Four senior soccer players received framed jerseys during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Austin Peay University.
Forward Katie Shipley, midfield Tina Marolt, midfield Rachel Blow and forward Nora Vicsek affected the team from the beginning of their career at Tech by turning a losing record into a winning record, coach Steve Springthorpe said.
In 2016, Shipley appeared in 14 matches, started in three of them and scored two points so far this season. Marolt transferred to Tech in 2017 where she started all 17 matches and has three assists this season.
In 2016, Blow played in 19 matches, starting in 16 of them and has one assist this conference. Vicsek appeared in all 21 matches, starting the final 17 of them for Tech in 2016 and two goals this season.
Trailing by one goal late into Saturday’s game, Shipley tied the score with a goal in the 83rd minute marker. Vicsek scored in the 88th minute clinching the win for the Golden Eagles.
“They have all been awesome players for us. They were part of a class that I recruited when I got here,” Springthorpe said.
Springthorpe is in his sixth season at Tech.
Shipley committed to Tech even though the program was not winning, Springthorpe said.
“She’s been awesome. Katie is from Canada and is captain of the team. Academically she is a 4.0 student … she has done some amazing things for our program basically from the start of her freshman year,” Springthorpe said.
Marolt is a transfer student from the University of Louisville who brought experience and leadership to the team, the coach said.
“She transferred here from an ACC school and has brought a lot of leadership to the group and a lot of experience … it is good to have someone like that when we are pretty young in some areas,” Springthorpe said.
Blow is a leader on the team who is a force on the field, he said.
“She’s really been a starter the majority of her career here. She is usually one of our top assist getters … she is just a good quality, solid player as well as a really good academic student,” Springthorpe said.
Vicsek caught Springthorpe’s eye before her career at Tech. They met at a North Carolina camp where he had a chance to train her and eventually recruit the Hungarian native, he said.
“She’s just another solid player for us. She’s started a lot of games, played a lot of minutes and brings a lot of experience both internationally and collegiately,” he said.
Vicsek said being a part of the soccer team is changing her life as a whole.
“I became a better soccer player and person, and it’s all because I belong to the Tech soccer team. It’s my second family,” Vicsek said. “College soccer taught me discipline like waking up at 5 a.m. for weights, going to practice every single day, doing extra work to be better … it’s not easy but we made a commitment.”
As the seniors graduate, Springthorpe said he hopes their experiences and skills will help guide them through everyday life.
“I hope as they get into the next piece of their life the experience that they’ve had here will translate for them there in the world,” Springthorpe said.
With Saturday’s win, the Golden Eagles’ record sits at 4-5-4.
The team is scheduled to play five more games this season before they go into the OVC tournament. Tech hits the field Friday to play Murray State University.