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Women's Recruiting May 31, 2023

Tennessee adds 10 new Volunteers as members of 2023 signing class

University of Tennessee head coach Joe Kirt has announced the addition of 10 players in the program’s 2023 signing class. All 10 are versatile field players with six enrolling as freshmen and four arriving as transfers with multiple years of collegiate experience.

“We are incredibly excited for these players to join us on Rocky Top this fall,” said Kirt. “A well-balanced group both in terms of experience and on-field attributes, they will undoubtedly enhance the already competitive environment within our team.”

The Lady Vols are looking to build off a 2022 campaign in which the team captured its third straight SEC East Division Championship, tying South Carolina for the title with 15 points in divisional play while finishing second overall in the league with 22 points. The 2022 squad posted 10 shutouts on the season, went undefeated on the road in conference play for the first time in program history, and made a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance en route to a final record of 11-6-2.

Kayla Barr, Emma Duval, Sarah Greiner, Linette Hofmann, Keaton Mitchell and Kate Runyan all come to Knoxville as freshmen. Barr competed for the Big Orange during the spring season having enrolled in January.

“Our freshmen are attacking-minded overall,” Kirt said. “Linette plays the deepest of group, capable of being anywhere on the back line or in the midfield. She’s always looking for opportunities to get forward and join the attack.  Emma and Keaton are confident and creative center midfielders who both create scoring chances off the dribble and bring physicality in their defense. Kayla, Sarah and Kate are relentless goal-scorers and can play anywhere along the front line. They are comfortable in 1v1 situations and dangerous in the attacking box.”

Sizzy Lawton, Nayeli Diaz and Sam Agresti all arrive on Rocky Top as graduate transfers, while Sheridan Michel just completed her sophomore season at Oklahoma.

“Our transfers bring extensive experience, arriving in Knoxville with 203 combined appearances in collegiate games.  Three of the four have youth national team appearances on their resumes,” Kirt said. “Nayeli and Sizzy are dynamic and ruthless attackers, both able to create scoring chances for themselves and their teammates.  In the back half, Sam and Sheridan are proven ball-winners who also bring composure and vision while in possession.

“The addition of this class to an already hungry and talented Tennessee team puts our program in a great position to compete for another SEC Championship this fall.”

Samantha Agresti 

Midfielder | Swampscott, Mass. 
Graduate transfer from Boston College 

A four-year starter at Boston College, Agresti appeared in 69 matches and started 53. Over four seasons, she recorded five goals and nine assists for the Eagles. As a senior, she was seventh on the team in total minutes, spending 1,250 minutes on the pitch. She has seen action with the U.S Soccer Youth National Team, having been invited to U-17 and U-19 camps and made the U-19 roster for a two-game set against the Netherlands in October 2018.

Kayla Barr 

Forward | Seymour, Tenn.  

A local product, Kayla Barr owns the all-time scoring record for Maryville High School with 96 career goals as well as 53 assists. She was a four-year all-state performer, the 2019 freshman of the year, a finalist for Tennessee State Player of the Year in 2020, a United Soccer Coaches All-South team nominee in 2020 and 2021, and she participated in the 2022 High School All-American Game. She played club for FC Alliance and was named to the Ohio Valley All-Conference first team in 2020 and 2021. She played in the ECNL Girls National Selection Game in 2020 and 2021 and made ECNL National appearances in 2019 and 2021. Barr enrolled in January and participated in spring training.

Nayeli Diaz 

Forward | Hacienda Heights, Calif. 
Graduate transfer from Saint Mary’s 

Diaz is coming off a senior season with Saint Mary’s in which she started all 18 games, netting a team-high eight goals and finishing second on the team with six assists to earn All-West Coast Conference honors. She has seen action with both the senior and U-17 Mexico National Team squads, earning two caps with the senior team in 2021. Prior to her appearance with the senior squad, she was active with the youth teams, making 26 appearances and accruing six goals. In the 2018 CONCACAF U-17 World Cup Qualifying Tournament, she started every match and scored a goal against the United States in the tournament final.

Emma Duval 

Midfielder | Naperville, IL 

A 2019 and 2020 ECNL All-Conference Selection, Duval plays for Eclipse Select SC and led the team to a State Cup Championship and the ECNL Playoffs Champions league in 2022. She attended the U.S. Soccer Training Combine in 2019 and 2020 and has participated in the U.S. Club Soccer ID2 program. In 2019, she was named MVP of the USA Futsal team in Barcelona, Spain.

Sarah Greiner 

Forward | Braselton, GA 

A two-sport athlete for Flowery Branch High School, Greiner was a two-time soccer first team all-region nominee, a 2022 preseason all-state honoree, and voted team MVP in 2021. She racked up 54 goals and 110 points during her senior campaign to land on the 2023 Georgia High School Girls Super XI squad. In track and field, she qualified for state in the 4x800m, taking a seventh-place finish.  She plays ECNL for GSA and was named to the All-Southeast Conference first team in 2021 and 2022.

Linette Hofmann 

Defender | Vierhnheim, Germany 

Hoffman spent the past four years playing with Hoffenheim in the Women’s Bundesliga First and Second divisions, appearing in 56 matches and amassing over 4,700 minutes played. She took the field with the U-19 German National Team in the 2022 UEFA U-19 Championships as a defender.

Sizzy Lawton 

Midfielder/Forward | Fort Washington, Pa. 
Graduate transfer from Penn 

Lawton joins the Lady Vols as a graduate transfer from Penn where she played in 47 games, starting in 37 and recording 10 goals and 12 assists over three seasons. As a senior, she led Penn in goals and assists with four each to earn Second Team All-Ivy honors for the second straight season. As a junior, she started every match and tied for second on the team with 13 points, tallying three goals and seven assists to earn Third-Team United Soccer Coaches All-North Region honors.

Keaton Mitchell 

Midfielder | Franklin, Tenn.  
#150 overall and #57 midfielder by IMG/Top Drawer Soccer 

Tennessee native Keaton Mitchell is a two-sport athlete at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn. A three-time all-state performer, she led the Wildcats to two state championships, amassing 92 goals and 85 assists during her high school soccer career to hold the school record for total points at 279. She also medaled twice in the TSSAA Track and Field Championships. With Tennessee Soccer Club, she made three national playoff appearances, was named to the Ohio Valley All-Conference first team in 2021 and 2022, and landed on the ECNL All-America list. She was a starter for Tennessee Soccer Club’s USL semi-pro team and has attended USA YNT ID Camp.

Sheridan Michel 

Defender | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

A starter during both her seasons at Oklahoma and an All-Big 12 Second Team performer in 2022, Michel comes to Tennessee having logged three goals and an assist in 3,328 career minutes. Prior to her time at Oklahoma, she played club for the Canadian Youth National Ontario Regional Excel Program and attended Canada’s U-17 National Team camp in 2019.

Kate Runyon 

Forward | Westminster, Colorado 

An all-state performer in both years she competed for Jefferson Academy High School, Runyon owns the school record for points in a game with 15. As a two-sport athlete, she was the Metro League champion in the 200m and qualified for state in four events, making the podium in the 100m and 4x200m. She played club for Bloomfield Blast SC, leading the team in goals and serving as captain as the squad advanced to the USYS National Championship semifinal in 2021 and final in 2022.

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