Last Tuesday, seven members of the UNC-Greensboro Women’s soccer team earned an All-Southern Conference (SoCon) honor for their play this season.
The Women’s soccer season, which came to an end Friday night in a 2-1 loss to Furman in the SoCon Tournament, featured a collection of players who received distinction for their play.
One such player was Caylin Prillaman, who was named the 2015 Freshman of the Year for the conference. The forward from High Point played four years for Wesleyan Christian Academy and helped lead her team to conference championships in 2011 and 2014.
In high school, Prillaman was named All-State, All-Region and All-Conference prior to coming to UNCG. For the year, the Spartans finished the season 9-9-3 overall and 6-2-1 in the Southern Conference.
After winning Freshman of the Year, Prillaman still doesn’t know what to make of her latest accomplishment.
“It feels weird honestly,” Prillaman said. “It hasn’t set in yet. It’s a great thing that for UNCG to have that title back now. It’s been five years since someone has gotten it, and it’s awesome that both women’s and men’s [teams] got freshman of the year.”
Prillaman becomes the sixth Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in program history and first since 2009. Leeroy Maguraushe received the honor for the men’s team.
This season, Prillaman was second on the team in points with 12, and she had five goals. All five of her goals came in SoCon action, and she managed to tally at least one point in each of the Spartans in the last four games.
She has also scored two game winning goals this year, one against Western Carolina on September 25 and the other against Mercer on October 16. Prillaman appeared in all 20 games this season as a forward.
Away from the pitch at UNCG, Prillaman shared her experience at UNCG as a first year student.
“Everything about it has been amazing. I love meeting all the new people, the athletes, everyone in my classes, all my teachers, everything. It’s just a great atmosphere to be in,” Prillaman said.
Prillaman, like other freshmen, knows the adjustment from high school to college can be tough. But Prillaman has seemed to have handled that transition very well with time.
“At first, it was overwhelming with the school work, soccer and time management, but now that I have gotten in a routine, it’s just a great experience overall,” Prillaman said.
In comparing high school to college, Prillaman also spoke about how her game has improved from high school to university.
“I have gotten better with my speed of play [and] just all sorts of things across the board,” Prillaman said. “Practicing more really helps with my technique, and my overall performance levels have gotten better.”
Prillaman feels very confident about going into her sophomore season but still feels that there are some things that she can get better at.
“I can improve on anything and everything,” Prillaman said. “You can never not improve in something.”
Coming to UNCG, Prillaman set high goals for herself as a freshman, and even though she received such a distinctive honor, the freshman still feels that she should had done more.
“I could have done a lot more, and I didn’t meet the amount of goals I wanted to get this year, so I missed that by one and that was a goal that I set for myself. I didn’t reach it, so I definitely feel I could have done better,” Prillaman said.
Prillaman set a preseason goal for six scores but only got five on the season. She also discussed what tasks she has set for herself next season.
“Next season, I definitely want to raise the bar and try to meet my goal and surpass it,” Prillaman said. “I just want to continue to get better and to just make a difference on the team next year to really just keep building every year.”
UNCG’s seven All-Conference selections mark the most since 2012 when the Spartans had eight players selected.
Along with being named Freshman of the Year, Prillaman was also named to the SoCon All-Freshman team.
The women’s soccer team made it all the way to the conference’s Semi-Finals of the Southern Conference Tournament before being defeated by eventual champion Furman.