Wood, 5-foot-6, is from Jacksonville, Fla. She made an immediate impact on the Lady Bisons last season, earning Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team honors.
Lady Bisons coach Jon Ireland thinks this is just one of what should be many more honors for Wood during her career.
“I really think that she will eventually be a first team all-conference player,” Ireland said. “I believe she is that exciting as a player and that she is that dominant. She is without a doubt one of the best defenders in our conference.”
The Lady Bisons have struggled on the field in the past few years. Ireland thinks the team history makes it difficult for his players to get recognition.
“It is hard to build up a defender when we have given up a lot of goals or haven’t won a whole lot of games,” Ireland said. “But Katie brings so much more to us on the field as far has her composure on the ball and her dominance in the air.”
Ireland was convinced when he signed Wood that her future was unlimited on the soccer field.
“We were really excited about Katie when we recruited her because of her dominance in the air,” Ireland said. “That is one of the biggest weaknesses for female players, but Katie is just tremendously strong in the air.
“She is a very smart defender. She reads the game very well. She is very smart academically. She has a good work ethic. We knew she had all the tools to be good.”
Wood played and started in all 19 games as a freshman. She scored one goal.
Ireland is impressed by Wood's conditioning work during this past summer.
“She came in more fit and leaner this year than she did as a freshman,” Ireland said. “She has gotten quicker.
“She understood what she needed to do. She knows what it is like to play in our conference. She is definitely prepared more for this year. I think that is maturity and growing up.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director pf Media Relations.