BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team, coming off the most successful season in program history, has signed six incoming freshmen to National Letters of Intent, as announced by Head Coach Charles “Chugger” Adair on Friday.
Nastasia Asgedom, Madi Conyers, Laila Gray, Alani Johnson, Alexis Schweitzer and Kaylyn Smith will all join the Hokies this fall, after Tech won a school-record 19 games in 2013 while earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advancing to its first-ever NCAA College Cup. The class hails from Virginia, Florida and Colorado, while covering every position on the field.
“We are very excited about the 2014 recruiting class,” Coach Adair said. “This group is full of personality and solid players. They’re a well-balanced group, both on the field as players and off the field as people. We’re all looking forward to them stepping on campus and, on behalf of our staff, I welcome them to the Hokie family. We expect this group to help us back to the NCAA Tournament to make another run.”
The incoming freshmen will join a Virginia Tech team that set multiple program records in 2013, including wins (19), goals (56), assists (50) and shots (385). The Hokies also advanced to their sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Last year’s freshman class had an immediate impact on the Hokies, as both Murielle Tiernan and Candace Cephers played in every single match for Tech, combining to make 49 of a possible 54 starts. Tiernan was also named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team.
5-3, Midfielder, Tampa, Fla. (H.B. Plant HS)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at H.B. Plant High School under Coach Pamela Smith … Led team in scoring as a junior … Helped lead H.B. Plant to a district championship and regional quarterfinals … First Team All-County … Member of Tampa Bay United under Coach Jim Cote … 2013 State Cup runner-up … 2013 Disney runner-up … 2013 Regional runner-up … 2012 WAGS Tournament champions .
Personal: Daughter of Maurice Loregnard and Nardos Asgedom … Father played soccer at University of Tampa … One younger brother, Elijah (3) … Undecided on a major … Born on August 15, 1996.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Nastasia is a very solid midfielder who can play in both attacking and holding positions for us. She is very physical with a high work rate and she should step in and vie for time in the midfield.”
5-4, Midfielder/Forward, Chesterfield, Va. (Cosby HS)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at Cosby High School under Coach Brenda Tarzentski … Three-time All-State, All-Region and All-State … Member of U18 Richmond Kickers Elite under Coach Rob Ukrop … U18 Virginia State Cup Champions …Also lettered three times in basketball at Cosby.
Personal: Daughter of RJ and Andrea Conyers … One brother, Brent, and one sister, Kelsey, who is a member of the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team … Majoring in Business … Honors student at Cosby High School … Born on April 2, 1996.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Madi is a perfect fit for Virginia Tech. She comes from a Hokie family and has tremendous ability to find the back of the net. She is versatile, moves well off the ball and is very technical. She should see time in the middle and up front and will help replace some of our lost goalscoring with her solid nose for goal.”
5-6, Forward, Fairfax, Va. (Chantilly HS)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at Chantilly High School under Coach Melissa Bibbee … 2013 Concord District Player of the Year … 2013 First Team All-Met, All-State and All-Region … Captained Chantilly to District and Regional Championships in 2013 … 2012 Second Team All-Region and First Team All-District … Named Honorable Mention All-District in 2011 as a freshman … Played for McLean ECNL ’95 under Coach Brent Leiba.
Personal: Daughter of Anthony Gray and Heba F. El-Shazli … three siblings, Sharif (24), Hassan (22) and Bessma (19) … Majoring in Communications … Honors student at Chantilly High School … Born on Dec. 11, 1995.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Laila is a soccer junkie. She eats, sleeps and lives the game and that’s a great person to have on our team, as she is consistently training and pushing herself to get better. She could see time both in the middle and up front for us, as she is great technically, up in the air and going forward. She comes from a very strong soccer area and we’re excited to have her.”
5-9, Forward, Virginia Beach, Va. (Cape Henry Collegiate School)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at Bayside High School and Cape Henry Collegiate School … Played two years at Bayside under Coach Mark Diacopoulos … Two-time First Team All-Tidewater and All-Beach District … Played at Cape Henry Collegiate under Tina DiFerdinando as a junior … Helped lead team to an undefeated regular season championship and VISAA State Championship Berth … All-Tidewater Player of the Year … VISAA First Team All-State … Played for U18 Richmond Kickers Elite under Coach Rob Ukrop … U18 Virginia State Cup Champions … Rated a 4-star player by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Personal: Daughter of Errol and Theresa Johnson … One sister, Mariah (19) … Majoring in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise … Born on Dec. 16, 1995.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Alani is a very powerful player up front. She can play with her back to the goal or be a threat to get behind the defense. She is very dangerous around goal, but is very unselfish and is a team player who makes her teammates better. She’ll fit in nicely with our great forward line and be a consistent threat for us for years to come.”
6-0, Defender, Tampa, Fla. (Carrollwood Day School)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at Carrollwood Day School under Coach Donna Holyman … Second Team All-County in 2013 … Named CDS Athlete of the Year in 2012 … Played for Tampa Bay United U18 under Coach Jim Cote, reaching the regional finals.
Personal: Daughter of Paul and Dawn Schweitzer … Father, Paul, played football at Bowling Green … One sister, Steve (15) … Majoring in Psychology and History … Born on May 15, 1996.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Alexis is a big, strong, athletic central player, that could play in both the midfield or the back for us. She’s strong and tough in the air and has that blue-collar mentality that we like to have on our team. She isn’t afraid to win balls and do what has to be done to win games. We’re looking forward to having her presence on the team.”
5-7, Goalkeeper, Monument, Colo. (Palmer Ridge HS)
High School/Club: Three-year letterwinner at Palmer Ridge High School under Coach Nick Odil … 2013 Second Team All-State … 2013 First Team All-Gazette, All-Colorado Springs and All-State Academic … Helped Palmer Ridge to three straight Colorado State Tournament semifinals … Four-year member of Colorado Olympic Development Program … 2012 Region IV ODP Championships All-Tournament Team … 2010 US Soccer National ID Camp invitee … Eight-year starter for Pride Predators 96 under various coaches … Seven-year team captain … Four-time Colorado State Cup Champion.
Personal: Daughter of Kirk and Cyndi Smith … One brother, Ryan … Majoring in Psychology … National Honors Society member at Palmer Ridge High School … Born on Jan. 16, 1996.
Coach Adair’s Take: “Kaylyn is a quiet, confident, athletic goalkeeper. She trains hard, works hard and has had a very good career with the Pride Predators. She is very quick and agile, in addition to being a very technical goalkeeper. We’re looking forward to her coming and competing for a starting spot and strengthening the goalkeeper position for us after the departure of Dayle Colpitts.”
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