2016 Women's Soccer Signing Class
Following a season in which it captured its record-tying fifth Big South Championship, the Liberty women's soccer team is refilling the cupboard with the announcement of eight signees for the 2016 campaign. Head coach Jessica Hain's signees include Kristen Darragh, Gabrielle Farrell, Mickayla Green, Kayleigh Kardos, Sierra Lam, Kailey Neef, Anna Roach and Ashley Sannicolas.
"We are incredibly excited to announce this signing class, assistant coach Adam Godwin stated. "We have travelled thousands of miles across the country watching these young ladies and developing relationships with them and their families over the last two years or so. On the field, this class brings us balance, pace, power, a cutting edge, and a fierce determination to succeed. They are a brilliantly talented and committed group."
Godwin added, "I think what we are the most excited about, however, is how this class will impact our program off the field. They are great teammates, women of outstanding character who have chosen Liberty for all the right reasons. Our goal is to build a top-25 program which competes for a national championship in a way which is glorifying to Jesus Christ, and this class moves us a big step in that direction on and off the field."
Kristen Darragh, 5-8, Goalkeeper, Poolesville HS (Poolesville, Md.) Darragh comes to Liberty sporting a championship pedigree in club soccer. During her time with the MSC Coyotes in 2012, Darragh and her team captured league, state, regional and national titles. In total, Darragh is a four-time league champion and two-time state champion on the club level. She is also a two-time Maryland Olympic Development Program participant.
Along with her club accomplishments, Darragh also garnered numerous awards during her junior year at Poolesville, earning first team all-state, All-Gazette and All-Metropolitan fall soccer honors. A multi-sport athlete, Darragh was also a letterwinner in basketball (four years), softball (two) and track & field (one).
"Kristen has strength and skill with a competitive presence on the field," Hain notes. "She will be a teammate with savvy ability to both encourage and challenge those around."
Gabrielle Farrell, 5-4, Forward, Neshaminy HS (Philadelphia, Pa.) Farrell will join the Lady Flames roster after garnering multiple championships in her high school and club career. A four-year member of her club team (FC Bucks Freedom), Farrell and the squad captured the 2013 Elite Club National League U-15 Northern Conference Championship in her inaugural season. The squad went on to become a finalist in the ECNL U-15 National Championship. Recently named to the Pennsylvania All-State team, Farrell is a four-year letterwinner at Neshaminy, closing out her playing career second in school history with 72 career goals. After averaging 15 markers her first three seasons, Farrell racked up 27 goals her senior year, earning all-state honors. A four-time all-conference selection, Farrell helped lead Neshaminy to a state championship in 2013, chipping in an assist on the game-winning goal. Away from the pitch, Farrell was also a letterwinner in basketball and track & field. "Gabby has both tactical and technical skill for 1v1 attacking and scoring," Hain commented. "She will be a teammate that drives our 1v1 and team defensive abilities to a much deeper understanding."
Mickayla Green, 5-6, Defender, Southwest Guilford HS (Greensboro, N.C.) Green signs with Liberty after earning numerous honors on the club and high school scene. A four-year member of NC Fusion (ECNL), Green's squad won the WAGS U15 Championship and the Disney Showcase during her first season. A two-time ECNL Player Development Program selection, Green and her team competed in the 2014-15 playoffs during her third year, reaching the U18 finals. Green is currently ranked No. 148 nationally, No. 18 regionally and No. 37 as a defender according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
A two-year letterwinner at Southwest Guilford, Green earned all-conference and all-region honors in back-to-back seasons. As a freshman, she was the team's defensive MVP before earning the team MVP award in her sophomore season. Green also possesses Olympic Development Program experience, as she was selected to the Region III camp her freshman year.
"Mickayla is an outstanding defender and will bring to the team great tactical and physical ability to the back line", Hain noted. "She will be a teammate who drives, encourages and pushes everyone around her to be their best".
