Adam Grant begins his first season as head coach at Cumberland and his fourth with the program. He was a full-time assistant in 2014 and served two years as a graduate assistant before that.
The Phoenix have produced the three most decorated seasons in program history over the last three years, posting marks of 19-3-0, 16-4-1 and 17-4-1 with one Mid-South Conference regular season championship (2013) and one Mid-South Conference tournament title (2012).
Cumberland reached the NAIA National Tournament in all three campaigns, winning matches in the NAIA Championship Opening Round each year to reach the Round of 16 and advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history in 2014 in Orange Beach, Ala.
Thirteen players earned All-America honors over the last three seasons along with 26 All-Conference honorees and 30 conference, state and national player of the week awards.
The Phoenix started the 2014 campaign 13-0-1, reaching No. 1 in the national poll for four weeks, the program'Âs first-ever No. 1 ranking. Three of the club's four losses last season came to the teams that played in the national championship game - Lindsey Wilson and Northwest Ohio.
Cumberland won an NAIA Championship Opening Round match for the third straight season and finally broke through at the NAIA Championships final site in Orange Beach, defeating Concordia [CA] University to reach the national quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Last season the Phoenix racked up plenty of postseason honors once again, with Gilpin garnering Mid-South Conference Player of the Year accolades and Emily Shires earning the Freshman of the Year award. Kitson, Olivia Chu, Taylor Nay, Kaitlin Phillips, Mackenzie Keele, Reneé LaRose, Gilpin and Shires were voted First Team All-MSC while Beth Morgan and Kaitlin Kisiloski were named to the Second Team.
Kitson became the program'Âs first-ever First Team All-American while Gilpin was named Second Team and Phillips, LaRose and Chu each earned Honorable Mention accolades. The Phoenix ranked second nationally in goals (82) and shutouts (14) and finished third in the country in assists (63) and goals per game (3.73).
A record 10 players -Â Christi Armstrong, Maddie Barbier, Kiley Sanson, Dayle Weslosky, Chu, Nay, Kitson, LaRose, Morgan and Phillips -Â earned Mid-South Conference Scholar-Athlete honors and Morgan, Nay and Phillips were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Morgan, LaRose and Phillips was voted Capitol One Academic All-District 2 and Phillips earned Second Team Academic All-America honors as well.
The 2012 team set program records for wins, goals scored (91) and goals against (12). In addition the Phoenix led the nation in total goals and ranked second with 4.14 goals per match. The club also handed out 65 assists, fourth most in the nation, and ranked fourth nationally with 13 shutouts.
Freshman Kelsey Langille led the nation in points (82), goals (37), shots per game (7.18) and shots on goal per game (4.18) and ranked second in the country in game-winning goals (8). Freshman Taylor Nay tied for the national lead with 18 assists while ranking third in assists per game (0.82). Kitson tied for fifth nationally in goals-against-average (0.52), racking up 18 victories in net and making 78 saves.
Kitson and Langille were named Second and Third Team All-Americans, respectively, the first All-Americans in program history. Langille, Kitson, Nay, Gilpin, LaRose and Mackenzie Keele were voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference, Rhianne Parsons and Simone Quinn both earned Second Team accolades, and Langille was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week three times and garnered NAIA National Player of the Week accolades twice.
Five student-athletes -Â Beth Morgan, Phillips, Michelle Ward, Stephanie Twardowski and Quinn - were named Mid-South Conference Scholar-Athletes, and Quinn and Ward also earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors.
In 2013 the Phoenix toppled No. 1-ranked Lindsey Wilson at home in October en route to the regular season championship only to lose to the Blue Raiders in overtime in the conference tournament finals. Nay was voted Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and Chu earned Freshman of the Year honors.
Kitson, Gilpin, Parsons, Phillips, Keele and Ward were voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference and Kristen Anstey and LaRose garnered Second Team accolades. Chu and Kitson were named Second and Third Team All-Americans, respectively, while Parsons, Gilpin, Nay and Ward all earned Honorable Mention All-America nods.
Kitson, LaRose, Morgan, Nay, Phillips and Ward each were named Mid-South Conference Scholar-Athletes and Morgan, Phillips and Ward all garnered Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition. Nay was also voted Capital One Academic All-District 2 by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The Dublin, Ireland, native graduated from Pobalscoil Neasain before playing three years at Lambuth University, earning First Team All-Conference honors as a freshman and Second Team All-Conference accolades as a junior. The Eagles won a conference championship his freshman season and he captained the 2010 club to a 12-5-2 overall mark.
Grant served as an assistant coach with the U13 and U14 girls teams for the Jackson Wolves Futbal Club in 2009-10, helping plan and organize team and individual sessions, monitoring fitness and player development and teaching techniques and tactics of the game. The following year he was the head coach of the U14 squad.
At Cumberland he monitors fitness and recruits new players for the programs. He holds a “D” coaching license with the US Soccer Federation, completed in August 2012.
Grant graduated to Martin Methodist College to complete his coursework, earning his bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Sports Management in May 2012. He received his master’s in Sport and Exercise Pedagogy from Cumberland in May 2014.