TMU women’s soccer adds nine to upcoming class


The Truett McConnell University women’s soccer team announces nine new players for the 2017 season.
“We are very excited about this year’s incoming class,” said head women’s soccer coach David McDowell. “We are losing a great senior class who have been wonderful ambassadors and leaders for this program, so it was important to find a group of girls that could strengthen the foundation they had established. However, we feel that we are bringing in a class that is very strong on the field but who also embrace what the essence of our program is: which is to pursue excellence in all things in order to glorify God.”

McDowell added, “It seems like each year we are coming into contact with some amazing girls who are led to Truett with the same heartbeat of our program. Who we are and who the university is really resonates with these students. We are a family and we take pride in this. When a prospective student comes to visit, she automatically senses this unique atmosphere and she wants to be a part of it.

“I am very grateful for the team we already have here. Our spring season has been excellent and this core group of returners have set a very high standard for what is expected here.”

New 2017 recruits:

Breanna Barentine

Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.
Position: Midfielder
School/Club team: Trinity Christian High, Concorde Fire

Barentine’s parents are David and Lori Barentine, and she plans to major in Exercise Science or Education while at TMU.

She chose TMU because “the first time I visited Truett I immediately felt at home and had a sense of peace that Truett is where God wants me. There were many factors that played into my decision to choose TMU to be my home for the next four years. It is a great environment for me to not only grow as a person and a player but also grow in my walk with Jesus. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to play college soccer at Truett McConnell with a team and coaches that clearly and profoundly put God first. ”

Coach McDowell on Barentine: “Brea is an outstanding young woman. Her character and attitude will help her succeed here at TMU, and her ability to play in a couple of different positions will ensure that she is impactful on the field. During the recruiting process, I have been impressed with her maturity and drive.”

Rachel Barnett
Hometown: Woodstock, Ga.
Position: Defender
School/Club team: Etowah High, Darlington Soccer Academy

Barnett’s parents are Brian and Michelle Barnett, and she plans to major in Nursing while at TMU. She chose TMU because “the second I arrived on campus everyone made me feel right at home and so comfortable. I fell in love with the intentionality of coaches, professors, administrators, and players and their heart beat for Christ.  Learning about the mission mindedness of this school was so exciting and so different than any other college. I just knew TMU would be a good fit and I am so excited to grow with the Lord, in the classroom, and as a soccer player.”

Coach McDowell on Barnett: “We knew that our backline was going to be an area that we would have to focus on with this class as we have lost two key seniors in Victoria Schillinger and Meredith Mellard. However, we are very pleased with the defenders we have coming in. Rachel is one that we began recruiting as a sophomore and we are blessed she will be joining our program. She is strong, good on the ball, and a fantastic leader. Her influence on and off the field will be significant.”

Makenzie Cude
Hometown: Aiken, S.C.
Position: Goalkeeper
School/Club team: South Aiken High, Augusta Arsenal

Cude’s parents are Bonnie and Ronnie Maxwell, and she plans to major in Nursing while at TMU. She chose TMU because “when I went through the long recruiting process I struggled to find a place with a campus I liked, the major I wanted, a team I loved, and most importantly a place that loved Jesus the way I do. I kept coming back to TMU and seeing that it had all the things I wanted.”

Coach McDowell on Cude: “The importance of finding the ‘right’ type of goalkeeper for our program has become more essential in the past few seasons. We look for girls who have a good work ethic and attitude, but we also need a keeper who is not only a good shot-stopper but has strong positional sense and is good with her feet. We believe that Makenzie fits this bill and we look forward to her competing for the goalkeeper position.”

Olivia Echols
Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.
Position: Defender
School/Club team: Grace Christian Academy, Georgia Storm

Echols’ parents are Bob and Jill Echols, and she plans to major in Exercise Science while at TMU. She chose TMU because “it offered a friendly, welcoming, and Christian atmosphere. I feel like TMU is where God wants me to be.”

