CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Western Carolina women’s soccer hit the pitch this morning for its 21st season of the program in the first of two practices on the day. The Catamounts are looking to continue to claw its way up the Southern Conference ladder in the 2019 season.


Head Coach Chad Miller features 19 returners from last fall. A seven-member senior class includes the potential for a high-powered offense in Julia Winter, Emily Threatt, and Mackenzie Wright. Also providing solid offense and defense are Jordan Dawsey, Kate Swartwout, Ashton Cannon, and Emily Zipay.


Ten newcomers round out this year’s roster including two international players in Melody Mezzina (GK, Brampton, Ontario Canada) and Ximena Solis (F, Lima, Peru). Six players hail from North Carolina while Summitt Dan is from Johnson City, Tenn. and Aliyah Milicia is from Greenville, S.C.


In what has become the norm for Western Carolina women’s soccer, the squad will have short preseason clocking in four practice dates before its exhibition at home on Tuesday. The Catamounts will host former Southern Conference rival Appalachian State in a practice game on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Catamount Athletic Complex.


Members of the Western Carolina women’s soccer team had some interesting adventures during the summer break. Here are a few of their stories. Look for more in the coming preseason releases.

Kate Swartwout (Senior): During the spring and early summer, Swartwout was a public relations intern for the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers who captured the franchise’s first-ever Calder Cup Championship. Working closely with the team, Swartwout was charged with handling social media, post-game interviews, and press releases.

Kate Trophy

Kate Trophy 2

Renee Saneholtz (Junior): After spending two weeks in Australia, Saneholtz returned to the United States to volunteer at Mission Hospital working there eight hours a week. During her tenure at Mission, she helped in the emergency room and also shadowed two doctors getting to observe an open-heart surgery.

Shannon Greenwood (R-Freshman): In May, Greenwood and her family took a once in a lifetime trip to Costa Rica. She went with her mom, dad, and best friend Brittany. She went for six days, planning the whole trip. Greenwood flew into San Jose, Costa Rica, rented a car and drove to the Arenal Volcano. She stayed in a resort called Hotel Los Lagos, and it had 18 natural hot spring pools along with water slides. She went to the renowned Rio Celeste waterfall which is known for its bright blue color. Greenwood got to see a sloth and went four-wheeling around the volcano, and through the little town. She went zip lining on the longest zip line through Latin America which was approximately two kilometers. She went Superman zip lining and did a Tarzan swing over the rainforest. Greenwood then drove to Jaco, which is the best surf beach in Costa Rica. She went jet skiing through the Pacific and went on a banana boat ride at the Manuel Antonio National Park. Jaco had black sand beaches. Greenwood then went four-wheeling through the rainforest providing a beautiful mountainous view. She also went horseback riding on the beach for half of the time, and then rode in the rainforest for the rest. To finish off the trip Greenwood and her friend Brittney took a surfing lesson and caught 10 waves.

Greenwood 1



Ashton Cannon (Senior): Cannon traveled to Valencia, Spain with the Western Carolina University Spanish program to finish her Spanish minor. She admits she had a blast visiting numerous cities during the trip and sampled delicious authentic food. Cannon also had the opportunity to live with a host mother and her son and said she still misses them. She also had the opportunity to get to know a unique group of other WCU students on the trip.





Stay tuned to the program’s official social media accounts for the latest on Twitter (@catamounts) and Instagram (@wcu_catamounts) along with soccer’s Twitter (@wcusoccer).



Friday, August 9

8 a.m.              Meeting

10-12 p.m.       Practice

4-6 p.m.           Practice

Saturday, August 10

8 a.m.              Meeting

10-12 p.m.       Practice

2:30-4: 30 p.m.Practice

5:30-6:30 p.m. Catamount Club Cookout w/ football - Dinner                                                                                                               

Sunday, August 11

8 a.m.             Meeting

10-12 p.m.      Practice

4-6 p.m.          Practice

Monday, August 12

8 a.m.              Meeting

10-12 p.m.       Practice

4-6 p.m.           Practice

Tuesday, August 13

10 a.m.            Team – Class Pictures

7 p.m.               Exhibition vs Appalachian State   

Wednesday, August 14

8 a.m. -Noon    Team Bonding Event

4-6 p.m.             Practice

Thursday, August 15

8 a.m.             Meeting

10-12 p.m.      Practice

4-6 p.m.          Practice

Friday, August 16  

7 p.m.              Exhibition at Winthrop