Last year Paul Patton’s women’s soccer team at St. Catharine College finished in sixth place among eight teams in the Mid-South Conference. And this year, as the season opens at Freed Hardeman University on Friday, the Patriots are looking to climb into the top half of the conference standings. But Patton knows that will not come easily.
“We now have 10 teams in the conference with Bluefield and Cumberland (Tenn.) coming in,” said Patton. “I don’t really know a lot about Bluefield, but I do know that Cumberland has had a good program over the years.”
Patton sees his own team as improved over last year’s squad that finished 7-9-1 overall and 1-5-1 in the MSC. He sees overall team defense and greater depth as the biggest gains over last year.
“We lost three starters, including our leading scorer (Emily Caras) from last year, but we have a really strong junior class and a good recruiting class coming in,” explained Patton. “The recruiting class is probably the best we’ve had, both in quantity and quality, and I look for four or five of them to contribute immediately.”