BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern Head Women's Soccer Coach Sean McBride and Assistant Coach Linda Amaya are set to welcome nine new commitments to the Hilltop for the fall 2015 season.
The members of the 2015 freshmen class are:
Oconee County High School
Gwinnett Soccer Association
Taylor Andrews was a four year varsity starter for both soccer and basketball at Oconee County High School. On the soccer field, she led her team in assists and goals after two seasons and was named Most Valuable Player and First-Team All-Region 8AAA. Andrews also helped her team to a 3A Top-10 ranking, and a regional runner-up finish. She played club soccer with Gwinnett Soccer Association, R3PL, and ECNL.
Outside of playing numerous sports, Andrews puts a strong emphasis on her academics. She was ranked fourth out of 248 in her class, and was a Class of 2015 Certificate of Merit Winner, a member of National Honor Society, and OCHS Beta Club President.
"Taylor was our first verbal commitment for this class, and the first that Linda and I recruited together," Coach McBride said. "We are lucky to have her. Taylor has a powerful shot and doesn't hesitate to take one. She has a deep love for the game and it shows in her work ethic and drive. Her athleticism and knowledge of the game will complement the team and bring us to another level."
Hope Christian School
Birmingham United Soccer Association
Felicity Barnett played soccer for Hope Christian School on the boys' varsity team. She has played competitively for 12 years, seven of which were with competitive clubs. Barnett played for Briarwood Lady Ambassadors '97 Division I team for four years, and Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA) '97 girls Division I for three years. As a member of BUSA, her team won the Tennessee Nike Invitational in 2013 and was DI Alabama State Cup finalist and/or semi-finalist each year.
Barnett's accomplishments extend to the classroom as well. She was Salutatorian of her class with a 4.0 GPA and was a member of Christian Honor Society. She plans to major in accounting at Birmingham-Southern.
"Felicity is a strong midfielder who likes to make the center of the field her own," Coach McBride said. "She is very comfortable on the ball and plays with a lot of aggression and passion. Having played on boys' teams shows her tenacity and dedication to becoming a strong player. Felicity will be a welcome addition to the women's soccer program here at BSC."
Woodford County HS
Lexington Futbol Club
Kenna Boyd played four years of varsity soccer at Woodford County High School. During her time, she was recognized within her state and region and was named to the All-Academic Team, 41st District All-Tournament Team, and First-Team All-Region. Her senior year, Boyd was named Offensive Player of the Year and Varsity Most Valuable Player. She also played club soccer with Lexington FC, helping the team win their Division at the Disney Showcase in 2014 and to be consistently ranked second in the state.
Boyd puts as much effort into her academics as she does in her athletics. She plans to major in pre-health while attending BSC.
"Kenna is a versatile player who can thrive in many different roles," Coach McBride said. "Her physicality and desire to attack will be an added spark on the field. When she has the ball at her feet, she is very composed and will make the smart play. She works very hard for her teammates and plays with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm. We are excited to see how she meshes with our squad and what role she'll take in the future."
Holy Spirit Catholic High School
Tuscaloosa United Soccer Association
Julia Giggie comes to BSC from Holy Spirit Catholic High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She has been a member of the school's varsity soccer team since 2010, when she was a seventh grader. Giggie was awarded Outstanding Offensive Performance in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, and awarded Outstanding Midfield Performance in 2014 and 2015. For the past two years, she led her team in assists and was also the second leading goal scorer both years. As a team captain, Giggie helped lead her team to the Final Four during her junior and senior years. At the conclusion of her senior year, she was named First-Team All-State, an honor that recognizes the top athletes among all the high schools in Alabama. She also played club soccer the past three years with Tuscaloosa United Soccer Association.
At Holy Spirit, Giggie graduated third in her class. She has been a member of the Honor Roll for four years, and plans on majoring in pre-health at Birmingham-Southern.
"Julia is a feisty, hard-working player that can play on the outside or in the middle," Coach Amaya said. "She is intelligent on the field and plays simple. She doesn't shy away from the physical side of the game. In fact, she seems to enjoy it. Her solid technical ability and soccer smarts will be a great addition to our team. We are excited to see how she works with the returning players this fall."
South Oldham High School
Morgan Hayes was a member of South Oldham High School's varsity soccer team that has won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Girl's Championship seven times. She was named Most Valuable Player her freshman year on the junior varsity team, and by her senior year was named to the All-Region Tournament Team. Hayes also played club soccer for United FC in Kentucky as both an outside defender and midfielder.
Off the field, Hayes has excelled in the classroom and will continue this hard work throughout her four years of college. She plans to major in pre-health at BSC.
