KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island head coach Michael Needham announced his 2013 recruiting class for the women's soccer program. Six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic endeavors at URI, beginning the Fall of 2013.
"We are excited to welcome our 2013 class," said Needham. "They are a special group of young women that will assist the returning players in continuing the growth of URI women's soccer. This class is balanced with attacking players, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers, and I believe each one of these young women will make an extremely positive impact on our soccer program and the University community."
2013 Rhode Island Women's Soccer Recruiting Class
Samm Alves – D – 5'4 – Sharon, Mass./Sharon
High School: Four-year letterwinner in soccer… Also played basketball… Captained the soccer team in 2012… Was the team's leading scorer 2009-13… High school's all-time leading scorer with 49 goals… Selected Eastern Mass All-Star in 2012…Named SHS Varsity Soccer Team Offensive MVP 2009-12… Chosen League All-Star 2009, 20011-12… Played club soccer for the Scorpions Soccer Club, where she led the team to four Massachusetts state titles, three Region 1 Championships, and the National Soccer Championship finals in 2010… Played in the USYA National Champion Series 2009-11 with the Scorpions.
Needham on Alves: "Samm is a quality outside back, good with both feet, and very athletic. She strikes the ball extremely well and will add another aspect to how we attack out of the back."
Nicole Brennan – M/F - 5'5 – Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge
Four-year letterwinner in soccer… Also played softball… Captained the soccer team in 2012… Led her team in goals and assists and was named team's MVP as a senior… Selected team Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and sophomore, leading the team in goals… Recorded 58 goals, 25 assists, and 141 total points in her career, ranking her second in school history… Ranked 16th in New Jersey for total points (26 goals, 13 assists) as a senior… Helped her team reach the Group 4 State Sectional Finals in 2012 while recording the most wins in school history… Reached the conference semi-finals in 2009, and 2011-12… Named Region 1 Colonial League Divisional champions and PDA Tournament Division champions in 2012… Was a member of the 2011 Olympic Development Program National and Regional championship team… Played club soccer for NJSA 04 Elite… Was a member of the U13, U14, U15, and U16 State Team and Regional Pool U13 team… Made the honor roll from 2010-13… Member of the Italian Honor Society 2011-13, National Honor Society, Italian Club, Ski Club, and Key Club .
Needham on Brennan: "Nicole is a very quick attacking minded wide player. She is excellent with both feet and strikes the ball very well. She can be dangerous from the run of play, but we are equally excited to see what she can do with our attacking set pieces."
Olivia DiFonso – D – 5'6 – Joppa, Md./The John Carrol School
High School: Four-year letter winner in soccer… Also earned a letter in indoor soccer… Captained the soccer team 2012-13… Led her team to the IAAM A conference semi-finals 2009-12… Was the team leader in assists in 2011, goals and assists in 2010, and third in total points in 2009… Played club soccer for the Penn Fusion '94, Bethesda Freedom, and the Baltimore Bays Chelsea… Was the 2007 Maryland State Cup champion and Region semi-finalist in 2007 as a member of the Baltimore Bays Chelsea… Attended the 2010 Olympic Development Program National Camp in 2010, Olympic Development Program Region 1 Player Pool 2008-09, and the Maryland State Olympic Development Program 2006-10… Member of the Spanish Honor Society (2011) and the Student Athlete Leadership Group (2010-11).
Needham on DiFonso: "Olivia is a central defender with the ability to play in several different spots around the field. Her versatility allows us the opportunity to find the best spot for her within our team and she will compete for minutes right away."
Annie Messner – GK – 5'6 - Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West
Four-year letterwinner in soccer… Captained the team her junior and senior year… Selected Ches-Mont All-League First Team, All-Area First Team, and Varsity Most Valuable Player of the Year in 2012… Helped her team win the Ches-Mont Championship 2009 and 2012… Selected Ches-Mont All-League First Team, All-Area Second-Team, and Varsity Most Valuable Player of the Year in 2011… Named Ches-Mont All-League First Team, All-Area Honorable Mention, and Varsity Most Defensive Player of the Year in 2010… Helped her team win 2010 EPYSA State Cup Championship… Won the PIAA State Championship in 2009… Played club soccer for Penn Fusion Soccer Academy, EPYSA State Team, and Spirit United Soccer… Made the high honor roll 2009-present… Treasurer of Chamber Orchestra… Volunteered at the Special Olympics.
Needham on Messner: "Annie is an explosive shot stopper with excellent distribution. She is well coached, solid technically, and will compete for minutes from the day she walks on campus."
Katie Nickles – GK – 5'10 - Slingerlands, N.Y./Bethlehem Central
Member of the soccer and track team… Captained the soccer team 2011-12… In 80 career games, had 60 wins, 44 shutouts, 648 saves, 92% save percentage, and a 0.74 goals per game average… Named NSCAA Scholar All-American, NSCAA Scholar All-Region, All-State, All-Section & Keeper of the Year, All-Suburban Council, Times Union Large School All-Area All-Star Keeper, and Bethlehem Central High School Spirit of the Eagle Award in 2012… Won the NYSPHSAA Fall 2012 Scholar/Athlete Team Award… Selected All-State, All-Section and Keeper of the Year, and All-Suburban Council in 2011… 2011-12 Rush Patriots U17 Soccer: ENYSSA State Cup champion and Region 1 Semi Finalist… Picked All-Suburban Council 2010… Selected five years to the ENYSA Olympic Development Team… Was the Section Class AA leader in save percentage 2009-10 and 2012, fewest goals allowed and goals per game average in 2009 and 2012, and most shutouts 2009-10 and 2012… 2010-11 ENYSA Olympic Development Soccer U16 Region 1 finalist… Led team to four Sectional championships, two Regional championships, and Class AA semi-finals and finals… Played club for the NY Rush Patriots, ENYYSA Olympic Development Program, Albany Alleycats, and the NY Elite.
Needham on Nickles: "Katie has a strong physical presence in the goal and will compete for playing time right away. She is solid in the air and a good shot stopper. The competition will be strong at the goalkeeper spot in 2013 and we look forward to seeing how Katie performs in our environment."
Megan Tracewell – M – 5'4 – Glen Mills, Pa./Garnet Valley
Four-year letterwinner for soccer… Also a member of the lacrosse and track teams… Captained her school's soccer team (2012), Penn Fusion '94 (2009-12), and the Concord Magic (2008-09)… Was a three-time All-Delco and All-Central League selection… Helped lead high school to three District 1 playoff appearances, most single season wins (14), best record (14-4-0), and most wins over four years (49)… Played club soccer for Penn Fusion Soccer Academy, Concord Soccer Association Magic, and West Chester United Soccer Club Predators… Won three state championships with her club teams… Participated in three US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championship… Played in the US Youth Soccer National League… Participated in the Elite Club National League for two years… Three-year member of the EPYSA Olympic Development Program… One-year member of the DYSA Olympic Development Team… Made the honor roll all four years… Member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Environmental Club, SADD, Diversity Club, French Club, Varsity Club, Yearbook Club, and the Chorus.
Needham on Tracewell: "Meg is a pure soccer player and outstanding leader. She is a winner and has been a captain for nearly every team she has ever been a part of. Megan has the tools to be very successful and we are excited to see how she compliments the players around her."
"We look forward to another exciting year in Kingston as we continue building towards our ultimate goal of bringing an Atlantic 10 Championship to Kingston," said Needham."The community and athletic department have been extremely supportive during our first two seasons and we look forward to their continued support as we begin our journey towards greatness in 2013."