Women's Soccer Adds Seven More for 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Seven student-athletes have signed to play women's soccer at USC Upstate beginning in the fall, announced head coach Renee Lopez today. The seven signings now push Lopez's first recruiting class to 15 members.
Joining the Spartans are Rachel Curd, Julia Harris, Krystal Hedderman, Jessica Jackyra, Erika Kotterer, Courtney Mack and Danielle White.
"I am extremely excited to have signed these additional student-athletes," said head coach Renee Lopez. "Each one of these individuals is strong in the classroom and on the field. I expect many of them to have an impact on the field for our team very early in their careers."
Rachel Curd (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar), a 5-4 forward, finished out a solid prep career. She was a four year soccer player spending her freshman season on the junior varsity squad, followed by three seasons on the varsity team. As a freshman, she was honored as the team's Rookie of the Year. The following season, her first on the varsity team, Curd was named as the team's Newcomer of the Year. She also played club soccer with the Bluegrass Soccer Club, under the direction of Leah Castleman.
Curd was also a member of the high school track and field team, earning Freshman of the Year honors after her first season with the program. She was named academic all-state all four years. She is active in her high school's Young Life chapter as well as serving on the senior executive committee, which oversees events such as the school's annual Prom.
"Rachel is an outstanding athlete," said Lopez. "She was a two-sport athlete in high school and that benefit her greatly when she arrives on campus."
Julia Harris (Simpsonville, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) is a 5-4 midfielder that will join Upstate after a two-year stint at Spartanburg Methodist College under the guidance of head coach Dan Kenneally. Harris was named all-region after both her freshman and sophomore campaigns and was also named team MVP after her sophomore season.
Prior to arriving at SMC, Harris was a four-year letterwinner at Spartanburg High School. She was named to the dean's list on numerous occasions and earned a Life Scholarship.
"Julia has a fantastic work rate as a center midfielder," said Lopez. "The experience that she has gained from her two seasons at SMC makes her an outstanding addition to our program. She has great vision on the field and a positive personality to get the most out of her teammates."
Krystal Hedderman (Locust Grove, Va./St. Andrew's Presbyterian College) is a 5-7 midfielder that will join the Spartans after two seasons at St. Andrew's in Laurinburg, N.C. As a sophomore, Hedderman started all 17 contests for the Knights and was tied for the team lead with six goals. She ranked second on the team with 13 points. Her strong sophomore campaign earned her Conference Carolinas Third-Team All-Conference accolades.
Prior to St. Andrew's, Hedderman spent four years on the soccer team at Riverbend High School. She had a stellar junior season that earned her second-team all-district honors. She was also a member of the track and field teams at Riverbend and was active in Young Life. Hedderman played club soccer with the Spotsylvania Wildkatz and was coached by William Wahle.
"I have had the opportunity to watch Krystal play for the past two seasons at St. Andrew's," stated Lopez. "She has the ability to play at the Division I level and with her vision and fantastic work ethic, she will be an asset for us in the midfield. She will be surrounded by quality players here and I think she will transition well into our program. Her experience will allow her to be a leader for our team and I look forward to her arriving on campus. Lastly, she was an all-conference selection in 2009 and that was a well-deserved honor for her."
Jessica Jackyra (Cary, N.C./Apex), a 5-4 defender, will arrive in Spartanburg after a quality high school career. Playing from her back line position, she was named to the All-State Defensive Team as well as helping lead her squad to the 2009 State Cup Championship.
Jackyra is a member of the Triangle Futbol Club and plays under head coach Pete Sadin, along with fellow incoming Spartans Rachel Collins and Alyssa Librizzi. Jackyra and Collins play on the same team. Collins and Librizzi signed their letters of intent to play at Upstate in early February.
"Jessica is a tenacious defender and can quickly attack opposing forwards," said Lopez. "She also has great vision the field and because of her aggressive nature, she will be a great addition to our back line."
Erika Kotterer (Orland Hills, Ill./Carl Sandburg), a 5-8 midfielder/defender, will join the Spartans after a solid prep career. She has been a member of the high school varsity soccer team all four years. She was part of Sandburg's run in the Illinois state playoffs where they finished third during her junior campaign. She was also a member of the crew and cross county/track and field teams at Sandburg.
She is a member of the Eclipse Select Futbol Club, which has allowed her to improve her game from various positions on the field. Kotterer has been a volunteer coach with the Illinois ODP inner-city soccer development program and she has also been involved in other community service projects.
"Erika comes from an outstanding club tradition with Eclipse Select. She reads the game very well and is extremely physical, especially when competing for balls in the air. She can play both as a center midfielder and a center back. With her high school team, she even played a bit of a target forward, so she is a very versatile player."
Courtney Mack (Leonard, Md./Calvert), a 5-2 midfielder, will join the Upstate soccer team after a decorated prep career. She was a member of the soccer team all four years and earned All-Conference Academic accolades each season.
She also earned all-county honors after all four seasons at Calvert. After a stellar senior campaign, Mack was named the team's MVP, she also earned the Coaches Award as well as the team's Leadership Award. She was also a member of the lacrosse and track and field teams while in high school.
Mack participates in club soccer with the Southern Maryland Alliance (ranked 38th-nationally) under the direction of Coach Adam Ritchie. She is the second player from the SMA to sign with Upstate. Her club teammate Kayli Moore signed her national letter of intent last month.
"Courtney is a die-hard competitor," Lopez stated. "She has the ability to impact a game with her outstanding vision from her midfield position. I am very excited to have her join out program because she also has the adaptability to play anywhere on the pitch."
Danielle White (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun), a 5-9 midfielder, will join the Spartans after a strong prep/club career. She was a three-year letter winner on the women's soccer team at Calhoun. She was named the team's best offensive player after her junior campaign.
She plays club soccer with the Darlington Soccer Academy with fellow incoming Spartan Sarah Plantz. Under the direction of head coach Rex Bowman, the team competed in the 2009 Atlanta Cup over Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 5-7, 2009). The team, which is ranked fifth in the state of Georgia and 29th-nationally, recorded a 2-0-1 mark in pool play and finished as runner-ups in tournament play.
"Danielle is an intense player who can definitely aid us in the attack," said Lopez. "She has a knack for creating scoring opportunities from the midfield as well as finding the back of the net when on the attack. She comes from a great club organization and that will help her easily transition into the college game."