Soccer Season Preview: Midfielders
Aug. 10, 2017
OXFORD, Miss. – As the Rebel soccer team continues its preseason training in Mobile, OleMissSports.com closes out its position preview with the midfielders, where a plethora of experience returns, and a talented core of four newcomers join the midfield.
Three of the four seniors on this year’s squad play at midfield, including team captain Bella Fiorenzo, Courtney Carroll and Danielle Gray. Marisa Kutchma, a seasoned veteran herself, also returns to help lead a group of four newcomers that include JUCO transfer Mary Kate Smith, Florida State transfer Julia Phillips, and freshmen Channing Foster and Alyssa Frazier.
Fiorenzo, a unanimous choice to be the team captain and leader for the program, has battled through adversity throughout her career, but is back for one final run in 2017 after scoring three goals a year ago.
“Bella is the anchor and leads the way,” head coach Matthew Mott said. “She’s the most technically gifted player on our team, and understands the game at a very high level. She’s a great leader, and I can’t say enough good things about Bella.”
Carroll, a two-year starter for the Rebels, is back to help anchor the midfield, where she’s seen nearly 3,000 minutes of playing time to this point in her career.
“Courtney is another defender/midfielder, and will play holding mid some as well,” Mott said. “She’s tough and has never seen a tackle she doesn’t like. She works really hard, puts herself in good spots, and strikes the ball very well over distance.”
Gray, who transferred in to Ole Miss in 2015, is ready for her sixth year on the pitch, where she’s responsible for seven points thus far in a Rebel uniform.
“Danielle Gray, our sixth-year senior, is getting herself played back in recovering from injury,” Mott said. “We’re thrilled to have her back on the field and healthy, and she’s going to battle in the midfield.”
The lone junior midfielder, Kutchma, came on late in 2016 starting the final eight games.
“Marisa Kutchma is one of the hardest working players on the team,” Mott said. “You get everything out of Marisa every time she’s on the field – she’s going to slide, dive, whatever she needs to do to help the team. She understands the game at a high level, and we’re excited about her.”
Foster, a native of Murray, Kentucky, enrolled early this past spring, and looks to make a big contribution on the field.
“Channing has looked dynamite and was great in the spring,” Mott added. “She’s fit, moving well, and has been very dangerous. She unlocks pressure so well, and as an attacking mid she’s going to be a special one to watch.”
Phillips, a sophomore transfer, helped the Seminoles to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Championship.
“Julia Phillips had a great summer playing with her WPSL team in Virginia,” Mott said. “She’s come back sharp, poised and confident, and does a great job on the left side. She can also play some central midfield, so she’s a versatile player for us and one that’s settled in and turning into a great Rebel.”
Another transfer at the midfield position, MK Smith, is coming off a strong year at Jones County JC, where she was named a Honorable Mention All-American after scoring 21 goals and 18 assists.
“Mary Kate Smith, our JUCO transfer, was with us in the spring and had a great summer,” Mott said. “We expect her to fit right back in there as our right midfielder. She is playing at a very high level.”
Frazier, a native of Towanda, Illinois, was a two-time All-State player and also looks to bring her experience to the Rebels.
“Alyssa Frazier, a freshman, is also an attacking mid,” Mott said. “She’s technically as good as anybody we have on the team, and she’s very fit and will continue to learn our system.”
Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Rebels by following Ole Miss Soccer on Twitter at @OleMissSoccer, on Facebook at Facebook.com/OleMissSoccer, and on Instagram at Instagram.com/officialolemisssoccer. Also follow head coach Matt Mott on Twitter at @CoachMattMott. Additionally fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.
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