Feb. 1, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith unveiled her 2017 signing class Wednesday, announcing the addition of 11 student-athletes.
“I’m excited about this group, and this time of year is always fun to see how the players join us,” Smith said. “We’ve been anxiously awaiting this group, and they have bonded over the course of the time.”
This year’s class features two of the top players from South Carolina as well as student-athletes from Georgia, Illinois, New York, Florida, New Jersey and Delaware. The newest Gamecocks boast impressive individual and team achievements at the club soccer level and experience in national team camps.
“They will bring a lot of energy, excitement and work ethic to the table. It’s going to be a tremendous preseason. We’re expecting the freshman to come in and make an impact right away. We have a lot of positions to fill and push the returning players who are already hard at work.”
The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three years this past fall, totaling a program-record 21 wins. Carolina captured the 2016 SEC Regular Season Title and finished as the only school to go unbeaten (17-0-1) in the regular season.
2017 Signing Class
Defender/Midfielder â€¢ Atlantic Beach, Fla. â€¢ Duncan U. Fletcher â€¢ Jacksonville Futbol Club
PRE-COLLEGE: Participated in the U-17 U.S. National Soccer Team Camp in 2014 and was an attendee at the 2014 and 2016 Nike Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…competed at the Olympic Development (ODP) 1999 Girls National Camp in 2013 and 2014 and was a member of the ODP International, Regional and State Team from 2012-15…played for the Jacksonville Futbol Club (JFC), helping to lead the team to three National Titles – U-13 U.S. Club Title, U-15 USYS Title, U-16 USYS Title…JFC was the U-14 U.S. Club National Finalist and captured three state titles…played one year at Duncan U. Fletcher High School, earning a spot on the varsity team as a freshman…earned All-Conference honors while at Duncan U. Fletcher.
Coach Smith on Jackie – “Jackie has already joined our team this spring and shown what she can do on the field. She’s a very talented player and is fitting right in with the returning players. She had prepared well and brought a tremendous level of fitness with her to be able to perform at a top level. She has emerged as a young leader and it’s exciting to see the potential she has already shown. We are looking forward to seeing her grow from here.”
Click Here for Jackie’s full bio.
Defender â€¢ Savannah, Ga. â€¢ Savannah Christian Prep â€¢ CESA
PRE-COLLEGE: Played club soccer for the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) from 2014-16, competing on the U-17 and U-18/19 teams…helped guide CESA to third-place honors in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) SE Region and a spot in the ECNL Nationals in the 2015-16 season…CESA placed fifth in the SEC region for the 2016-17 season…played for the SC98 squad for the 2014-15 season and took part in the 2015 Region III camp…was a four-year letterwinner at Savannah Christian Prep School, playing all over the field…tabbed the 2016 Greater Savannah Best of Preps after leading the team in goals (16) and assists (9)…received the 2015 Golden Boot Award as the team’s top goal scorer and was named the ESPN Radio/Savannah Athlete of the Week in the spring of 2016…started every game as a freshman and will serve as the team captain in her senior season.
Coach Smith on Jenn – “Jenn has the versatility to play in the back or up top as a wide player. She has tremendous speed and we look forward to seeing how she uses that to her advantage as she competes up top or in a more defensive role. Her speed is definitely an asset to be able to have the ability to go 1 vs. 1 and get behind teams in the attack and also defensively stay with forwards who have pace.”
Click Here for Jenn’s full bio.
Goalkeeper â€¢ East Islip, N.Y. â€¢ East Islip â€¢ HBC Impact `98
PRE-COLLEGE: Played club soccer for HBC Impact ’98…served as a team captain while playing for East Islip High School, leading the school to league titles and an undefeated mark in 2015…was also a gymnast in high school, earning five letters in the sport.
Coach Smith on Victoria – “Tori is a tremendous shot stopper. She is quick and has performed at a high level with her club program. She makes up for her size with her quickness and ability to read the game. We look forward to seeing her grow as a goalkeeper at this level and challenging the other goalkeepers in the program from the start.”
Click Here for Victoria’s full bio.
