Recent Chattanooga Christian graduate Lauren Pruitt has decided to continue her soccer career as a walk-on at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Pruitt had 16 shutouts and a 0.91 goals-allowed average as a senior for the Lady Chargers, who finished 19-4-2 and advanced to the Class A/AA state semifinals. She played one season for CCS after transferring from Silverdale Baptist Academy, which reached a state sectional in her sophomore year.
UTC became an option when a scholarship offer fell through from NCAA Division II member Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. Pruitt had been in contact with UTC coach J.D. Kyzer, and he invited her to walk on, she said.
She will be one of three keepers on the 2012 Lady Mocs roster, joining junior Taylor Mangrum from Franklin and fellow freshman Lauren Thomas from Germantown High.
"I know the competition will be difficult," Pruitt said, "but I'm been training vigorously for the past eight months on my own, and if I go out the first day and push myself to the limit, I think I have a good chance to play a few games if not starting.
"I'm not getting my hopes up, but the coach told me that the hardest-working players get to play, and that's what I'm striving for."
The Lady Mocs finished 6-10-2 in 2011, with a 1-9-1 mark in the Southern Conference. They are in search of their first winning season since 2004.
"I like to hope I might be able to make a difference," Pruitt said. "My senior year at CCS, as far as I'm concerned, they saw a change in the season when I was playing. It wasn't just me; it was the whole team.
"If I go in and work hard, we could all make this a better season."
UTC opens the 2012 season at home against Tennessee Temple on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.
Fien to Union College
Soddy-Daisy defender Ally Fien recently signed scholarship papers to continue her career at Union College in Barbourville, Ky. Fien helped the Lady Trojans advance to the Class AAA state semifinals for the first time in program history.
Union, an NAIA school in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, reached the conference tournament semifinals and wound up 10-8.
"Ally is going to add a lot to our program as she is a solid defender with great technique," coach Camila Mendes said. "She distributes the ball well and has the ability to organize the plays in the defending third. I am really excited to have her signing to play for Union College. I look forward to a great season in the fall."