UNCG Women's Soccer Signs 12 to NLIs

UNCGSpartans.com 02-04-2013
Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com

Signing Day Document

The UNCG women's soccer team has signed 12 prep seniors to National Letters of Intent to play for the Spartans in 2013, coach Steve Nugent announced Wednesday.

Rebecca Burrows (Auckland, New Zealand/Mount Albert Grammar School)Gina Cardenas (Mauldin, S.C./Mauldin HS), Marissa Contreras (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes/Cinco Ranch HS), Nicole Epstein (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa HS), Alexandra Moiseenko (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill HS), Katelyn Mountjoy (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus HS), Christina Murr (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg HS), Mackenzie Noel (Braddock Heights, Md./Middletown HS), Kelsi Peters (Burlington, N.C./Walter M. Williams HS), Alex Pryor (Baltimore, Md./Mercy HS), Kimberly Shaver (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg HS) and Alexis Thomas (Bishop, Ga./Oconee County HS) will join the squad as freshmen next season.

"We could not be more excited about our 2013 signing class," said Nugent. "This group of ladies is a tremendous mix of talent, personality, and athleticism that we believe will make an immediate impact on our program.  UNCG Women's Soccer has a storied academic and athletic history, and to continue that success we must introduce the most well-rounded student athletes to our community that will make a positive impact in the classroom, on the field, and within Greensboro community.  Each one of these talented ladies brings unique athletic qualities to the team and have embraced our culture of Team, Trust, & Family.  We have high expectations for how this class will integrate with our current players and give us the best chance to bring home another Southern Conference Championship in 2013.  We wish them all the very best as they work toward their first semester here at the "G" in early August.  Please join me in welcoming our newest UNCG student athletes to the family."

Rebecca Burrows, midfield, Auckland, New Zealand/Mount Albert Grammar School

Burrows, a midfielder from Auckland, New Zealand, helped her team win two-straight Auckland Provincial Championships (APC) and came just short of a two-time NZSS National Premier title after placing fourth in 2011. Burrows was named MVP of the round of 16 at the NZSS Premier Tournament after scoring a hat trick against Palmerston North.  She also played club soccer for Three Kings United and was a teammate of fellow UNCG Spartan Georgia Brown. They won the ASB National women's knockout cup four times.

"I chose UNCG because I want to come to a place where the people are great, a good standard of soccer and somewhere I will do well," said Burrows. "I hope to also bring something extra to the soccer team at UNCG by helping them proceed further and win their games."

Burrows also took part in two FIFA World Cups playing for New Zealand. She played in three matches in the 2010 FIFA U-17 World Cup and helped New Zealand qualify again for the 2012 FIFA U-20 World Cup two years later. Burrows played three matches in the midfield.

"Playing for my country was such a great experience," said Burrows. "I love the intensity, the fast ball play and definitely the physicality of it all. I love getting the chance to play top teams from around the world and thrive on playing against quality players.                                     

Gina Cardenas, midfield, Mauldin, S.C./Mauldin HS

Cardenas, a midfielder from Mauldin, S.C., was a two-time 4A All-Region honoree in 2011 and 2012. Cardenas helped her team win a Region II championship in 2011 and 2012. Also her team was a state finalist three years in a row (2010-12) and a three-time Mauldin Cup Champion (2010-12).

"I chose to attend UNCG because of the campus atmosphere," said Cardenas.  "The campus is filled with trees and walkways to make it convenient and quick to walk places.  I wanted to attend a medium size school and UNCG is perfect.  I also chose the school because of the soccer team's high-spirited energy and bubbly personality.  The team felt like a family."

Cardenas played club soccer for Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) in Greenville, S.C. for club coach Andrew Hyslop from 2005-13. She played center midfielder and was a four-time state champion (2007-10). Her team was a three-time region III quarter finalist (2008-10). They won the region in 2012 and participated in the U-17 National Championship last summer.

"Gina has been a player who has shown the dedication needed to continue to develop her overall game," said Hyslop. "She has excellent training habits and is very coachable. Gina is composed in possession, strong in the air and links well with other attacking players. I'm anxious to follow her progress at UNC Greensboro and am sure she will be a success at the college level."
Marissa Contreras, midfield/defender, Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes/Cinco Ranch HS

Contreras, a midfielder/defender from Katy, Texas, was a 2010 5A State All-Tournament team honoree. She helped her team to a 2012 5A Region 3 Championship and a 5A State semifinalist. In 2011, her team reached the quarterfinals at the 5A Region 3 Regional. She is also on the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Science Honor Society. "As soon as we drove up, I fell in love with the campus," said Contreras. "I thought it was a beautiful traditional campus, which I've always dreamed of attending. The UNCG soccer girls were very welcoming and I could really picture them as future teammates. After meeting the faculty at UNCG, I left with the impression that they care about their students and will help them reach their goals!  Seeing the family type relationship shared between the girls and coaches at UNCG was really important in my decision also.  I'm from a very close family and look forward to the team being my second family."