Coach McDowell on Echols: “Olivia is a hard-working defender who reads the game well. Her decision-making is also good, and I like how she is comfortable in possession too. She is another incoming freshman who has a great attitude and will fit in well with our team.”

Marissa Harkins
Hometown: Dacula, Ga.
Position: Defender
School/Club team: Mill Creek High, Dacula Soccer Club

Harkins’ parents are David and Kathy Harkins, and she is undecided on which major to choose while at TMU. She chose TMU, “because I loved the environment and all the people I met there.  I’ve always wanted to go to a small school, close to home as well as I love the Christ-centered atmosphere.”

Coach McDowell on Harkins: “Marissa comes to us “college-ready”. She is physically strong with a great mentality. She possesses a lot of leadership qualities already and has the ability to earn the respect of her teammates by her work rate and attitude. She is a great defender who reads the game very well and takes pride in defending. Her presence on our program will be important.”

Kirsten Leggitt
Hometown: Norcross, Ga.
Position: Midfielder
School/Club team: Norcross High, Roswell Santos

Leggitt’s parents are Rich and Renee Leggitt, and Angel and John Cushma, and she plans to major in Exercise Science while at TMU. She chose TMU because “I knew Truett would be my home away from home when I first saw the family atmosphere within the soccer team. The opportunity to travel and serve the Lord through missionary work truly sealed the deal. I remember leaving my over-night visit knowing TMU was the one.”

Coach McDowell on Leggitt: “Kirsten is a great addition for our program. She impresses me both as a player and person. She is a great passer of the ball as well as strong in the tackle. One of her main attributes is the ability to break up opposing team’s plays as she reads the game very well defensively but she can also get forward and become a threat in the attacking half. She will fit in very well with our group here and I look forward to working with her.”

Jennifer McCall
Hometown: Cumming, Ga.
Position: Midfielder
School/Club team: Veritas Classical School, Southern Soccer Alliance

McCall’s parents are Jeff and Christy McCall, and she plans to major in Nursing while at TMU. She chose TMU because “Truett McConnell was the first college that I ever visited. After practicing with the team and spending the night, I knew that Truett was where I wanted to be. The Christian atmosphere, the ladies on the team, and Coach Mac are the biggest reasons why I chose TMU. Glorifying the Lord through both winning and losing is one of the best ways to honor our Savior on and off the field, and Truett does it so well. I am looking forward to the next four years of my life at Truett McConnell University and cannot wait to see how the Lord will use me to further His kingdom through my time here and after I graduate.”

Coach McDowell on McCall: “Jen is the type of attacking player you want on your team. She is creative, quick, with good feet and likes to go to goal. She fits in well with our style of play and will add a nice dynamism to our attack. Jen’s character and passion are a great complement for our program and we are excited to have her here.”

Lexi Perrotta
Hometown: Roswell, Ga.
Position: Defender
School/Club team: Milton High, Roswell Santos

Perrotta’s parents are Ken and Sherry Perrotta, and she plans to major in Criminal Justice while at TMU. She chose TMU because “I fell in love with the community and felt welcomed at TMU before I even stepped foot on the campus.”

Coach McDowell on Perrotta: “Lexi is a tenacious defender who works extremely hard and has good speed. She is an aggressive player who is determined to play at a high level every time she steps onto the field. We see her as pushing for time at the full back position.”

McKenzie Rowland
Hometown: Covington, Ga.
Position: Defender
School/Club team: Alcovy High, RYSA Revolution

Rowland’s parents are Marcella and Jamey Rowland, and she plans to major in Nursing while at TMU. She chose TMU because “it was a great fit for me from the first visit. They emphasize that educational and college life are just as important as my soccer career. It’s small, yet modern, 2.5 hours from home and in the mountains & I’ll be surrounded by people who tend to have all the same values as me. All things that were important to me.”

Coach McDowell on Rowland: “McKenzie is a strong and aggressive defender. She always seems to know where the ball will be and anticipates the movement of strikers superbly. She is strong in the tackle, and will bring a good presence to the backline. Her desire to always improve is impressive.”

Truett McConnell Bears Sports Information

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