JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Since the announcement of two incoming freshman in the middle of December, Carson-Newman Women's Soccer Coach Simon Duffy has added center back Lira Mathes who transfers to Mossy Creek from Martin Methodist College after his announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
"So fortunate to be able to pick up a player like Lira mid-season," Duffy said. "She will be a massive addition to the team as she has played two seasons at one of the top NAIA schools in the country. It's an important position for us to fill with Averi Williams graduating. I'm looking forward to work with Lira this spring and for her to become more familiar with the staff and her new teammates."
The Redhawks recently grabbed their second straight Southern States Athletic Conference Championship this past season under Coach Will Austin who led his team to a 19-1-2 overall record and a No. 5 ranking in the nation. Austin's group was also ranked No. 1 in the NAIA the prior season.
A native of Sevierville, Tenn., Mathes transfers in as a junior after playing and starting in every game the past two seasons. In a total of 46 games, the 6'1" defender tallied three goals and five assists while holding the opposition to 15 goals in 2018 and 17 the year prior. Between the two campaigns, the Redhawks posted 23 clean sheets.
Mathes was a first team All-SSAC in her first two seasons with MMC and also grabbed first-team All-South Region honors from the United Soccer Coaches each year. Her efforts awarded her as a Honorable Mention NAIA All-American in both 2017 and 2018.
The incoming junior spent her high school years playing soccer at South-Doyle High School where she earned IMAC Defender of the Year in 2015 and IMAC Midfielder of the Year in 2016.
Mathes joins prior signings Makayla Garner and Addie Henry who were announced to the team last month.
Garner, a native of Fort Mill, S.C., comes to Mossy Creek from Nation Ford High School as a frontline member of the squad. Garner has played varsity soccer for three seasons heading into her senior campaign this upcoming spring. During her freshman year, she led the team in goals with 14 and was second in assists with seven over a 21-game span. In 10 games during her sophomore season, Garner notched six goals and four assists to lead the team.
Garner did not play in high school during her junior year as she spent time with the USSDA U17 and U19 Charlotte Soccer Academy clubs.
"We spotted Makayla at our ID camp two years ago and were immediately impressed," Duffy said. "She can play anywhere across the front line and is that great on the football going at defenders, I'm looking forward to seeing Makayla in the C-N jersey."
Garner holds a long list of accolades including 2017 All-Region, Offensive MVP, and Crescent Cup All-Tournament Team to go along with 2016 MVP and All-Tournament Team honors.
Henry, who will arrive as an Eagle out of Signal Mountain, Tenn., played High School at Chattanooga Christian. A three-sport athlete in Soccer, Basketball, and Tennis, Henry has notched a whopping 65 goals and 46 assists in her four years earning All-State honors her junior and senior seasons as well as All-District and All-Region all four years.
Henry's team won the region championship four years in a row and finished as state runner-up three different times. The Chargers also collected three district titles in her time.
"Addie will make a great addition to the midfield," Duffy said. "With her strength and ability on the football, she will fit right in. Addie's sister played here at Carson Newman so she will be very familiar with her new surroundings."
Duffy is expected to announce further signings for his unit in the coming weeks.