VIDEO: Simon Duffy Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – In her three years as an Eagle, former forward Magda Mosengo booted home 40 goals – enough for her to rank fifth overall in program history.
Now graduated, head coach Simon Duffy said during preseason media day that it was going to be a group effort to substitute Mosengo's steady production.
"Trying to directly replace that is nearly impossible," Duffy said. "We were very lucky the year before, replacing the goals from Lauren Wade, where Mags stepped up and did really well last year. We're hoping we have a combination of girls that are going to be able to step up to the plate."
The linchpin to the Eagles' offensive firepower will be Emilee Futrell (Wilson, N.C.). Futrell, who earned preseason All-Conference First-Team honors before regular season play begins on Sept. 5, returns as the Eagles' leading goal scorer. Avoiding the sophomore slump, Futrell's nine goals and 24 points in her sophomore campaign was an improvement over her 21 point season her freshman year.
Other returning players such as Allie-Anne Blackburn (Franklin, Tenn.), Sydney Spadafora (Collierville, Tenn.) and Elena Propst (Maiden, N.C.) will also be looked upon to fill in the gaps that seniors from last year have left.
Blackburn saw playing time as a reserve across 19 games last season, scoring all three of her goals on the season in a hat-trick against Lees-McRae. Spadafora saw game action in 12 contests last year, while Propst ranked fifth on the squad in shots on goal with 13.
On the recruiting trail, a trio of young freshmen in Delaney Griffin (Franklin, Tenn.), Makayla Garner (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Mic Kriebel (Greeneville, Tenn.) will also stand to be key contributors to the offensive third of the pitch.
Kriebel earned multiple all-district awards throughout her high school career, leading up to being named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team in her senior year. Garner too shined in her high school career, leading her team in goals her freshman and sophomore year before becoming a member of the U17 and U19 development rosters for the Charlotte Soccer Academy.
Griffin's arrives at C-N as a transfer from ETSU, where she was named to the Southern Conference Fall Academic All-Conference Team.
"We've hopefully got a lot of ammunition there to put a ball in the back of the net," Duffy said.
Last season, C-N's 53 goals led the conference, with Lincoln Memorial ranking second with 43. The two teams matched three times over the course of the season, with LMU knocking out C-N in the NCAA Southeast Regionals.
Practice over the spring and into the summer has focused on getting the young underclassmen up to speed in an offense that likes to remain aggressive on the ball.
"We need to continue on that goal scoring trend," Duffy said. "Again we could have players from the midfield hopefully contribute and set pieces are obviously going to be a big part of what we do again this year."
After a pair of preseason affairs against Maryville and Trevecca Nazarene, C-N will travel to Bellarmine to begin the regular season on Sept. 5.