MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer team opened preseason training on Friday afternoon as the defending Ohio Valley Conference regular season champions.

With the Skyhawks coming off the program’s fifth regular season title following a strong 2021 campaign which saw the squad go 11-6-1 overall while going 6-2 during league play, the 2022 iteration will look to find its own identity.

UT Martin returns seven starters off last season’s championship squad including two-time All-OVC honoree Maria Castaldo, Parker Gelinas, Katey Hunt, Brooke Kala, Izzy Patterson, Makayla Robinson and Hannah Zahn. In addition to the team’s starters, the Skyhawks welcome back returners Brooke Carroll, Megan Drake, Emma Elliott, Lynette Hawkins, Sophia Mankowski, Ryann Mushkin and Kira Wells.

Gallery: (8-5-2022) 2022 Soccer Official Practice

The Skyhawks will also use the preseason slate to integrate eight newcomers including four domestic additions Shayla Addington, Allie Buchmann, Nyeema Prescod-Beckles (Jacksonville State) and Rachel Pugh (Grambling State) along with four international prospects Poppy Bastock (England), Alba Delgado (Spain), Lily Graham (Scotland) and Abbi McHenry (Northern Ireland).

The squad will play a pair of exhibition road matchups against Memphis (Aug. 10) and Arkansas State (Aug. 13) before officially opening the season at home against Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky on Aug. 21.

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