles pressure very well,” Guth said. “I think she is a player who will compete just as Renee and Mel will as freshmen for time on the field, which is exciting for us. She has played at a very high level for a successful team, both high school and club, and I think she brings that experience of finding ways to win.”
The Govs gain an additional goalie with the introduction of Powell, becoming the second keeper on the roster. After becoming the starting goalie beginning as a sophomore, Powell was a two-time Goalkeeper of the Year award winner. In 2013, she allowed only seven goals to help Houston gain a No. 3 ranking nationally. Before an injury during her senior year, Powell gave up just 20 goals in her high school career.
“She has a great build, tall and has good hands,” Guth said. “We’ve watched her for a couple years and liked her from the moment we first saw her. For her size, she’s also very quick to get up and down. With the graduation of Nikki (Filippone), we didn’t have someone to compete with Lindsey (Todd), so we needed to bring in someone we felt had the tools to compete. I think MaryParker has the tools and will be great working with Lindsey.”