Emily Anderson and Emily Williams will be rivals next year in the Ohio Valley Conference.
However, the two Siegel seniors are focused on the same goal — continuing the Lady Stars strong girls soccer tradition — this year.
The two Lady Stars combined with teammate Dale Steinagle have all committed to different colleges, where they will play soccer next fall.
Anderson, a central midfielder, has committed to Austin Peay. Williams, a center back, has committed to Tennessee Tech. And Steinagle, a goalkeeper, has committed to Samford.
“I think we both know and understand that next year we’ll be rivals in college,” Anderson said.
Added Williams: “This is our last chance together before we compete against each other.”
But that can wait until next year. This trio has bigger plans ahead of them. They want another District 7-AAA and Region 4-AAA title. Oh, and they’d like to make one more trip to the TSSAA Class AAA state tournament.
“I think this year is going to be really good,” Anderson said. “Since we did only lose one starter (from 2011), it’s not that big of a change for us.”
Anderson said the seniors are focused on getting a chance to return to state one more time.
“We’ve done it before,” said Anderson, who has seen the Lady Stars get to the state tournament as freshmen and as a junior. “We know we can do it because we have confidence in our team.”
Current MTSU freshman forward Tori Hawkins was the lone starter that graduated from the 2011 team that won the District 7-AAA tournament, Region 4-AAA tournament and reached the state tournament.
Williams said the seniors have learned from watching Hawkins and other past seniors lead the Lady Stars. It is now their turn to lead.
“We definitely take what we’ve seen in our past leaders,” Williams said. “We try to be a team first.”
The three college commitments aren’t the largest college signing class for Lady Stars coach Eric Shelton. Siegel had five college signees in 2008 when they won the state championship.
This year’s signing class could potentially add one more commitment in senior Kelsey Brown. Brown, who is the only other senior on the team, is currently being recruited by several Division III schools, Shelton said.
“It’s a good sign when they go on to the next level,” Shelton said. “And Kelsey Brown may sign in either soccer or track. It creates a lot of anxiety for those that want to play in college. Now that they have committed and have that all squared away, they can focus on just playing.”
Of the three commitments, Steinagle has yet to play in a game this season. She’s coming back from mononucleosis.
“I’m hanging in there,” Steinagle said. “I definitely don’t want to miss any district games,” she said. “I want to get back for district games at least. But I’m confident in our backup keepers and our defense.
“Nothing is getting past those four players back there. They work well as a team.”