Contreras played club soccer for Challenge Soccer in Houston, Texas under club coach Pat O'Toole from 2009-13. She played defender on the ODP state team from 2007-10. She also was a two-time USYSNC State Champion (2008-09).

"UNCG has another excellent soccer played committed from Challenge Soccer club in Marissa Contreras," said O'Toole. "Marissa hopes to make the same kind of impact her club mate, Jamie Simmons made at UNCG this past year. Marissa is an excellent defender who can play both as a wide back and center back. Her ability to defend is what most coaches have identified as her biggest strength, but what separates her from most defenders is her ability to attack out of the back. Coach Nugent and his staff have another outstanding player from Challenge Soccer club."

Nicole Epstein, defender, Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa HS

Epstein, a defender from Massapequa, N.Y., was named to the All-State, All-County, All-Class and All-Long-Island team as player. She helped her team capture a state championship and a two-time county and conference champion. Epstein also is on the National Honor Society, Principles list and high honor roll for five years.

"I chose UNCG because the school contains everything I was looking for," said Epstein. "I was impressed with the soccer program and facilities, the coaches and the players were easy to get along with. UNCG also has a great business program, which is important to me. The campus is beautiful and the size is perfect."

Epstein played club soccer with Albertson in Albertson, N.Y. under club coach Michael Demakis. Her team was a News Tournament semifinalist for two years and a Disney Tournament semifinalist in 2010.

"Nicole is your prototypical two way defender," said Demakis. "She is one of the top 1v1 shut down defenders who also has the skill set to give you an added dangerous dimension of attacking out of the back. Technically and tactically sound, Nicole is extremely strong on the ball and in her tackling, dominating in the air and has excellent vision and decision making capabilities. Along with Nicole's playing abilities, she is also a wonderful leader by example, teammate and most importantly a kind and great friend to have."

Alexandra Moiseenko, defender, Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill HS

Moiseenko, a defender from Chapel Hill, N.C., was an All-Conference, All-Region and All-Conference academic selection. She helped her team become a two-time conference champion in 2010 and 2012. She participated in the ODP (Olympic development program) regional camp from 2008-11.

"I choose UNCG because of the school's location and wide selection of areas to study," said Moiseenko. "The soccer team made me feel like part of a family at camp because they constantly pushed me to be at my best. Additionally, the school's motto of service was important to me because I think it's important to give back to your community."

Moiseenko played club soccer for Triangle United under club coach Kalla Stark. She played on defense and was the team captain, leading the team to the NC State Cup Championship in 2012 and the Publix Atlanta Cup Championship. She helped her team became the first Triangle United team to win State Cup.

"As co-captain and starting center back, Alex kept our defense organized and she coordinated our game from the back," said Stark. "She is fast, tall, hard to beat in 1v1 situations -all you could ask for in a center back. After winning the ball she doesn't lose the possession, but actually keeps it in with a short pass or a decent long ball, which she plays pretty well. And quite often she even helped winning games by scoring on one of our corner kicks. Her biggest weakness? She doesn't have a clone to play in the back with her."

Katelyn Mountjoy, forward/midfield, Highland Village, Texas/Marcus HS

Mountjoy, a midfielder from Highland Village, Texas, was a two-time Soccer Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009. She was a two-time All-District first team selection in 2011 and 2012. Mountjoy led the team in goals scored in 2011 and was named Midfielder of the Year along with ESPN Player of the Week during her junior season (2011). She was named captain for her senior season (2013) and her team won the District 8 5A championship. Her team was ranked No. 1 by ESPN Rise for three weeks in 2011 and was a regional semifinal winner in 2012.

"When I decided to verbally commit to UNCG, I couldn't find one reason not to," said Mountjoy. "Immediately when I met the girls on my unofficial visit, the welcoming atmosphere made me feel at home.  I wanted a college with a beautiful setting, awesome coach, great academics, and the program to nourish my soccer playing abilities, and UNCG has it all.  I am so excited and blessed to be spending my next four years at this university."

Mountjoy played club soccer for Dallas Texans in Dallas, Texas under club coach Sean Bubb. She was a part of ODP North Texas 94 state team. Mountjoy also played for Sting Soccer Club winning three national titles at the USYS U-16, USYS U-15 and ECNL U-15 in 2010. Her team was a three-time NTX State Cup champion from 2008-10.