Midfielder â€¢ Frankfort, Ill. â€¢ Lincoln Way North/East â€¢ Windy City Pride
PRE-COLLEGE: Competed for the Windy City Pride Soccer Club (WCP)…helped lead WCP to the 2013 U.S. Club Regional Title and the U-14 National Championship…part of the WCP U-17 squad that earned U.S. Club National Finalists honors in 2017…participated in the Illinois Olympic Development Program (ODP) and was a region II Pool Player from 2015-16…the WCP were finalists in the U-19 Presidents Day Tournament in Arizona…was a four-year varsity starter at Lincoln Way, earning All-Conference honors from 2014-16 as well as All-Sectional accolades…served as the team captain from 2015-17 and was named the Chicago Tribune Daily Southtown 2016 Soccer Athlete of the Year…received All-State honors in 2016…helped lead her team to a first-place conference finish in 2014 and 2015…her team was the Regional Champs from 2014-16 and Sectional Champs in 2014 and 2016, and they finished fourth in the state in 2014…tabbed the MVP, Sportsmanship Award honoree and All-Tournament selection after leading her school to the City Ram Classic Tournament Title.
Coach Smith on Bianca – “Bianca is someone who is a versatile player and always plays with a tremendous work ethic and toughness. She could play a defensive role, or more offensive depending on how the team shapes up at preseason. We look forward to seeing where she best competes at this next level.”
Click Here for Bianca’s full bio.
Midfielder â€¢ Centerville, Ga. â€¢ Northside â€¢ Concorde Fire
PRE-COLLEGE: Served as a team captain while playing for the Concorde Fire of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…competed at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in 2013, 2015 and 2016…helped lead the Fire to the U-15 Southeast Region Championship…participated in the ENCL Player Development Pool (PDP) in 2014 and 2016…member of the Georgia Olympic Development Program (ODP) in 2010, 2011 and 2013…earned All-Region honors while playing at Northside High School.
Coach Smith on Sarah – “We love Sarah’s style of play as a determined and tough central midfielder who combines her competitiveness with smart composed play. She is similar to players who have played for us in the past and who have done very well for our program. She is a player who displays great effort and work rate as well as her strong ability to possess the ball. She will be a tremendous addition.”
Click Here for Sarah’s full bio.
Forward â€¢ Naperville, Ill. â€¢ Neuqua Valley â€¢ Sockers FC
PRE-COLLEGE: Played club soccer for Sockers FC of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…participated in the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team Training Camp in 2013 before competing at the ENCL/id2 National Training Camp in 2016…member of the ECNL Player Development Program (PDP) in Wisconsin from 2014-16 and was part of the Illinois Olympic Development Program (ODP) State Team in 2010 and 2014…played in the ODP National Championships in Arizona in 2014 and was part of the 2014 ODP Region II Team…the Sockers were the U.S. Club Soccer National Champions in 2012 and 2013 and they reached the National Playoffs in the 2014 and 2015 seasons…played for Neuqua Valley High School, leading the team in goals as a freshman.
Coach Smith on Ryan – “Ryan is a true left-footed attacking player. She’ll be someone who will be dangerous in the wide areas and anywhere up top. She is a true attacking minded player with excellent 1 v 1 skills. She will be a threat in the attack with her pace and her ability to set others up or score goals herself.”
Click Here for Ryan’s full bio.
Forward â€¢ Grayson, Ga. â€¢ Grayson â€¢ GSA 99′
PRE-COLLEGE: Competed for the Jamaica U-17 Team at the 2016 CONCACAF Championships in Grenada…played club soccer for GSA 99′ of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…helped guide GSA 99′ to the National Playoffs two years in a row…played for Grayson High School and helped her team win the 2015 6A State Championship for the state of Georgia…Grayson also earned a regional title in back-to-back years during her time there.
Coach Smith on Dominique – “Dom will be a strong addition to the attack. She has great pace and athleticism, and has shown the ability to score goals and be a dominant player in the box. We’re excited to see what she can do to add to the offensive power of the team.”
Click Here for Dominique’s full bio.
