Women’s Soccer Inks Four for 2010 Season
BALTIMORE—UMBC head women’s soccer coach Alyssa Radu today announced that four freshmen will join the Retrievers in Fall 2010.
“These four student athletes have all the characteristics we look for in players,” Radu said. “They all bring something different to the program, but the common thread between them all is their will to win and compete. They bring speed, athleticism and soccer knowledge that will compliment our current players and continue to raise the level of the program.
“They are committed to both their soccer and academics. This is very important when we got through the recruiting process. UMBC is a nationally recognized university, and these student-athletes realize the great opportunity they have in front of them. We believe this is a program that has been through a lot and is on the rise; the players joining our current players share that same belief. We all look forward to them putting their mark on the program and school.
“All four of them are joining this program with the mentality of helping us reach our goals, which is to win an America East Championship.”
Devon Burkholder is a center back from McMurray, Pa., who is a three-year varsity starter at Peters Township High School. She was named to the Elite Eleven by the Observer-Reporter in 2009, when she also garnered honorable mention accolades from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as well as All-Section and All-WPIAL honors. Burkholder led the Indians to the 2008 PIAA finals. In addition, she plays for Beadling Club, which has won six consecutive PA-West state championships.
“Burkholder comes from a very successful club in the Pittsburgh area,” said Radu, a Pittsburgh native who also played for Beadling Club. “The environment and development that Devon has gained is exactly what we are looking for in this program. She has the competitiveness, work rate and mentality that it takes to compete at this level, and I am very excited to coach her and challenge her into becoming a great player.”
Nicole Clark is a midfielder from nearby Howard High School in Ellicott City, Md., who garnered All-State honorable mention in 2009 from the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer. She is also a two-time team MVP and a four-time Howard County Times All-County honoree, including first-team accolades as a senior. Clark led the Lions to the 2008 state title. She also played for the Freestate Phoenix alongside current Retrievers Rachel McKee and Katie Gitlin and helped take the team to the 2008 USYS Region I semifinals.
“Clark is a tremendous athlete,” Radu said. “She is very dedicated to her training and overall development and has tremendous potential. When you combine her work rate with her ability to find the back of the net, you have a very dangerous offensive threat. She plays both sides of the ball and can be dangerous attacking in the flanks or as a target. We are very excited to be bringing in such a high level Maryland player.”
Lauren Kadet is a goalkeeper from St. Thomas Aquinas in Oakville, Ontario, who was named the MVP of her high school team as a junior. She also led Team Ontario to the Under-16 national championship.
“Lauren is a very technically sound goalkeeper who has tremendous vocal and leadership skills that are vital to be successful between the posts,” Radu said. “Kadet’s competitiveness comes from playing for very successful teams. She trains in Canada’s East Coast National Training Center, and this environment has given her the opportunity to play against Canada’s best young talent. The coaching staff is very excited to welcome her to the program and looks forward to helping her reach her full potential. We will look for her to compete immediately with our two current goalkeepers.”
Jessica Brown is a 5-foot-10 defensive midfielder from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla. She led the Patriots to back-to-back state titles and a No. 7 national ranking by the NSCAA. A five-year varsity team member and two-time team captain, she was named to the All-County second team by the Miami Herald in 2008 and earned All-County honorable mention from the Herald and the Sun Sentinel in 2009. She also plays for the WPSL’s Miami Kickers, which won the Southern Conference title.
“Jess comes to us from an outstanding high school program, and she has played an integral role in their success, not only in her play but with her ability to lead young players on the field,” Radu said. “She fills a need for us in the midfield to win balls out of the air because of her height and mentality to compete. Her height and ball-winning abilities will allow us to be dangerous to goal off crosses and also defensively, which is critical when competing in the America East Conference. She is an excellent student-athlete, and I am very excited for the opportunity to develop her as a player. I think she is a great asset to the program overall and will fit in and complement our current players.”