Women's Soccer Welcomes 10 Newcomers for 2019 Season

Photo by Gail Burton
Photo by Gail Burton

BALTIMORE -  Women's soccer will have 10 new faces on the pitch for the 2019 season as the team welcomes Abi Jordan (Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia), Aly Wagner (Ellicott City, Md./Marriotts Ridge), Alyssa Minnick (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep), Caroline Koutsos (Boyds, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel), Juliana Rafaniello (Old Bridge, N.J.), Kara Poole (Smithsburg, Md./Washington County Technical), Megan Connor (New Market, Md./Oakdale), Morgan McGruder (Overland Park, Kan.), Natasha Munro (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), and Teal Kilbride (North Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia). 

 

Abi Jordan

B

Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia/Cedars Christian College


BACKGROUND:

2x Cedars Christian College Sports Woman of the Year.

National Christian School Games MVP in 2017.

Winner of the Pierre De Coubertine Award in 2017 (given to students who demonstrate leadership and/or use sport as a vehicle to improve health and wellbeing in their school community.)

Awarded the New South Wales Combined and Independent Schools Outstanding Sporting Achievement and Best and Fairest Player Awards in 2016.

Played club soccer for the Illawarra Stingrays, South Coast Taipains, New South Wales Combined High Schools, and Australian School Girls.

Won the Southern California Cup with the Australian School Girls in 2018 with teammate Teal Kilbride.

Also played for the NSW State Team, winning a Combined High Schools national championship in 2017 and a Futsal National Championship in 2018 and 2017.

Received the Caltex Best All-Rounder Award in 2017.


PERSONAL:

Daughter of Kenneth and Julie Jordan.

Has six siblings: Elyse, Kaylah, Sophie, Caleb, Bradley, Jay and Cooper.

Plans on studying social work with career aspirations to be a health and physical education teacher.

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:

"I selected UMBC because of the welcoming staff, great facilities, and high education standard. I also liked the idea of attending a slightly smaller university which is more close knit."

 

Aly Wagner

F

Ellicott City, Md./Marriotts Ridge

BACKGROUND:

Four-year starter and a 2018 captain for Darius Qualls at Marriotts Ridge.

Led the Mustangs in scoring and was the team MVP in 2018.

Helped lead Marriotts Ridge for a program-best record in 2018

Named first team All-Howard County and second team All-State by The Baltimore Sun.

Was an honorable mention All-Metro selection by The Washington Post.

Also lettered in softball at Marriotts Ridge.

Was team captain for the Soccer Association of Columbia Premier 200 NPL.

Led SAC to a Maryland State Cup Championship.

Placed fourth in the NPL National Competition in 2018.

Received the Maryland Athletic Association Minds in Motion Scholar-Athlete award.

PERSONAL:

Daughter of former UMBC men's soccer standout Bobby Wagner (1990-93) and softball's Karen (Jacobson) Wagner (1993-97).

Has one sister, Megan, and two brothers, Nicholas and Michael.

Plans on majoring in engineering.

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:
"I chose UMBC because it was a perfect fit for me. I am interested in their highly respected engineering program and love their women's soccer program."

 

Alyssa Minnick

GK

Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep

BACKGROUND:

Was a starting goalkeeper for Val Teixeira at Notre Dame Prep.

Named First Team All-Metro and Second Team All-State in 2018.

As a senior, averaged eight saves per game with seven shutouts and allowed just four goals.

Also lettered in basketball and lacrosse for the Blazers.

Played for Premier Soccer Club, where she was a four-time state champion and a two-time national league champion.

PERSONAL:

Guardian is grandmother, Maria Parmer.

Has one brother, Daniel.

Plans on majoring in mechanical engineering.

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:
"I love the UMBC campus and how the soccer team is like a family. The coaches are also super fun to be around and I'm excited to be coached by them."

 

Caroline Koutsos

B

Boyds, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel

 

BACKGROUND:

Played outside back for Jim Bruno at Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Helped the Falcons to a WCAC Championship in 2018.

Played on a backline that gave up 13 goals over 19 games, including 11 shutouts.

Earned the Our Lady of Good Counsel Varsity Soccer Coaches Award in 2018.

Was named a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Was high school teammates with Olivia Paolucci and Laura Ventura.

Played club soccer for FC Girondins Bordeaux with Paolucci, Ventura, and Danielle Fuentes.

Won the Maryland State Cup (2018), Disney College Showcase (2017), and VisitRaleigh CASL (2017).

Also played club soccer with Bethesda ECNL 00/01 Tempo.

PERSONAL:

Daughter of James and Jennifer Koutsos.

Father played football at William and Mary.

Has two brothers, Jackson and William, and one sister, Georgia.

Plans on studying biology with career ambitions to become a biomedical engineer.

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:
"I believed in what the coaches were trying to build as a program at UMBC and I wanted to contribute to working toward a team goal. UMBC also has an amazing reputation as an honors college. I knew that the school, coaches, and my teammates would support me in pursuing my goals."

