Feb. 3, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith announced the signing of eight student-athletes for the 2016 season on Wednesday.
“I am thrilled to be announcing our class for 2016,” Smith said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous group of players. They’ve been committed here for awhile, and we are excited to finally announce them.”
This year’s class features two of the top players from the state of South Carolina as well as several signees that posses experience with national teams.
“We’re really excited about the quality of the class and everything that they will bring to us,” Smith said. “It’s a well-balanced group that will complement our returning players.”
The Gamecocks finished their 2015 campaign with a 12-5-3 overall record, tallying double-digit wins for the third-straight season. South Carolina qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years and was ranked No. 16 in the NSCAA final regular season poll.
2016 Signing Class
Mikayla KrzeczowskiGoalkeeper â€¢ Douglasville, Ga. â€¢ Chapel Hill â€¢ Concorde Fire
Competed in the U.S. National Team Player Pool from 2011-14…was a member of her Olympic Development Program (ODP) state and regional teams from 2011-13…played club soccer for the Concorde Fire of the Elite Club National League (ECNL) under head coach Gregg Blasingame, serving as the team captain for four years… helped lead the Fire to the conference title three times…named to the ECNL Phoenix U17 All-Events Goalkeeper Team.
Coach Smith on Mikayla – “Mikayla is a goalkeeper with national pool experience, and she’s been outstanding in her youth development. We look forward to seeing how she progresses through college. She has tremendous tools and possesses all the things you look for in a goalkeeper.”
Click here for Mikayla’s full bio.
Estefania SalasMidfielder â€¢ Panama City, Panama â€¢ Colegio San Agustin â€¢ Costa Del Este FC
Was a member of Panama’s U17 and U20 National Teams… competed at the club soccer level at Costa Del Este F.C. under head coach Francisco Portillo… earned Team MVP honors while playing for her club team…played at Colegio San Agustin for head coach Armando Castillo…named the Team MVP and was the team’s top scorer during her high school career…also played basketball while in high school.
Coach Smith on Estefania – “Estefania has been tremendous for her national team. She’s very skilled, and she will add a different playing style to our midfield. She can also play in the back as well.”
Participated in the U14 U.S. Girls National Team Camp in 2012 and the U15 National Team Camp in 2013…named to the United Soccer League (USL) W-20 2013 Championship All-Tournament Team and was a 2014 W-League All-Southeastern Conference Team selection…played club soccer for the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) under head coach Andrew Hyslop…helped lead CESA to the state championship in 2012 and the state finals in 2011…participated in the Champions League National Playoffs during the 2014-15 season while at CESA…played one season at J.L. Mann High School under head coach Steve Georgopoulos, earning All-State and All-Region honors as a freshman…helped J.L. Mann reach the state finals during her freshman year.
Coach Smith on Kailey – “Kailey is one of the best players to come out of the state of South Carolina in some time. She played at the same club as one of our former standouts, Blakely Mattern, and Kailey is following in her footsteps as the next great defender. She’s been a national pool player, and she is working her way back from an injury.”
Click here for Kailey’s full bio.
Forward â€¢ Greenville, S.C. â€¢ J.L. Mann â€¢ CESA
A four-star prospect, ranked No. 73 nationally and tabbed as the No. 9 player in the South Atlantic region…nominated for the 2014 and 2015 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year Award…participated in the 2012 U.S. Soccer Training ID Camp as well as the 2013 and 2014 Elite Club National League (ECNL) PDP ID Camps…played for the Carolina Cobras in the USL W-League in 2015 and was a member of the program from 2013-15 in the U20 league… competed at the club soccer level at the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) under head coach Andrew Hyslop…played in the ECNL from 2011-16 and helped lead CESA to the 2012 U.S. Youth Soccer State Championship and the 2011 state finals… took part in the 2012 Adidas International London Tour and played in the ECNL Champions League in 2014 and 2015…part of the South Carolina Olympic Development Program from 2009-12…was a four-year letter winner at J.L. Mann…received All-Region and All-State honors in 2014 and 2015 and was a 2014 high school All-American…helped J.L. Mann reach the 2013 and 2014 state finals before leading them to the state championship in 2015.
