BALTIMORE—UMBC head women's soccer coach Alyssa Radu today announced that four more players, including three freshmen and a transfer from the University of Pittsburgh, will join the Retrievers in Fall 2010.
"The 2010 class is very balanced and we believe has addressed our needs and compliments an experienced returning group," Radu said. "How well we come together as a group and our commitment to our development will determine how well we do this fall. The returning group is hungry and ready to take this program to the next level. The players coming in have tremendous talent, work rate and the type of mentality necessary to compete at this level. Now we just have to get out on the field and get to work."
Kelsi Morris is a center back who comes to UMBC after two seasons at Pittsburgh and will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Retrievers. Prior to her tenure with the Panthers, the native of Bowie, Md., scored 73 goals during her four-year career at Bowie High School, where she led the Bulldogs to the 2005 state semifinals and a pair of county titles. Morris was a two-time First-Team All-County selection and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
"Kelsi Morris is a strong, experienced center back that we are very excited to have join the program," Radu said. "Kelsi's experience playing in the Big East the last two years is very valuable. She has proven leadership skills from her previous teams, and as she makes the transition to a new school and new program, in time we expect her to contribute to our current leadership. Her size and strength make her a solid, tough back who will make opposing forwards' jobs very difficult. She is very vocal and hardnosed and has a very good understanding of the game. This is a very important trait for a center back and allows us to transition into offense as a unit. I am really looking forward to coaching Kelsi, and I know she is excited for this opportunity."
Amy Savage is a forward/midfielder from Ottawa, Ontario, who was a member of the Ontario Provincial Team, which she led to the SYL national semifinals. She scored the game-winning goal against the U-17 Canadian National team, and she also trains with the Ottawa Fury of the W-League.
"Amy has a tremendous amount of talent and skill," Radu said. "Like another incoming freshman, Lauren Kadet, Amy brings Canadian National Training Center experience. She has quick feet, vision and an attacking-minded mentality. Amy has speed on the ball and likes to run at defenses. Her energy and mentality make her dangerous offensively, and I think she will transition quickly into the America East and our team's style."
Shannon McGuinness is a midfielder from East Meadow, N.Y., who was a two-time all-conference selection at East Meadow High School. She also led her club team, RVC Power, to second place in the state of New York.
"Shannon comes from a solid club program on Long Island," Radu said. "She is a hard-working player that will contribute in a number of different positions up the middle of the field. She is balanced between being feisty and composed on the ball. Her technical abilities provide her the composure necessary to keep the ball under pressure. She will play simple and look to keep the ball."
Stephanie Smith is an outside midfielder from nearby Severna Park, Md., who earned Second-Team All-County honors as a senior at Archbishop Spalding. Smith led the Cavaliers to back-to-back IAAM 'A' Conference titles and an undefeated 2009 season that resulted in local No. 1 rankings from The Sun and The Washington Post, as well as top-5 national rankings from ESPN Rise and the NSCAA.
"Steph comes from one of the most successful high school programs in the state of Maryland," Radu said. "They have a history of winning, and that's exactly the type of mentality we look for in players. When you come from a winning background, you have a blueprint for success, and as we rebuilt this program, it's that kind of influence that combined with experience and talent will get us one step closer to reaching our goals. She can get in behind defenses and will create service. This style fits the way we like to play."
Morris, Savage, McGuinness and Smith join Kadet, Devon Burkholder, Nicole Clark and Jessica Brown, who previously committed to UMBC in the early signing period, to complete the Retrievers' incoming class for the 2010 season.