Clarksville, TN – After 16 seasons and 117 wins under former head coach Kelley Guth, Austin Peay State University’s (APSU) soccer team opened a new era this past weekend with an exhibition match at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field under new head coach Naomi Kolarova, posting 1-1 draw with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
The Western Kentucky exhibition is the only home pre-season match, with two other road exhibitions at Mississippi Valley (August 10th) and West Alabama (August 12th).
Kalarova, who spent the last 12 seasons at Tennessee Wesleyan – recorded 118 wins, while also leading the Bulldogs to three appearances in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship tournament, including a spot in the tournament’s quarterfinals last season.
In her time at Tennessee Wesleyan, Kolarova had 66 players selected at all-conference, two conference player of the year award winners and a NAIA All-American.
She takes over a Governors squad that returns 22 letter winners from an 8-7-3 squad in 2017, including eight seniors (Brice Bement, Caroline Wistrom, Amber Bateman, Jennifer Smith, McKenzie Dixson, Morgan Jackson, Ann Peyton Diffenbaugh, Katie Costantino) as well as All-Ohio Valley Conference Second-Team and All-OVC Newcomer Team selection, sophomore midfielder/forward, Morgan Drawdy.
That group will be joined by six juniors – including returning starting goal keeper Mary Parker Powell, who recorded four shutouts in 2017, and transfer Meghan Dees, who spent the past two seasons at Eastern Florida State College.
The current Govs squad also includes nine sophomores, led by Drawdy and former local prep standout Gybson Roth – who played at Clarksville High School.
Rounding out the team will be five freshmen, Delanie McKeon, Peyton Powell, Rachel Bradberry, Gwynevere Cardinal and Kaylee Kraft.
This is the squad that Kolarova will carry into the regular season, which begins on August 17th at home versus Middle Tennessee – the first of eight home matches at Morgan Brothers Field (Alabama A&M/Aug. 24th), (Chattanooga/September 9th), (Belmont/September 14th), (Tennessee Tech/September 16th), (Jacksonville State/September 28th), Eastern Kentucky/October 5th) and (Murray State/October 12th).
Austin Peay also has nine regular season road matchups, highlighted by a contest versus Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State on September 2nd.
The OVC Tournament opens Oct. 26th with the championship match scheduled for November 3rd.