"Katelyn is a very intelligent player who reads the game exceptionally at a very high level," said Bubb. "She possesses excellent technical ability and is a very dangerous attacking threat. She has a great attitude and is a pleasure to coach." 
Christina Murr, forward/midfield, Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg HS

Murr, a forward/midfielder from Miamisburg, Ohio, was named second team GWOC South in 2010 and Varsity Offensive Player of the Year. Murr was a second team All-Area South and third team GWOC South in 2011. She was awarded as Varsity Most Versatile Player in 2011 and is first in career assists and second in career points. Her team finished as runners up in sectionals in 2010. She also ran track for two seasons as a sprinter/hurdler and broke the school record in the 4x200m in 2010.

"From the moment I saw the UNCG campus and my parents and I met Coach Nugent, I knew UNCG was the right fit for me," said Murr.  "I know UNCG will provide all the athletic and academic support I need to be successful both on and off the field.  I am honored to have the opportunity to play soccer and pursue a college degree at a great school and in a great community. The coaches have already been very supportive and have made me feel like part of the UNCG family. I know being a Spartan will help me continue to develop in soccer and in life."

Murr played club soccer for Ohio Elite Soccer Academy for two years and five years with Warren County United. In 2010, her team was a U15 Ohio South State Cup quarter finalist. She also won the 2009 CASL College showcase Elite Copa division after scoring the game-winning goal to win 1-0. Her team was a U14 Ohio South State Cup semifinalists in 2009 and won the Region II Championship in 2008.

"Christina is a tremendously talented player," said Doug Bracken (Ohio Elite Soccer Academy). "She possesses great vision and ability to deliver the final ball.  She will certainly bring personality to the UNCG Women's Soccer team.  Most importantly, she has outstanding upside and will continue to grow as a player and person as she moves on to the college level."
Mackenzie Noel, midfield, Braddock Heights, Md./Middletown HS

Noel, a midfielder from Braddock Heights, Md., was a NSCAA 2012 High School Girls Scholar All-South Region selection. She was a second team All-Conference and All-Area selection in 2009 to go along with a three-time first team All-Conference player from 2010-12. She helped her team win the 2A MD state championship three years in a row and participated in the 2012 all-star game. Noel was named FNP Gazette Player of the Year in 2012 and Maryland All-State.

"When looking for a college, I had certain criteria to grade each school I visited," said Noel. "There were different factors like location, academics, and athletics. I knew North Carolina was where I wanted to be and when UNCG had my major there were already two pluses right off the bat. When I came for a visit, I met Coach Nugent and toured the campus and loved everything about it.  Also, when I came to camp in the summer, I met the team and all the other recruits and experienced the competitive level of play. The atmosphere created is that of a family and seeing that, I knew UNCG was where I wanted to go."

Noel played club soccer for FC Frederick from 2009-13 under club coach Brad Roos. She helped her team become a two-time MD State Cup finalists (2010;2012) and a 2011 MD State Cup semifinalists. Noel led her team to a Region 1 Colonial League Championship in 2011 and a PWSI Ice Breaker Tournament Championship in 2009.

"Mackenzie Noel has worked very hard for the past two years to make herself a complete central midfielder, both offensively and defensively, and I expect her development to continue as a player for UNCG," said Roos. 

  Kelsi Peters, midfield/defender, Burlington, N.C./Walter M. Williams HS

Peters, a midfielder/defender from Burlington, N.C., was a two-time All-Conference team selection and made All-Region after junior season. She also led the team in goals during junior campaign and helped her team become a three-time conference champion, without suffering a loss in conference play. Her team made the third round of the State playoffs each year and she was a Brittnay Foundation Sportsmanship award winner. 

"UNCG is not only a beautiful campus, but it offers what I want to major in kinesiology," said Peters. "But the most important factor that pulled me towards the school was how at home I felt from all the soccer girls! When I first did my unofficial visit I wasn't nervous or shy they made me feel like I was already a part of the team, like they were my family."

Peters played club soccer for NC Fusion for three years and helped the team win a U18 NCYSA State Cup Championship. She also won a U14 NCYSA State Cup Championship with the Greensboro Twisters. Peters participated in the U16 ODP nationals and won a U12 U.S. Soccer National Championship.

