|Year of Graduation:||1991-1994|
As a 5’8 goalkeeper from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN, Lara Sibold approached the Maryville College Campus with an intention to make an immediate impact on the success of the soccer program in the 1991 season. With the pressure and stress that comes along with the role of a goalie Sibold was forced to make that immediate impact right away. As the season began then 3rd year coach Pepe Fernandez decided to test the young freshmen’s abilities and put her into 15 games her first year. She was a key contributor in a four game win streak to start the season which included 10-0 shutouts each against Covenant and Centre. Lara answered the call by allowing only 14 goals in the fifteen games that she played. That included 132 shots on goal. This stellar performance landed Sibold among national conversation due to her 0.87 goals allowed average. Once the season commenced Sibold totaled 8 shutouts in net and helped accumulate a 12-2-1 record for the Lady Scots.
The 1992 season, believe it or not, was an improvement from the impeccable freshmen season for Sibold. As a sophomore she remained as the anchor of the defensive unit for the Lady Scots where she recorded 10 shutouts throughout the season including key wins over Carson Newman (5-0), Tusculum (10-0), and Georgia Wesleyan (14-0). With the combination of spectacular goaltending and a trio of Dria Arenth, Julie Dingels, and Jara Griffith, who combined for 55 goals and 33 assists on the season, Maryville College was able to reach an impressive 15-3 record on the season.
Her junior season was a continual success where she led the team to a solid 9-8-3 record. During the season she received 149 shots on goal, in which she saved 96 of them in which accumulated a 1.80 Goals against average. With the contribution of five shutouts on the year to her team Sibold was able to claim the honor of being named 1st team All-South Goal Keeper.
Her senior year Lara finished strong by leading her team to a 10-6-2 record. During her senior season she reached the honor of being named a team captain for the season in which she shared the role with fellow teammate Jennifer Wells. On the season she saved 123 of the 199 shots on goal that she faced, which created an amazing stat of allowing only 10 goals on the entire season. Thanks to that stat she reached a career best .71 goals against average, which once again gave her the right of being 1st team All-South goal keeper. The seniors on a college team’s job is to lead by example and help their team win, taking that duty by storm Sibold had a part in every victory that Maryville obtained that season, simply because all 10 wins that they had her senior year were shutouts. As if her success on the soccer field were not enough Lara decided to use her athleticism in Basketball and Softball during her senior year. She was also named Homecoming Queen during her last fall on campus. At the end of her senior year the athletic department honored Lara as their J.D. Davis Award winner as the school’s top female student-athlete.
Lara Sibold created a resume and career at Maryville College that could quite possibly go down as one of the best that the soccer program will ever see. Over her remarkable career she had a 46-19-6 record, 32 career shutouts, and was named twice to be the All-South team as a goalkeeper. She also has made her name regularly seen in the Maryville College record books where she holds records in the top five ever for career shutouts, fewest goals allowed in season, and season shutouts.
Upon graduation, Lara returned to her high school alma mater to dedicate her life to teaching and coaching. She is presently at The Baylor School in Chattanooga.
Pepe Fernandez, who recently won his 500th career coaching match at MC, had this to say about Lara. “Lara has the natural ability to make everyone around her feel good. She is a natural leader with an infectious enthusiasm. She was and is a great ambassador for the college and the soccer program. Maryville College is blessed to call her an aluma.”
Maryville College began their women’s soccer program only 20 years ago. Following fellow Wall of Fame inductees Julie Dingels and Kelly Smelser, Ladies and gentlemen the 3rd women’s soccer player to enter MC’s Wall of Fame, Lara Sibold.