UT Soccer welcomes new recruits to campus

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 25, 2018 - The Tennessee Volunteers during the match between the Missouri Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers at Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Maury Neipris/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee soccer head coach Brian Pensky has announced the addition of 15 signees for program's 2019 recruiting class. The group features 13 true freshmen with highly decorated prep careers, in addition to two all-conference transfer standouts from NCAA Division I programs.

In a recruiting ranking recently released by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Tennessee's 2019 signing class was rated No. 6 in the country and first in the SEC. The class features several high school All-Americans, state champions and all-state performers, as well as players with experience on the international youth circuit.

"We can't wait for these kids to get to campus," Pensky said. "It's a group that blends technique, brains, and athleticism. We have several All-Americans, a Gatorade Player of the Year, and a few with extensive national team experience - so it's a relatively decorated group. There is also some very important experience within the bunch, with the two transfers we have added. There is no substitute for experience in college athletics, and having graduated a good group of older players last year, it's a real plus to be adding some kids who have been around the block so to speak."

Coming off a historic 2018 campaign which saw the Vols make a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals and finish the season as a consensus top-10 program, Tennessee returns just 34 percent of its offensive output from a year ago. Pensky and his staff have addressed this with the addition of 11 forwards and midfielders that have a plethora of experience in front of goal.

The Vols also add a trio of defenders to their back line, which forced a program-record 12 shutouts and surrendered just 15 goals during the marquee 2018 season. Two rookie goalkeepers round out the 2019 signing class for Tennessee, looking to help replace the void left behind by Shae Yanez - who set Lady Vol single-season records for the highest save percentage (.856) and lowest goals-against average (0.66) as a senior last year.