Coach Smith on Libby – “Libby is another player that is highly regarded in South Carolina. She’s a prolific goal scorer, and she also can play a defensive role. She’ll be someone we will look to get out on the attack from the backline.”
Click here for Libby’s full bio
Defender â€¢ Cary Grove, Ill. â€¢ Cary-Grove â€¢ Eclipse Select Soccer Club
Played club soccer at Eclipse Select Soccer Club under head coach Rory Dames… helped Eclipse capture the Illinois State Cup Championship each year from 2012-15… was a member of the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship team and the Elite Club National League (ECNL) National Championship squads in 2013 and 2014…served as a team captain while at Eclipse…took part in the U.S. Club Soccer id2 Camp in 2011 and earned a spot on the ECNL 2015 Best XI in San Diego…was a member of the 2013 ECNL Player Development Program in Madison, Wis., and the ECNL All-Event Team in Sanford, Fla. in 2013.
Coach Smith on Rebecca – “Rebecca is a defender, but she has the ability to play in the midfield or on the backline. She was essential for her club team, and she will bring a lot of experience to our group. She reads the game well and is very consistent.”
Click here for Rebecca’s full bio.
Defender â€¢ Orland Park, Ill. â€¢ Victor J. Andrew â€¢ Eclipse Select Soccer Club
Took part in the U14, U15 and U18 U.S. Women’s National Team Camps…competed at the id2 National Selection Training Camp…played for the Eclipse Select Soccer Club under head coach Rory Dames…helped Eclipse win the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Illinois State Cup and the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship…was a member of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Elite Club National League (ECNL) Midwest Conference Championship teams and the 2013 and 2014 National Championship squads.
Coach Smith on Tatumn – “Tatumn is another defender that brings national pool experience. She will most likely be a right back for us, but she is also very good in the attack. We’re excited for what she will bring to the team this fall.”
Click here for Tatumn’s full bio.
Defender â€¢ Cornwall, N.Y. â€¢ Cornwall Central â€¢ Quickstrike FC
Played club soccer at Quickstrike FC under head coach Jesse Kolmel…served as a team captain, leading Quickstrike to multiple New England Tournament Championships…was a coaching assistant for some of the youth teams at the program…took part in the Eastern New York State Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Olympic Development Program (ODP) and played on the ENYYSA Surf Cup Team…was a three-year varsity starter at Cornwall Central High School under head coach Amanda Greenblat…named a Section 9 All-Star twice while at Cornwall Central and was tabbed an 845 Second Team All-Star two times…received 2015 Team MVP accolades and was the team’s Defensive MVP for the 2014 and 2015 seasons…helped lead Cornwall Central to the 2013 and 2015 Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Championships and was part of the team that earned runner-up honors in the 2015 Section 9 Championship…also lettered in softball in 2013.
Coach Smith on Lauren – “We’re excited to see what Lauren is able to contribute to the team, and I think she’s going to do a tremendous job based off what we’ve seen from her. She is a long, physical player who carries the right attitude.”
Click here for Lauren’s full bio.
Forward â€¢ Buford, Ga. â€¢ Buford â€¢ GSA 98
Was a member of the Honduran U20 National Team for the 2015 World Cup Pre-Qualifer games…played club soccer for Gwinnett Soccer Association (GSA) 98 under head coach Chapman Campbell…helped lead GSA 98 to the 2014-15 Southeast Conference Championship…competed in the GA Olympic Development Program (ODP) as well as the Region III player pool for five years…was a four-year letter winner at Buford High School under head coach Andrew Eager…earned All-County honors in her first three years at Buford after helping the program capture the Regional Championship each season during that stretch… was named the Player of the Year for the 2014-15 season…received the Buford Excellence Award as a junior… also lettered in track while at Buford.
Coach Smith on Elexa – “Elexa’s an outstanding attacking player that will contribute in the forward or central midfield position. She’s a goal scorer, but she can also deliver the final pass and set someone else up to score. She will add another dynamic to our attack in the fall.”
Click here for Elexa’s full bio.