The Lady Flames completed another championship season with a 23-2 record. Yelton lost only one starter from the 2011 squad. Lee also returns its key reserves from a team that rewrote the NAIA record books.
Marie Eliassen hails from Haugesund, Norway. She attends Haugesund Toppidrettsgymnas. Eliassen is Yelton’s latest recruit from Norway, and hopes she will continue the successful performances of Norwegian players from past Lady Flames’ program.
Marie has been a part of the club setup at Haugar the last several seasons and has been a key part of the team’s defense over her time with the club. She was named the club’s best player in 2010. In addition she was able to capture the prestigious Arsenal Cup with her Regional Team. Along with a very successful stint at the club and regional level she has been a part of Norway’s U-19 squad and appeared in three matches in the UEFA U-19 Championship qualifying rounds.
Yelton commented, “I was extremely excited when Marie made the decision to sign with us. She brings a very polished game to our team, and her height and athleticism will give us another component to our squad. She is very calm and composed on the ball and her vision and understanding of the game are excellent. She will be an excellent addition to our team and with her versatility I believe she will have the opportunity to play a lot of minutes in her first season.”
Marie is the daughter of Arve and Grethe Eliassen. She also has a brother, Frederik.
Marbel Egwuenu is from Lagos, Nigeria and has spent the first two years of her college career at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, under the guidance of coach Bruno Kalonji.
Egwuenu has excelled at every level of soccer she has participated in. Before joining Georgia Perimeter she was the starting goalkeeper for the Nigerian U-17 and U-20 National teams. In 2008, Marbel played in both the U-17 and U-20 World Cups for Nigeria appearing in a total of six matches.
Upon joining the team at GPC, her play would be equally impressive and in her first year had a measly 0.31 goals against average while leading her team to 16 shutouts. For her efforts she was named second team All-American at the NJCAA level, and helped lead GPC to a third-place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament.
In her second season, Egwuenu would again excel and conceded a total of just eight goals over the course of the season and would be named First Team All Region.
“Marbel is a really nice addition to our squad in that she makes our goalkeeping corps especially deep. She is a top-notch goalkeeper and will come in and challenge for the starting job right away. Also, with the fact that both of our returning goalkeepers will be entering their senior season, it will give us at least one goalkeeper on our roster in 2013 that has college level experience,” stated coach Matt Yelton.
Molly McLaughlin is the latest member to join the Lady Flames from the state of Kentucky. She attends Trinity Christian Academy in Lexington.
Molly has been an important part of her team, Lexington Futbol Club. While serving as the team captain, the club has reach the State Finals on three different occasions and have participated in the Midwest Regional League. In 2011 the Lexington club reached the USYS Region II Tournament, and she has been the club’s leading goals scorer.
Molly has also been an active participant in the Kentucky ODP program and a member of the State Team. In her offseason, she excels in track and cross country.
Yelton said, “Molly is a very competitive and athletic player who I believe can come in and take the competition level of our training sessions a notch higher. She is a player who has a great nose for goal and will get forward into the attack. She can play in multiple positions as a wide player and has a real drive to be successful. I definitely think Molly’s best soccer is still in front of her.”
Molly is the daughter of Brian and Melinda McLaughlin and has two brothers, Luke and Kyle.
Tessa Piety comes to Lee by way of Knoxville to wear the maroon and white. She played her high school soccer at Christian Academy of Knoxville where she was a vital part of three state championship teams under the guidance of coach Reid Estus who had this to say about her: “Tessa is the most competitive and passionate player to play for me during my 25 years of coaching. She plays every match like it’s the last one she’ll ever play and she competes just as hard in practice. She’ll walk off the practice field just as exhausted as if she’s played a 120 minute match. Tessa is an excellent one-on-one defender, but she’s most dominating controlling the defensive air space. Tessa will go to and win every head ball.”
Tessa has been equally impressive with her club soccer team FC Alliance. In her time with the team it has reached the Tennessee Soccer State Finals five times, advanced to the USYS Southern Regionals three times, and captured the Region Three Premier League Championship once.
“Tessa came to our camp the last several years with her CAK team and never failed to impress us. She is a very polished player and has the knack for being in the right place at the right time. The thing that I especially appreciate about Tessa is the quality of her character. She is without a doubt one of the most sincere individuals that I have ever met,” coach Yelton stated.
Tessa has also been very successful in the classroom, winning several individual academic awards. Her parents are Dr. Kenneth and Linda Piety, and the athlete has 26 siblings.