Chantelle Symes transfers to Horizon League outfit Detroit Mercy

The 2023 College Matildas Goalkeeper of the Year is on the move, as Southern Illinois’ Chantelle Symes transfers to Detroit Mercy. The former A-League Women’s player will be the only Australian to feature in the Horizon League in 2024, and one of a very small number of Australians in history to play women’s soccer in the conference.

Symes joined the fledgling Southern Illinois program in just its fourth year of existence in 2022, but was limited to a single appearance in her debut campaign. However, the Endeavour Sports High School graduate returned with a vengeance in 2023 to start in all 13 of her appearances and playing the full 90 minutes in 12 of those contests. With little in the way of support from the attack, Symes nonetheless kept her team in the majority of games with her performances, averaging 3.6 saves per game with a save percentage of 0.734. This included a nine-save performance in a 1-1 draw against SIU Edwardsville, and a seven-save outing in a narrow 1-0 defeat to Illinois State. In a stacked field also containing Pacific’s Libby Davy and Grambling State’s Aimee Benton, Symes’ efforts in a tough season for the Salukis were enough to earn the College Matildas Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Symes now joins a Detroit Mercy team that finds itself in a somewhat differing position. The Titans were good enough for a top 100 spot in the nation in scoring in 2023, scoring 1.68 goals per game. However, they conceded 1.63 per game to finish 7-9-3 as their season culminated in a first-round loss in the Horizon League tournament. However, the Titans are definitely on an upwards trajectory, having not won more than two games in a season from 2019-2021 before posting six wins in 2022. Moreover, in Symes, they have picked up a goalkeeper who posted a save percentage significantly higher than the Titans’ number of 0.696 in 2023 as they look to shore up the defence and get to .500 and potentially beyond in 2024.

Meanwhile, Symes is currently playing for Sutherland Strikers in Football NSW League One, adding to a roster that has recently made some significant improvements, culminating in a recent upset win for the team from the Shire. Playing alongside the likes of Sydney FC stars Tori Tumeth and Lucy Johnson, as well as former Indian Hills Community College forward Georgie Lewis, only a couple of Goal of the Week contenders from Hills United were able to beat Symes as 11th placed Sutherland shocked the ladder leaders with a 3-2 win.

About Lachy 388 Articles
Founder of College Matildas. An Australian women's football fan who also happens to be a college sports fan. Often found at A-League Women or NPLW games.

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