Top (L to R): Amanda Barrett, Abigail Bridge and Alyssa Hill Bottom (L to R): Devon Jones, Hadley Jones and Lauren Weygandt
Following a season in which it captured the Big South Regular Season Championship for the third time in program history, the Liberty women's soccer team is adding to its arsenal with the announcement of six signees for the 2015 campaign. Head coach Jessica Hain's signees include Amanda Barrett, Abigail Bridge, Alyssa Hill, sisters Devon and Hadley Jones and Lauren Weygandt.
"This is an exciting recruiting class for us, and a very exciting time for the program," head coach Jessica Hain stated. "Each student-athlete has unique qualities that will bring excitement to the current group. I feel this class has a lot of balance, and I'm looking forward to training in preseason. Ultimately, each of these student-athletes desire to be a Champion for Christ, and through Jesus we are ready for "immeasurably more" with His team this season!"
Amanda Barrett, Midfielder, 5-2, Princeton Senior HS (Athens, W.Va.) Barrett will make her way to Liberty after playing on the club circuit as a member of the Charleston Chaos. During her freshman year of high school, she played club soccer for Giles County United and was a member of the West Virginia Olympic Development Program team, reaching the regional semifinals. Barrett will be a second generation Liberty student-athlete when she takes the field with the Lady Flames, as her father Steven was a member of the Flames' soccer program in 1984.
A three-year letterwinner at Princeton Senior High School, Barrett recorded a combined 72 goals during the span. In her first two seasons, Barrett registered 15 and 21 goals, respectively, guiding her squad to back-to-back sectional championships. A two-time first team all-county selection, she also earned first team all-state honors after posting 36 goals and 18 assists in her junior campaign.
"Amanda is a technical player with vision, Hain noted. "She has a good tempo within the game and will find herself competing in the Flames' attack."
Abigail Bridge, Forward/Midfielder, 5-4, Lexington Christian Academy (Sherborn, Mass.) Bridge brings quality club and high school experience to the Lady Flames roster. The midfielder played four years of club soccer with NEFC Central United. As a junior, she helped her GU17 squad finish with a No. 3 ranking and a 4-2-1 record. This past fall, Bridge and the GU18 team won the GPS Thanksgiving Showcase.
Along with her club experience, Bridge spent her first two seasons at Dover Sherborn High School, where she earned 2011 Rookie of the Year honors. That season, Bridge helped the team finish with a 16-3-5 record en route to garnering a state championship. Bridge concluded her high school career at Lexington Christian Academy, helping her team reach the New England Prep School Class D quarterfinals in 2013.
"Abigail sees layers of movements and passes with the ability to execute," Hain stated. "She is calm under pressure and will compete as an attacker for us."
Alyssa Hill, Midfielder, 5-8, South River HS (Crofton, Md.) Currently ranked 25th in the Mid-Atlantic Region by Top Drawer Soccer (previously ranked as high as 13th), Hill is a four-year member of Maryland United FC. In her first three seasons with the club, the midfielder accumulated a total of 15 goals and 14 assists. In her second year, Hill helped her team finish first in the North American League playoffs. Last year, she was instrumental in guiding the squad to a Mid-Atlantic Championship. The team also finished in the top six in the Champions League Playoffs.
A four-year letterwinner at South River, Hill concluded her high school career with 27 goals and 18 assists. A first team selection and a two-time second team honoree by the Anne Arundel County Capital Gazette, Hill was instrumental in guiding the team to multiple regional and county titles. She also helped her squad capture a state championship during her sophomore year, ending her time at South River with back-to-back state semifinals appearances. Upon arriving at Liberty, Hill will join her sister, Ashleigh, who is a defender with the Lady Flames.
"Aly can navigate the game with strength and finesse," Hain commented. "She has a great competitive drive and will be a dominating midfielder in the years to come."
Devon Jones, Forward, 5-7, Worthington HS, (Columbus, Ohio) Jones is a four-year member of the Classic Eagles club team. A four-year letterwinner at Worthington Christian, Jones concluded her high school career as the program's all-time leading scorer with 109 goals. A multiple all-state, all-county and all-district selection, the forward racked up honors her senior year thanks in part to her 38 goals and 11 assists. In addition to being crowned district and county player of the year, she also earned NSCAA All-America accolades. In addition to soccer, Jones was also a letterwinner in basketball at Worthington Christian.
"Devon is capable of scoring goals and she doesn't mind pressure situations," Hain stated. "This combination of skill under pressure will serve her well competing for the Flames."
Hadley Jones, Defender, 5-8, Worthington HS, (Columbus, Ohio) Similarly, Hadley Jones was also a four-year member of the Classic Eagles. A four-year letter winner at Worthington Christian, Jones took the field as a defender and a midfielder. A two-time all-conference and all-district team member, she was team captain and MVP during her senior year. In addition to her soccer experience, Jones was also a letterwinner in track & field.
Upon arriving in the Hill City, Jones and her sister will not be the only members of their family to play soccer at Liberty. Their uncle, Jesse Barrington (1993-96), was a four-year letterwinner with the Flames' program and is currently seventh all-time on the program's career points list with 70.
"Hadley is a consistent, determined defender," Hain noted. "Her ability to play for 90 minutes and beyond will be advantageous defensively."
Lauren Weygandt, Midfielder, 5-6, Worthington HS, (Columbus, Ohio) Weygandt will reunite with her high school and club teammates, the Jones sisters, when she arrives at Liberty. Weygandt played three years of club soccer with Crew Juniors and one with Classic Eagles. During her sophomore year of high school, she also participated in the Ohio Olympic Development Program. A four-year letterwinner at Worthington Christian, Weygandt was a key distributor for Devon Jones, finishing her high school career with 62 assists. Weygandt also found the net herself during her four years at Worthington, garnering a total of 45 goals. A four-time first team all-district honoree, she was also an all-state second team selection her senior year.
"Lauren is an extremely hard worker defensively and offensively in the midfield," Hain said. "She is able to cover a lot of ground in the game and we are looking forward to that kind of determination from her in the years to come."
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