"Morgan is a hard-working defender who doesn't back down from a challenge," Coach McBride said. "When she wins the ball, she plays it simple and intelligently to her teammates. Coming from a high school squad that has won championships for the past several years, she knows how to compete when it matters. We're excited to see Morgan compete with our returning defenders and learn from their experience."
Pass Christian High School
Gulf Coast United
Emma Holland was a four year starter on the varsity team at Pass Christian High School. Her freshman year, she was named Most Improved Player, and by her junior year she was awarded Team Captain, named Most Valuable Player, and named All-Sea Coast Echo First Team. Holland's senior year, she led her team in assists and was second in goals-scored. That same year, she made the All-South Mississippi Team and All-District Team, and was again voted MVP for her team. Not only did Holland play high school soccer, she has been involved with Gulf Coast United Futbol Club since 2006, competing in RPL and GSPL divisions and helping the club win six state championships.
During her time in high school, Holland flourished academically as well. She was named Scholar Athlete all four years, and was a member of Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society. Although undecided in what she'd like to study at Birmingham-Southern, she loves working with children and is looking to pursue a career that highlights that.
"Emma has worked very hard over the years to become a strong field player," Coach Amaya said. "After playing as a goalkeeper for most of her life, she decided to change positions a few years ago. As a center midfielder, Emma does an excellent job of reading the play and making smart passes. Her dedication and passion to soccer will be contagious to our girls. We're thrilled to have her on board and see her impact on the team."
Rome High School
Katherine Kozera played varsity soccer with the Rome High School Lady Wolves, where she lettered all four years. She received All-Area Honorable Mention her sophomore year, then made the All-Area Team her junior year. Her senior year, Kozera helped the team finish first in the sub-region and third in the overall region, qualifying for the state playoffs. As captain during her final season, Kozera tallied 192 saves and eight shutouts. She was named to the All-Region and All-Area teams and played in the 2015 Georgia All-Star game. She also played club soccer with Darlington Soccer Academy for several years.
During her four years in school, Kozera made High Honor Roll her freshman and sophomore years, and Honor Roll her junior and senior years. She was a member of National Honor Society and Rome Rotary Club.
"Katherine is someone who will work relentlessly to achieve her goals," Coach McBride said. "Her passion for soccer and loyalty to her teammates are key qualities that set her apart. With her solid goalkeeping foundation, playing at the next level will allow her to continue her growth in this position. We look forward to seeing how Katherine works with our other returning goalkeepers as they continue to challenge each other in training."
St. Scholastica Catholic HS
Megan Moser played varsity soccer for St. Scholastica Catholic High School for four years. Her team made it to the state finals each of those years, winning the championship two years in a row. As a center midfielder, Moser was recognized throughout the state, being named First-Team All-District and First-Team Division I All-State. Her senior year, she was named Senior Captain and her teammates voted her SSA's Most Valuable Player. In her club season with Mandeville Lakers, Moser helped her team to Louisiana State Runner-Ups and Regional Quarterfinalists.
Moser's work ethic extends to the classroom as well. Her determination both on and off the field will help her excel in college. She plans to major in psychology at Birmingham-Southern.
"We are thrilled to add Megan to our roster for next year," Coach Amaya said. "She comes from a strong high school team that has won a couple of championships, and she has been coached well throughout her career. She has quick feet and is smooth with the ball. She has the ability to read the game well and set up other players. Her composure and smart decisions will be a good addition to our midfield."
Mary Caroline Newman
St. Mary's Episcopal School
Mary Caroline Newman was a four-year varsity starter on both the basketball and soccer teams at St. Mary's Episcopal School, and also was a member of the varsity track and field team for two years. With her dedication to athletics in high school, Newman was given the Vicki Ladyman Athletic award as a freshman. Throughout her high school soccer career, she averaged one to two goals per game and assisted more than half of the goals as a midfielder. She was named to The Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps All-Metro her senior season for the Turkeys.
Apart from soccer, Newman was actively involved in M Club, an honorary athletic organization, and was a member of the school newspaper staff. She was a Student Ambassador, Beta Club member, and held a 4.1 GPA. She plans to major in business or international relations at the Hilltop.
"We are looking forward to the addition of MC to our 2015 squad," Coach McBride said. "She brings a lot of versatility to the midfield and forward line. Mary Caroline likes to play in 1-2 touches, has good vision of the field, and rarely gives the ball away. Her continuous movement off the ball will make her a valuable asset within the college game."
The women's soccer team opens the 2015 season at home on Sept. 1, hosting LaGrange College on Preston Goldfarb Field.