Goalkeeper â€¢ Easley, S.C. â€¢ Easley/JL Mann â€¢ CESA
PRE-COLLEGE: Played club soccer for the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA)…helped lead CESA to the national playoffs three times and the 2012 State Championship…attended the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Player Development Program in 2014…competed at a U.S. National Training Camp seven times…tallied 23 shutouts at JL Mann High School and earned All-Region honors as a goalkeeper and player…JL Mann captured the Region 4A Title and grabbed State Championship Runner-Up accolades during her high school career…tabbed a 4A All-Region selection as a freshman at Easley High School.
Coach Smith on Alexis – “She is a tremendous addition to the goalkeeping position. She is one of the most athletic goalkeepers we’ve seen on the recruiting trail. Lexi has a great presence in goal being vocal and confident, being aggressive coming for balls in the air and is excellent with her feet. She positions herself well and is very explosive.”
Click Here for Alexis’ full bio.
Defender â€¢ Hilton Head Island, S.C. â€¢ Hilton Head â€¢ CESA
PRE-COLLEGE: Competed for Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) at the club soccer level, helping CESA qualify for the National Tournament in each of her three seasons there…CESA finished atop their league all three years…played for Hilton Head Island High School for three seasons…earned All-State and All-Region honors and received the Team MVP and Golden Boot Award as a freshman after netting 32 goals and leading her team to the quarterfinals of the State Championship…was an All-Region defender in her sophomore season when Hilton Head captured the State Championship…Hilton Head earned runner-up honors in the State Championship in her junior season and she received All-State, All-Region and Team MVP laurels.
Coach Smith on Alexis – “Lexi is a physical defender who is an excellent 1v1 defender, very difficult for attackers to beat. We have seen her grow as a player over the past couple years, and we are excited about the potential she has to continue that growth at the highest level of college soccer. She has experience playing in the center or in the outside back positions.”
Click Here for Alexis’ full bio.
Midfielder â€¢ Alpharetta, Ga. â€¢ Cambridgeâ€¢ Tophat Soccer Club
PRE-COLLEGE: Attended multiple National Training Centers and competed for Tophat Soccer Club of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…led Tophat to the Georgia State Title four times, and the club was a three-time Region III Champion during her career there…Tophat placed third in nationals…was an Olympic Development Player (ODP) for six years, competing in the Region III Pool for three seasons…member of the Region III team for two years…played for Cambridge High School for one season, grabbing Team MVP honors for that year.
Coach Smith on Lauren – “Lauren is a very crafty and creative central midfielder. She will do well in our possession style in the middle. She plays with a lot of confidence and has shown the ability to be on the ball in the tightest of spaces. Her final pass and ability to read the game will create opportunities for herself and others. She will be a welcome addition to our attack with her ability to be a threat coming out of the midfield in addition to keeping possession and putting opponents under pressure.”
Click Here for Lauren’s full bio.
Forward â€¢ Flemington, N.J. â€¢ Hunterdon Central Regional â€¢ Players Development Academy
PRE-COLLEGE: Played club soccer at Players Development Academy (PDA) of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL)…helped guide PDA to the New Jersey State Title in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012…PDA captured the 2011 U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Championship and advanced to the finals in 2012…member of the PDA teams that were ECNL National Finalists (2013, 2014)…listed as a standout at the ECNL event in San Diego in 2016…grabbed First Team All-State, All-Conference and All-Group 4 honors while playing for Hunterdon Central Regional High School in 2016…led Hunterdon Central to the 2016 NJ Group 4 State Championship and is in contention for the NJ Gatorade Player of the Year Award…tabbed the New Jersey Girls Soccer Player of the Year and the Hunterdon County Democrat Player of the Year in her senior season…also selected as the 2016 Skyland Conference Player of the Year… landed on the First Team All-Conference and All-Area squads in 2015…grabbed Second Team All-State laurels in 2014 after helping her team reach the NJ Group 4 State Finals…totaled 43 goals and 39 assists throughout her high school career.
Coach Smith on Luciana – “Luciana brings a great combination of pace, skill and toughness to the field. She is a left-footed wide player who has played in the back and up top. She has done a good job getting forward when she plays out wide in the back. She is very good 1 vs. 1 and excellent at finding runners in the box to set up scoring chances. She can play either side of the field, but she has a tremendous left foot.”
Click Here for Luciana’s full bio.