MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University women's soccer program and head coach Juan Pablo Favero have announced the most recent signees, 11 players set to don the Bobcat uniform in the 2010 season.
"The 2010 class adds a lot of talent and depth in critical areas for the program as we continue to build towards a championship season and aim for a return to the NCAA tournament," said Favero. "Every single student-athlete coming in has the potential to add value to the team in their first season, and while we have a solid core of experienced players coming back, it is always beneficial to add new talent to the mix. All of these girls have been well coached at the previous level and come from some of the top clubs in Georgia and the nation."
The 2010 incoming recruits, in order of their commitment date:
Snellville, Ga. native Tayler Graves is an experienced center-back whose "strength and ability to win balls out of the air makes her an asset" according to Favero. Coached by Sarah Crawford in high school, Graves played her club ball at for the GSA Phoenix Red under Campbell Chapman. A proven winner, her club won the state title five times, adding a regional championship in 2009 and winning multiple tournaments including Las Vegas, Disney, the Orange Classic and the AFC Lighting Cup.
Brittaney Borror (Evans, Ga.) is an extremely versatile player who can play anywhere on the field, as an attacking back, a center midfielder, or even a striker. "Considering the team's need for attacking and scoring goals, we project she will play in a more attacking role," said Favero. "She has great strength and powerful speed, she's dangerous going forward." A former All-County and All-Region Player of the Year at Greenbrier High under Alex Heider and Wes Kendrick, she played club ball for Tom Norton and Kevin Asmann at the Augusta Arsenal. Borror was a national 3v3 champion in 2006, also collecting a GSA Super Cup title in 2008.
Northgate High grad Katie Taylor (Newnan, Ga.) is a dynamic wing forward who can also play as an outside mid. Possessing "good speed, battles, and providing good service to other forwards" according to Favero, Taylor also has scoring ability. An all-region selection in her junior and sophomore seasons, she played club ball for both the AFC Lighting White and Concorde Fire, the latter under Brian Moore.
One of two out-of-state recruits, Carly Blair (Manassas, Va.) is a solid winger, who is "extremely quick, fast and although smaller physically, she is extremely tough". Playing for Osbourn Park High under head coach Rob Waters, she was a two-time All-Cedar Run District honoree. Playing club ball for the BRYC Azul under Jac Cicala, she was on five state championship teams, adding three USYS Region 1 semifinal trips. Blair was in the SYL ODP National Camp in 2005, a member of the Mid-Atlantic Divisional Team.
Hailing from Wading River, N.Y., Allie Schechner is the second two out-of-state recruits, and is already enrolled at GCSU, having graduated early. A center forward with great size and strength, she is "very technical, good around the box and a goal-scoring threat anywhere in the final third. She graduated early and is enrolled already taking part of the Spring season with all the current Bobcats.
Harrison High grad Sarah Hassett (Kennesaw, Ga.) is another excellent centerback who can also double as a defensive center-midfielder. With "great size, strength and knowledge of how to organize the team defensively" according to Favero, Hassett played high school ball under Steve Riccard. A two-time all-county selection, her high school squad was a state champion runner-up. Hassett also competed for the NASA 10 Elite club squad under head coach Jay Denslow.
Another attacking player who can play anywhere up top as well as an outside midfielder, Alex Knight (Loganville, Ga.) comes to the Bobcats from George Walton Academy, under Lori White. Knight is "a very skillful player who is dangerous near the goal and knows how to set up teammates for scoring chances." An All-State honoree in her junior year at George Walton, she played her club soccer in the GSA Phoenix Red under Campbell Chapman. Her club squad has taken five-straight state titles, won the Disney Soccer Showcase last year, and won Region 3 twice.
Anna Barrow (St. Simons Island, Ga.) is a defensive center-midfielder whose 5-foot-7 frame and athleticism will allow her to fit well in that role for the Bobcats. The "good ball winner and good distributor" played high school ball under Charlie Morgan at Frederica Academy and club under Brian Moore for the Concorde Fire. A three-time All-State selection, Barrow aided her high school team to two state titles. She played three club seasons in Jacksonville, Fla. helping the Clay County United to a pair of state championships.
Sarah Yoder (Woodstock, Ga.) played high school ball under Chris Meeks and Lloyd Brown at Woodstock High. A defensive player who can play anywhere in the back line due to her excellent speed and athleticism, she was also a member of the Alpharetta Ambush Elite club under Gavino Asteghene. She "reads the game well, and provides great cover to her teammates" according to Favero. Yoder was an all-county selection in 2009. Her club squad won the Atlanta Cup that year, and also competed in an International U-18 tournament in Italy in 2008.
Lawrenceville, Ga. native Emily Hughes transfers from North Georgia, adding more depth to the the Bobcats' talented back line. This will allow the 2010 Bobcat staff to encourage the outside backs to be more involved on the attack as they will be able to rotate players in this important role. Hughes has "good size and is good technically," and the junior brings two years of starting experience from conference foe North Georgia, including a PBC All-Tournament Team honor a year ago.
Taylor Yee (Johns Creek, Ga.) is a center-midfield player who can play as an attacking or creative midfielder, but "Taylor is a tough enough defender to also play in the holding role," said Favero. "She possesses great vision and is very good technically to add to her versatility." Yee played under Jennifer Barr at Northview High, and in the NASA 09 Elite RPL under Eric Ritter and Ray Tomlin. Her club squad took a State Championship in 2008, adding other finalist spots in 2007 and 2009. She also was in Georgia ODP since 2006, a member of the Regional Championship Team in 2007.
In addition to these 11 new players, the coaching staff is still working on wrapping up the recruiting details on two more attacking players, so it is clear to see the emphasis has been on the attacking side of the field, while adding talent in every other area of need.
"With another tough schedule in 2010 and the expectation on the program still running high thanks to three great seasons" said Favero. "This class is coming in at a critical juncture in the life of the program as the team needs to make that small but difficult jump into becoming a championship-level team."
The Bobcats had another great year in 2009, going 10-6-5 with a 5-1-4 mark in conference play, good enough for third. The Bobcats had a first this season, as junior goalkeeper Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) earned the program's first All-American trophy.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.