 

Juliana Rafaniello

F

Old Bridge, N.J./Red Bank Catholic

BACKGROUND:

Four-year letterwinner for Frank Lawrence at Red Bank Catholic.

Was selected as the All-Division Player of the Year in 2019.

Also named First Team All-Shore Conference as a senior.

4x selection to the All-Division team.

As a sophomore, helped lead the Caseys to a state championship.

Played club soccer for Match Fit Academy ENCL.

PERSONAL:

Daughter of John and Jenny Rafaniello.

Has one sister, Marisa.


WHY I CHOSE UMBC:

"I chose UMBC because the student-athlete life at this school really attracted me, and I loved the environment of the school."

 

Kara Poole

F

Smithsburg, Md./Washington County Technical

BACKGROUND:

4x All-Washington County First Team Coaches Choice as a midfielder for Bill Fowkes at Washington County Technical.

Four-time Herald Mail All-Washington County First Team selection.

Was named the Herald Mail Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior.

Tabbed the Inside Sports Player of the Year as a freshman.

Named to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) First Team in 2019.

Also named to the MPSSAA Second Team in 2018.

Lettered in indoor and outdoor track, where she was the 2016 indoor 4x400 1A state champion.

Played club soccer for Premier Soccer Club and FC Frederick.

Attended the US National Training Center.

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Christopher and Danielle Poole.

Has one brother, Justin.

Plans on majoring in biological sciences with career ambitions to be a physical therapist.


WHY I CHOSE UMBC:

"I selected UMBC because the coaches and players were very welcoming and treated each other like a family."

 

Megan Connor

M

New Market, Md./Oakdale

 

BACKGROUND:

Four-year starting center midfielder for Aric Canonico at Oakdale.

Was a three-time captain for the Bears (2016-18).

Finished as Oakdale's all-time leading scorer with 142 points (42 goals and 40 assists).

Set the Oakdale single-season record for goals (20) in 2016 and assists (21) in 2018.

Named to the Maryland All-State Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

3x Frederick News-Post First Team All-County selection.

2x Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer All-State Honorable Mention.

2x All-Central Maryland Conference First Team selection.

Was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Honor Society, and Ambassador Program.

Played alongside current Retriever Kathryn Moorman.

Four-year team captain for the Soccer Association of Columbia.

Helped lead SAC to a Maryland State Cup championship and a National Premier League semi-final appearance in 2018.

 

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Rick and Georgia Connor.

Father played basketball at Allegany College.

Has one brother, Eric, who attends UMBC.

Plans on studying biology with career ambitions to be a pediatrician.

 

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:

"I chose UMBC because it felt like home when I walked onto the campus. It is also close to home, which I was looking for too. My older brother Eric also attends UMBC and has not had one bad thing to say about it."

 

Morgan McGruder

GK

Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North

 

BACKGROUND:

Played goalkeeper for Bryan Turner at Blue Valley North.

Helped lead Blue Valley North to a state ranking of 2nd as a sophomore.

Won a regional championship with the Mustangs as a sophomore and junior.

Earned honorable mention EKL goalkeeper as a junior.

Played her club soccer with KC Athletic.

Was also a member of the Southwind and MAVS for volleyball, and Les Chats and Jayhawks for basketball.

 

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Bryan and Mary Beth McGruder and Hollie McGruder.

Has one brother, Matthew.

Plans on studying biomedical engineering with career ambitions to be a stem cell researcher or a professional soccer player.

 

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:
"I loved the campus and facilities at UMBC and I felt like I could exceed academically and athletically there."


Natasha Munro

F

Burlington, Ontario, Canada/Washington Township (N.J.)

 

BACKGROUND:

Four-year letterwinner for Katie Sachs at Washington Township (N.J.).

3x All-Olympic Conference Second Team selection (2016, 18, 19) and 2017 All-Olympic Conference First Team selection.

Earned All-State recognition in 2019.

Named the Washington Township Rookie of the Year in 2016 and Washington Township Forward of the Year in 2017.

Also lettered two years in basketball.

Played club soccer for South Jersey Elite Barons RUSH Academy.

Won three state championships and a Jeff Cup with SJEB RUSH.

 

PERSONAL:

Daughter of David and Heather Munro.

Has one brother, Alec.

Both parents played soccer in college.

Is undecided in major, but would like to work with recovering athletes.


WHY I CHOSE UMBC:

"I chose UMBC because I loved the campus, I really like the coaches and the way they know the game, the team feels like family already, and the academics are great."

 

Teal Kilbride

B

North Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia/Kincumber

BACKGROUND:

Named Kincumber's Sports Woman of the Year in 2017.

Also received the Caltex Best All-Rounder Award.

Played club soccer with the Australian School Girls, where she was a member of the team that won the Southern California Cup in 2018 with teammate Abi Jordan.

Also played with the North West Sydney Koalas in the Women's National Premier League.

 

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Paul Kilbride and Mary Wood.

Has two sisters, Teagan and Thali.

Plans on studying biological sciences with career aspirations to work in physiotherapy or the exercise and sport science field.

WHY I CHOSE UMBC:
"I chose UMBC because of the exceptional staff, facilities and high academic standards."