Lexington, Ky. – For the first time in ten months, the Transylvania women's soccer team will hit the pitch this weekend at Pat Deacon Stadium as it unveils a new-look team in a shifting conference.
The 2017 season was one of transition as the Pioneers welcomed Luis Reis to Lexington as their new head coach. The Pioneers found their footing as the season continued, compiling a 4-4-1 record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference to finish in the middle of the pack.
Entering his second year with the Pioneers, Reis will unveil 18 newcomers as part of his first full recruiting class at Transylvania, comprising 17 freshmen and one transfer. With a 29-player roster, the Pioneers will approach 2018 with a healthy dose of depth and youth.
As the Pioneers introduce a roster which will have over 50 percent of new faces, an influx of talent comes with those changes. The Pioneers were picked to finish fourth in the 2018 HCAC preseason coaches poll, signaling towards the future potential of a precocious squad. Conjecture about who will lay claim to the conference crown is varied, as four different teams in the HCAC received first-place votes in the preseason poll.
"We are looking forward to integrating our new players into our program and we expect that many will contribute in their first year," commented Reis. "We successfully recruited talented players in all 11 positions on the field."
Transylvania also returns 11 veterans to its squad for 2018 to provide a veteran presence and valuable collegiate-level experience.
The Pioneers will be led by two captains, senior midfielder Noel Obata (Lebanon, Ky. / Marion County HS) and junior midfielder Brett Edwards (Lexington, Ky. / Henry Clay HS). Both mainstays of the program, each player serves as a foundational leader for the next step of this program's evolution. "Our two leaders and captains who have earned the right to wear the armband are Noel and Brett," added Reis. "Most of our players were all captains on their high school and/or club teams so they all have experience to lead themselves and their teammates."
Transylvania also adds two new members to its coaching staff in 2017, longtime veteran coach Patrick Farmer as an assistant coach and Transy alum Matt Hadley as a goalkeeper coach. Having compiled a legendary career over more than three decades with multiple stops at the NCAA Division I, Division III and professional coaching ranks, Farmer adds an unparalleled perspective and knowledge base for the Transylvania women's soccer program. "Patrick has been a huge help in attending showcases and tournaments and recruiting for the next 2019 class," said Reis. "His experience in identifying players is extremely beneficial.
Transylvania will get its first look at its new squad in action on Friday, August 31 as the Pioneers take on Heidelberg at 7:00 p.m., followed by a Sunday morning match against Alma on September 2 at 11:00 a.m. The Pioneers dive into conference play on September 29 as they visit Anderson and return home the following week against Earlham on Wednesday, October 3.
Ticket prices for home matches at Pat Deacon for the 2018 regular season are $6 per adult, $4 per student, while children ages 4 and under and Transylvania students with crimson cards are admitted for free.
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