Women's College Soccer
Rider Adds Nine Recruits
LAWRENCEVILLE-Nine women's soccer players have signed national letters of intent to further their education and athletic careers at Rider University, Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome announced.
Joining Rider in the fall will be forward Hollie Kelsh of Lancashire, England, goalkeeper Bethany-May Howard of Glastonbury, England, center midfielder Victoria Maley of Massapequa, NY, defender Heather Maierle of Wantagh, NY, forward Michelle Iacono of Merrick, NY, forward Ashley Batista of Monroe, NJ, midfielder Priscilla Santos of Glendora, California, midfielder Sorren Henderson of Christchruch, New Zealand and midfielder Teresa Berg of Bel Air, MD.
"We graduate an outstanding group that established this program as one of the most competitive in the conference," Hounsome said, "and we're very excited about the 2013 recruiting class."
Rider graduated 10 players from the team that finished tied for fourth place in the MAAC at 5-3-1 and compiled an overall record of 10-4-3, Rider's most wins since the 2004 season and the highest winning percentage (.676) in program history.
Kelsh is a forward who competed on the English National team for three years and currently plays for the Blackburn Rovers Ladies and England's U 19 teams and was recently named to the English Colleges National Team. 'Hollie is an exciting and creative forward whose experience playing at the international level will be a great addition to our attacking unit," Hounsome said. "She is a clever and dangerous player who will cause a lot of problems for opponents in the attacking third."
Maley was a three-year starter for Massapequa High School, leading the Chiefs to three County Championships, the Long Island Championship and the 2010 New York State Championship. An All-State selection, Maley earned All-Conference, All-County and All-Long Island honors, leading her team to the 2012 County Championship. She represented Eastern New York in the Olympic Development Program. "Tori is a composed, possession-based midfielder with great balance and vision," Hounsome said. "She is a natural leader on the field who can control game tempo and will play a major role in the future success of our program."
Iacono was a four-year starter for Calhoun High School, earning NYSSWA First Team All-State honors. Iacono was named the 2012 Conference IAA Player of the Year as well as the All-Class AA Player of the Year, earning All-Conference, All-Class, All-County and All-Long Island honors. "Michelle is a fast and exciting forward who has been a consistent goal scorer for both her high school and club teams," Hounsome said. "She gives us multiple options on how to set up our attacking unit and will cause many problems for others teams' defenses."
Iacono and Maley played together on the Massapequa Elite team, leading it to the 2009 ENYSA State Championship.
Batista was a four-year varsity player at Monroe Township High School, where she was a two-time GMC All-Division, All-Conference and All-Area selection. Monroe Township's leading scorer, she led them to three GMC Division Titles and GMC Tournament finals. On the club level she plays premier soccer for the nationally ranked New Jersey Wildcats. "Ashley is a technical and attack-minded player who has the capacity to score," Hounsome said. "Her offensive skills will be used to create a lot of problems for opponents in the final third."
Maierle was a five-year starter for the Friends Academy, leading the Quakers to five County Championships, three Long Island Championships and two New York State finals, winning the State Championship in 2011. A two-year captain, Maierle earned All-Class and All-State honors. She led her ECNL premier team East Meadow United to the 2007 and 2011 ENYSA State Championships and in 2011 was selected to the ECNL id2 Player Development Program. "Heather is an athletic and fast defensive player," Hounsome said. "She is technically and tactically able to play multiple positions on the field for us but initially she'll play a key role as part of our defensive unit."
Henderson is a multi-sport athlete at Rangi Ruru Girls' School and played for both the Woolston and Cashmere Club teams. She was selected for the 2011 Mainland Pride in the New Zealand National League. She captained the 2010 Canterbury Provincial team to the South Island Championship Game and was selected to the U 17 New Zealand National Team training camp. "Sorren is an athletic and strong midfielder who will initially play a defensive role for us in the middle of the field," Hounsome said. "She has good balance and awareness and will solidify some of our defensive priorities going into the season."
Santos is a scholar-athlete from Glendora High School and earned All-League honors. At the club level she played premier soccer in the Elite Clubs National League with Arsenal FC and Strikers FC and was selected to the U 17 ECNL combine. "Priscilla has played at the highest level within the ECNL and is a very technical and offensive-minded midfielder," Hounsome said. "One of our strengths has been our ability to maintain possession in the midfield and Priscilla will be a significant part of our offensive midfield unit."
Howard is a two-time England Colleges National Team goalkeeper who was a two-time Player of the Year for Somerset and the 2012 Bridgwater College Player of the Year. She currently plays for Yeovil Town Ladies and was recently selected to the 2013 English Colleges National Team. "Bethany-May is an athletic and confident goalkeeper who is fast off her line with excellent shot stopping ability," Hounsome said. "She has a strong presence on the field and has gained a lot of experience playing for England Colleges in Europe. She is an excellent addition to our defensive unit."
Berg was a four-year starter at Bel Air High School, where she earned All-Metro honors in 2012. A three-time All-County and All-UCBAC selection, she twice was named to the Baltimore Sun All-Area team. At the regional level she played premier soccer with the Freestate Soccer Alliance. "Teresa is a technical attack-minded player who will play as a forward or in the midfield," Hounsome said. "She can score goals but also has good vision in the final third to create opportunities for others."