Kayleigh Kardos, 5-5, Midfielder, Daniel Boone Area HS (Douglassville, Pa.) An accomplished player on the club circuit, Kardos earned accolades and championships on three different club teams. In her first season with Continental FC, Kardos led the team in assists and helped the squad win the Bethesda Tournament. After two years with the club, she transitioned to FC Philadelphia, where she led a squad in goals and total points that ranked No.1 in the state of Pennsylvania. After guiding the team to a state championship, she concluded her club career with FC Europa-SOL, earning titles in a pair of showcase tournaments. A two-year letterwinner at Daniel Boone Area High School, Kardos led the team in goals both seasons with a combined total of 37. A two-time all-county midfielder and all-area girls' soccer team selection, Kardos was named MVP of the District III champion championship her senior year, scoring five goals in five games en route to a district title. Along with her soccer honors, Kardos was also a two-year letterwinner in volleyball. "Kayleigh has a naturally versatile skill set and a competitive work ethic," Hain said. "She will be a kind and supporting teammate with reliable presence on the field to unbalance defensive systems."
Sierra Lam, 5-3, Forward, Fresta Valley HS (Amissville, Va.) Lam will come to the Hill City after being ranked as high as No. 62 nationally, No. 2 regionally and No. 25 at her position by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Lam is a four-year member of FC Virginia '97, where she helped guide the team to three straight Mid-Atlantic Championships. Off the field, Lam excels in the classroom at Fresta Valley Christian School, competing in basketball and earning honor roll all accolades four years. Lam's sister, Bethany, was also a member of the Lady Flames, playing under Hain in 2009. "SiSi has distinct composure and balance on the ball," Hain stated. "She will be a teammate who draws out the best in players around her; encouraging them through her ability to be more creative on the field."
Kailey Neef, 5-7, Midfielder, Delaware County Christian School (Havertown, Pa.) Neef is a four-year member of her club team, Continental FC. The midfielder was also a three-year participant in the Eastern Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program, earning first team honors on two occasions. A three-year letterwinner at Delaware County Christian, Neef led the team in assists as a freshman, sophomore and junior, chipping in a combined 72 helpers during the span. Neef's efforts earned her All-Delco and Bicentennial Athletic League first team honors on all three seasons. The two-year captain was also a three-time team MVP. In addition to her accomplishments on the soccer field, Neef was also a three-year letterwinner and team captain in softball. "Kailey is a skillful, resilient, and consistently hard-working player," Hain noted. "She will add momentum and joy to her teammates while building a great deal of trust in and off the field."
Anna Roach, 5-5, Midfielder, William A. Hough HS (Cornelius, N.C.) Roach will make her way to Liberty after an accomplished club and high school soccer career. In her first season with NC Fusion (ECNL), Roach helped her team win the WAGS championship and the Disney Showcase, before reaching the finals of the North Carolina Youth Association State Cup. The following two years, NC Fusion earned a top five ranking in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, reaching the playoffs both seasons. During the span, Roach was named a two-time Mid-Atlantic ECNL Player Development Program Selection.
Ranked as high as No. 32 regionally by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Roach began her high school career at Northwest Guilford High School, posting nine goals and 10 assists en route to racking up all-conference and all-region honors. Roach then transitioned to William A. Hough High School, where she recorded a combined 29 goals and 13 assists in her first two seasons, achieving all-conference honors both years. Roach's efforts have also led the team to a 45-2-4 record in the two-year span. During her sophomore season, the team captured the NC4a State Championship and was ranked No. 1 nationally by the NSCAA. In addition to her high school and club accolades, Roach is also a two-time Olympic Development Program Region III and North Carolina selection.
"Anna has competitive instincts combined with versatility," Hain said. "She will be a teammate who can add leadership, composure and encouragement; regardless the score or situation on the field."
Ashley Marie Sannicolas, 5-4, Midfielder, Mountain View HS (Stafford, Va.) Sannicolas brings an abundance of club soccer success to the Lady Flames program in 2016. As a member of FC Virginia ‘97, Sannicolas helped guide her team to a pair of Mid-Atlantic Championship titles and two ECNL National Finals appearances. In her first year with the club, the team was ranked No. 7 in ESPN's Power 14. The squad also captured several tournament championships, including the Disney Showcase Premier Division title and the Ultimate Cup Championship. During her junior year, Sannicolas was instrumental in the club's turnaround from the previous season, finishing the campaign with an 8-2-1 record.
A multi-year letterwinner in soccer at Mountain View, Sannicolas was named one of the top newcomers in the Commonwealth District. The following season, the center midfielder was instrumental in helping the team finish with a 13-1-2 overall record and a 6-0 mark in conference play. Sannicolas was also a member of the district and state Olympic Development Program as a freshman.
"Ashley has a balanced skill set and determined work ethic," Hain stated. "She will be a patient and supportive teammate, who consistently performs and supports her team on and off the field."
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