BALTIMORE – UMBC Women's Soccer's Head Coach Leslie Wray has announced the addition of eight players for the 2016 campaign. The Retrievers will add rookies Rayven Conner (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods), Courtney Culp (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway), Sydney Donovan (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West), Jessica Hopkins (Clarksville, Md./River Hill), Emily Horn (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East), Nichole Saad (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), Jamie Shiflett (Baltimore, Md./Sparrows Point) and transfer Angela Kuhn (Bel Air, Md./Milton Wright).
"This is one of the best recruiting classes to come into UMBC," said Wray. "All the signees have played at the highest of club soccer with five coming from the Elite Clubs National League. This class will be able to contribute on the field immediately and compliment the current team extremely well. We will have solid players in all positions and depth where we have never had it before. I am really looking forward to a very exciting 2016 team."
Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods
A four-year letterwinner at Briar Woods High School… A two-time All-Conference player… Named to the All-State First Team during sophomore and junior seasons and the Second Team during her freshman campaign… Helped the Falcons to a VSHL high school state championship during her sophomore season after falling in the championship game in her rookie season… Played club for McLean ECNL… Daughter of Dionna Conner… Intends to major in biology with a career ambition of being a physician's assistant.
Why Conner chose UMBC: "I selected UMBC because I loved the atmosphere of the girls on the team, on and off the field, and with the coaches. The coaches are highly interactive with the team and that was the most important thing for me to see while looking at schools."
Competed at both Bishop George Ahr High School and Piscataway High School… Served as a team captain during her senior season at Piscataway High School… Named an All-American Nominee in 2015 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)… Earned All-Conference, All-Area and All-State as a senior… Ranked the 32nd player in New Jersey by Top Drawer Soccer… A part of Bishop George Ahr High School's first ever women's soccer state championship in 2012… Played club for Matchfit Academy ECNL… A National Honor Society member… Daughter of Thomas Jr. and Karen Wade Culp… Older brother Taylor plays goalkeeper for the University of Massachusetts Amherst… Wants to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in animation in hopes of becoming a professional animator.
Why Culp chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC because I felt that it was a perfect fit for me. I wanted a school that would challenge me academically and athletically."
Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown High School West
A two-time All-Conference player at Smithtown High School West… Named a Top-50 player on Long Island by Newsday during her senior season… Earned All-County honors in her final season after earning the Golden Boot for the most goals on Bulls… Received the Captain's Award in each of her final two seasons… Received Offensive MVP honors in 2015… Recognized on the Scholar Athlete Team as a freshman… Played club for the Smithtown Fire… A National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society member… A part of the Interact Community Service Club… Received the Excellence in Business Award… An honor roll student… Daughter of Sean and Jessica Donovan… Older sister of Ethan… Hopes to have a career in speech pathology.
Why Donovan chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC because it has a little of everything I was looking for in a college. It fit my size, location, academic and athletic requirements."
Clarksville, Md./River Hill
Helped River Hill High School to three straight state titles… Earned All-County First Team honors as a sophomore… Named to the Washington Post Second Team… Received All-Met First Team recognition by the Baltimore Sun in 2014… Earned All-State recognition in 2014… Named Howard County Player of the Year in during her junior campaign after finishing the year with 13 goals and 21 assists… Also lettered in basketball at River Hill High School… Played club in Bethesda… An honor roll student… Earned Minds in Motion Award… Daughter of Todd and Gina Hopkins… Has a younger brother Tyler… Todd played lacrosse for Radford University… Plans to major in biology with a career ambition of becoming a dentist or orthodontist.
Why Hopkins chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC for the campus feel. I felt like I would be able to get to know a lot of people well, unlike at a bigger school. My mom is also a UMBC alumni."
Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks High School East
A four-year letterwinner at Central Bucks High School East… Served as a team captain during her senior year… Earned Defensive Player of the Year Award in each of her last two seasons… Received All-League First Team honors as a senior after earning Second Team honors as a sophomore and junior… Named to the All-Intell Second Team in her final season after helping the Patriots to a state finals appearance… Recognized with the Central Bucks High School East Sportsmanship Award in 2013… Played club for the FC Bucks… A National Honor Society member… Received the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award… An honor roll student… Daughter of Chris and Jennifer Horn… Younger sibling of Carly Horn… Wants to do work in physical therapy.
Why Horn chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC for their strong academics in the science field, as well as the program, coaching staff and players."
Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright High School/Harford Community College
Played two seasons at Harford Community College… Qualified for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament… Earned NJCAA Division I National Player of the Week recognition after scoring five goals and adding an assist in two games… Named to the All-Maryland JUCO First Team as a sophomore and Second Team as a freshman… Helped HCC to a pair of NJCAA Division I Region XX championships… Received All-Region First Team honors and All-American Third Team honors in 2015… Served as a captain in both seasons with HCC… A four-year starter at central midfield for C. Milton Wright High School… Helped the Mustangs to state semifinal appearances in her freshman and sophomore seasons and then the state finals in her junior campaign… A three-time All-County First Team honoree… Earned All-Metro and All-State recognition as a senior… An honor roll student… Made President's List each semester while at Harford Community College... Daughter of Jerry and Donna Kuhn… Has three other siblings; Matthew, Megan and Emily… Plans to major in education with a career ambition of teaching and being a soccer coach.
Why Kuhn chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC because it seemed like the best fit. After visiting the campus and meeting coach Wray, and others on her staff, I knew this was the right place."
Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin
A four-year letterwinner at Lower Dauphin High School... Named Team MVP in her senior season… Received the Lower Dauphin Al Hershey Award in 2015… Received Penn Live Girls' Soccer All-Star Second Team recognition in her final season… A two-time Mid Penn Keystone Division First Team honoree… Named to the Mid Penn Keystone Division Second Team as a sophomore... A three-year letterwinner in basketball at Lower Dauphin High School… An honor roll student… Daughter of Francis and Teresa Saad… Younger sibling of Frankie Saad… Major is undecided.
Why Saad chose UMBC: "UMBC is a perfect fit for me. I love the location, the size, as well as the education and opportunities for my future."
Baltimore, Md./Sparrows Point
A part of three straight state championship teams at Sparrows Point High School… A four-time All-Division and All-County honoree… Baltimore County All-Stars in 2015… NSCAA All-State First Team in 2014 and 2015… A two-time All-Metro selection… Selected to the South All-Region Team… Also lettered in basketball and lacrosse at Sparrows Point High School… A three-time member of the Baltimore County All-Academic Team… Earned the Minds in Motion Scholar Athlete Award… Daughter of Joseph and Carri Shiflett… Has two siblings; Joey and Megan… Plans to major in psychology with a career ambition of being a state police officer.
Why Shiflett chose UMBC: "I chose UMBC because I really like their coaching staff and players. I enjoyed my visit and walk in campus. Also, UMBC is in my hometown and close to home."