Pellissippi State Community College’s women’s soccer coach and several of the team’s players have earned statewide honors in their inaugural season.
Head coach Mariana Diaz Lopez was named Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association on Oct. 23, having led Pellissippi State’s first women’s soccer team to an 8-6 record thus far, finishing 4-4 in conference play.
Diaz said she has watched the players, who came together less than 90 days ago, become better versions of themselves.
The team did “what we asked of them from day one,” Diaz said. “They are fantastic human beings that have created relationships in the locker room and bought into each other and to this program.
“We have laid the right seeds as we continue to further our future,” she added. “The memories we have made and the foundational seeds that we have laid are the biggest accomplishments for our program.”
Pellissippi State’s Sade Lee was named Player of the Year by the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association. Lee scored 11 goals this season and assisted on four goals. She totaled 26 points and had 17 shots on goal.
“Without the encouragement of the Pellissippi State Soccer community, this achievement would not have been possible,” Lee said. “This award is a testament to the collective effort that we share on and off the field.
“I knew from the beginning Pellissippi State would be the best decision for me. The staff here has pushed me to achieve great things and always strive for more,” she said. “I have learned what it is like to be held to a high standard, to pay attention to the details and to work hard even when nobody is watching.”
Five other Pellissippi State Women’s Soccer players also were honored Monday. Lauren Lemmo was named to First Team All-TCCAA with Lee while Isabella Altorfer, Yuri Garcia, Paige Janoyan and Kelly Velasquez Cruz were All-TCCAA’s Honorable Mentions.
Athletics Director Brock Evans said this inaugural team has set the bar high for others.
“Coach Diaz promotes a culture of perseverance, excellence and service to your teammates, and these athletes have embraced the culture their coach has instilled from the beginning,” he said. “The future of Pellissippi State Women’s Soccer is in great hands.”
You can catch Pellissippi State Women’s Soccer final home game at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, against the University of the Cumberlands. This home game will be played at Emerald Youth Foundation’s Lonsdale fields, 1740 Texas Ave., Knoxville.
Read more about Pellissippi State Women’s Soccer at www.psccpanthers.com/sports/wsoc/2023-24/news.