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Govs open preseason with 17 returning players

APSU Athletics Communications

By Casey Crigger

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The 2019 women’s soccer season is underway as players from around the globe arrived in Clarksville and reported to Austin Peay to begin training for the upcoming season.

This is the second season for the Governors under head coach Naomi Kolarova, who led the Govs to an 8-8-1 record in her first season. The Govs proved tough to beat at home in 2018, going 6-1-1 at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field, and 3-1-1 in home conference games.

“We’re excited to have gotten started now, and we can see how hard the ladies have worked this summer,” Kolarova said. “We don’t have a long turn around before our scrimmage [against Georgia State] so getting the most out of them early is important. We’ve been pleased with the fitness and ball work thus far and will continue to build on that.”

The Governors will have four days of training to prepare for an exhibition match against Georgia State. The 1 p.m. Aug. 12 match will be held at Creek Wood High in Charlotte, Tennessee, due to work being done on the playing surface at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.

The Govs have an experienced roster that features 17 returning players, including 12 upperclassmen. The Govs return two of last season’s top four goal scorers in Claire Larose and Morgan DrawdyMary Parker Powell and Peyton Powell also are back for the Govs, giving coach Kolarova two familiar faces in goal. Finally, senior midfielder and defender Renee Semaanreturns for the Governors; she leads all returning players in minutes played last season.

The Ohio Valley Conference announced its 2019 soccer preseason poll Thursday morning, with the Govs picked to finish 10th in the conference. After her team leading seven goals in 2018, Claire Larose was chosen by the OVC as Austin Peay’s “Player to Watch” for the upcoming season. Heading into her junior season, she already ranks 13th in career goals (10) and 10th in career game-winning goals (three).

“Claire is a dangerous attacking player who can play both forward and midfield roles for us,” Kolarova said. “She’s the fittest player in our program, and will work tirelessly to create and score goals. We hope she will cause some issues for opponents in the OVC this year and we feel good about the group around her adding to her offensive threat.”

The Govs will open the 2019 regular season with a two-game road trip to Chattanooga (Aug.23) and then Middle Tennessee (Aug. 25), before the Aug. 30 home opener against Mercer at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.

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