ANDERSON, S.C. – With a new head coach and higher expectations in 2014, Anderson University women’s soccer head coach Ciaran Traquair has announced the first signing class of his tenure on Tuesday.
"This is a very exciting group of girls coming to AU this fall,” Traquair said. “I have had several conversations with Coach (Samar) Azem about the incoming class and she has spoken very highly of them as individuals. I expect a smooth transition to what is already a very talented squad. I hope our new arrivals will experience success as student-athletes and become integral members of our squad. I will continue to work around the clock to try and add more quality to the team before the season."
Four players will be placed on the 2014 squad as Lyssa Engle, Abbey Mills, Maddie Volz and Rachael Whaling will look to provide depth to a team that barely missed the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament a season ago. The quartet replaces three key seniors from a season ago in Olivia Scalzitti, Krystal Goss and Kaitlyn Neipp.
Name: Lyssa Engle
Hometown: Fairborn, Ohio
Previous School: Carroll HS
Club Team: Cincinnati United Premiere
Engle comes to Anderson from Fairborn, Ohio where she was a three-year letterwinner for Carroll High School. Engle was named to the all-conference team once as she played under coaches Sarah Flach and Becky Rogers. Along with her letters in soccer, Engle also lettered in track twice and swimming three times as she was part of a state championship with the swimming program. Away from the soccer field, Engle holds a 3.9 GPA.
At the club level, Engle was a member of Cincinnati United Premiere under Greg Deutsch and Dan Bailey. The Buckeye State native was a part of the ODP State team from 2007-2010 where she participated in a European Tour in 2009.
Name: Abbey Mills
Hometown: Monroe, N.C.
Previous School: Piedmont HS
Club Team: Mecklenburg Union Futbol Club/Charlotte Soccer Academy
A three-sport athlete at Piedmont High School, Mills was named to the all-conference and all-region teams for the second straight year a season ago, while representing the West in the Powerade State Games. Following her junior season, Mills was named the team’s offensive MVP. After her freshman campaign, Mills was listed to the conference’s honorable mention team.
Throughout her high school career, Mills has scored 38 goals and recorded 29 assists, while notching 186 saves after her freshman year as a goalkeeper. While at Piedmont, Mills is also an all-conference basketball player and golfer, as she qualified for the North Carolina Girl’s State Tournament her last two seasons.
Name: Maddie Volz
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Previous School: Mount Notre Dame HS
Club Team: HFC
A four-year letterwinner at Mount Notre Dame High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Volz was named second-team all-conference in her final season at MNDHS. Being named the team captain before the season, Volz was named the team’s best offensive player at the end of the year. In the classroom, Volz was listed to the second Honor Roll after every academic year.
As a member of HFC, Volz was coached by Dan Brady and was a state cup finalist three times throughout her career.
Name: Rachael Whaling
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.
Previous School: J.L. Mann HS
Club Team: CESA 95 ECNL
A future graduate of the Upstate’s J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, Whaling is currently in her final season with the Patriots where she has scored 18 goals and dished out 10 assists in her three seasons. Playing under Head Coach Steve Georgopoulos, Whaling has earned four letters at J.L. Mann while receiving high honors and being a part of the National Honors Society.
Whaling’s high school career was highlighted by a four-goal, two-assist game against Laurens. As a team, J.L. Mann finished as state runner-up a season ago. At the club level, Whaling is a member of CESA 95 ECNL under coaches Andrew Hyslop and Andrew Fleming.