Ever since Greeneville’s Molly Hartman first stepped onto a soccer field she knew that she wanted to one day be a college soccer players, and after signing with Tusculum University on Wednesday afternoon that day juts got a lot closer.
“Playing college soccer has always been my goal. I remember that when I started playing on the Y fields I wanted to be a college soccer player,” Hartman said. “It feels great knowing I get to do that now. It’s relieving in a way to sign today. The whole process has been stressful, and it felt good to finally make this decision.”
Hartman was a captain and standout defender on this year’s Lady Devils squad that advanced to the state semifinals. Her versatility as a player proved the be incredibly valuable for the Lady Devils this season. At times when injuries limited who the Greeneville could put on the field Hartman might start a game on the back line and finish it on top of the formation.
She did whatever the coaches asked of her but ultimately it was her leadership of a new-look Lady Devils’ defense that led to her being named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Class AA All-State team. Hartman finished her senior year with five goals scored while helping the Lady Devils to five defensive shutouts.
At Tusculum Hartman will put all of her skills to the test and start her time with the Lady Pioneers as a center midfielder.
Tusculum is coming off of a 9-4-5 season, its best record since 2016, but is also now under a new coach after Mike Joy retired in the offseason and former assistant coach Vanessa Fyfe took over. Hartman is excited to be joining a program under new leadership, but she is even more excited that she gets to play her college soccer close to home.
“I wanted to stay home, but also they are very good program,” Hartman said. “They are getting better and building things up. It’s nice that I’ll have the same support that I’ve had my whole career, it’s nice that I won’t have to change that. And it’s nice my family can still come to games.”
Hartman will not be the only Lady Devil joining the Tusculum squad next year. Forward Tanna Bookhammer signed her letter of intent a few weeks ago, and Hartman is excited to go into her college experience with a teammate.
“It’s nice to know somebody. I’ve played with Tanna forever so it’s nice to have someone that I know going into it with me,” Hartman said.
Hartman plans to study forensic pathology at Tusculum.