"Kelsi has been a huge part of the 94 NC Fusion Elite Team, that has had some great success over the last three years," said Chad Lorentz (NC Fusion Elite). She is a very solid defender that has strength, athleticism, and a competitive nature. Her leadership in the back has been excellent."
Alex Pryor, midfield, Baltimore, Md./Mercy HS

Pryor, a midfielder from Baltimore, Md., was named All-Conference, All-IAAM all-star from 2010-12. She was awarded all-state and the Baltimore Sun Player to watch. Pryor was the team captain for two-straight seasons and MVP in 2012. She won the NSCAA senior excellence award and helped her team be ranked in the top 50 nationally by ESPN rankings (first time in school history) during junior year.

"The reason that I choose to attend UNC Greensboro was because from the very first moment I stepped on the campus I felt as if I was home," said Pryor. "Every other school that I visited did not compare to what I felt when I visited Greensboro. The instructors, coaches, players and administrators all made me feel as if I was a part of the Greensboro community. I feel UNCG is everything that I want my college career to consist of community, unity, family and a sense of belonging.  I am excited about becoming a Spartan and looking forward to beginning my new journey."

Pryor club soccer for Baltimore Bays for nine years under head coach Doug Pryor and was a tournament all-star in the CASL. Her team was a two-time State Cup Champion in 2008 and 2012 along with a two-time Regional semifinalist in 2008 and 2011. Pryor led her team to a Region 1 Colonial League Championship from 2008-09 and a Region 1 Colonial League finalist in 2013. She also was a Disney Soccer showcase finalist in 2010-11.   

"Alex is the hardest working player on and off the field I have ever coached," said Doug Pryor. "Alex is a very technical player with great vision of the field.  Alex has a very high soccer IQ and is an overall great team player.  Alex has a strong inner drive and determination that will make her a great addition to the Spartan Community on and off the field."

  Kimberly Shaver, defender, Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg HS

Shaver, a defender from Blacksburg, Va., was awarded outstanding performance at the 2011 AA State championship. Shaver was a second team All-District in 2010 and a first team All-District in 2011-12. She was a first team All-Region in 2011-12 and a second team All-State in 2011-12. Shaver also ran track for four years running the 55 meter dash, 55 meter hurdles, 300 meter dash, 4x200 meter relay, long jump and high jump. She holds the school record in the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1:46.12.

"It just felt right honestly. As soon as I set foot on campus, I knew then and there that UNCG was the place for me," said Shaver. "The more I looked around and the more I talked to the girls on the team, things just got better and better. Yeah I looked at other schools but they didn't feel right. People told me, I would know if it was right and now I know exactly what they were talking about, I knew that this was the school I wanted to attend for the next four years of my academic and soccer career. This will be my home away from home and I can't wait."

Shaver played club soccer at New River United for eight years before coming to Roanoke Star this past season under club coach Matt Neal. She played in a national tournament in Chicago and made the Final four of State Cup championship in Virginia. She also won the Regional Championship.

"Competition is very important when developing players," said Neal. "The only practice environment in which you truly develop a player is a competitive arena.  This is why Kim Shaver has been so important to me as a coach.  Her motor and her level of competition is so intense that it pushes those around her to their highest level.  She is a wonderful athlete, because she isn't just a great player, she makes the team around her special through her will to win."              
  Alexis Thomas, forward/midfield, Bishop, Ga./Oconee County HS

Thomas, a forward/midfielder from Bishop, Ga., made first team All-Northeast and was a three-time 8AAA first team All-Region. She was selected for the Georgia High School All-Star game and won the OCHS Coach's award. Thomas also won the OCHS offensive MVP award and helped her team make the State of Georgia AAA soccer playoffs three years in a row. Her team was a two-time 8AAA Region Champion and she was a three-time NSCAA Academic All-American team selection. Thomas is the all-time leading scorer at OCHS (83 goals) and was named Northeast Georgia Player of the Year in 2011 by Athens Banner Herald newspaper.

"I decided to attend UNCG because the players and coaching staff seemed like a family and they made me feel at home the very first time I met them," said Thomas. "I also knew that UNCG had an emphasis on academic success and community service which are important to me. The campus was beautiful and everything felt connected without being too large. The final factor was the quality of the women's soccer program and I hope to contribute to UNCG's winning tradition."

Thomas played club soccer for Gwinnett Soccer Association for two years and was a member of the '95 Elite Clubs National league team. She led the team with 35 points in 2011 and had 24 points in the fall season of 2012. Thomas was named one of ECNL top players for Fall 2012. Her team was a Georgia State Cup finalist in 2011 and a Region III USYS National League quarterfinalist in 2011.

"I am delighted that Alexis chose to play for coach Nugent, she is a player with an eye for the goal and will be a great asset to the program," said Campbell Chapman, Gwinnett Soccer. 

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