MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - On the heels of the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Georgia College & State University soccer team and head coach Juan Pablo Favero have announced six additions to the roster for the 2009 fall season.
The first full recruiting class for second-year head coach Favero, the newcomers will hope to cover the gap left by the team's four departing seniors.
"We are very excited and proud of our first full recruiting class," said Favero. "We feel we have added key players in two key ways: In positions where we lost key seniors, as well as in other areas where we did not have enough depth last year. All of these girls have been very successful at both the club and high school level and come well coached and well prepared for the challenges of the college game.
"With the hard work and commitment of our returning players and the addition of these talented student-athletes, we feel we will be ready for another excellent season in 2009."
Jamie Colcord (Marietta, Ga.) joins the squad from Lassiter High School where she was coached by John Asmussen. Colcord is a versatile player whose primary role is as a marking back, but she can also play as an outside midfielder and a forward.
A "great athlete with excellent technical ability" according to Favero, Colcord brings an ability to attack out of the back. Colcord also played for the 2007 State Finalist and 2008 Atlanta Cup Finalist North Atlanta Soccer Association club team under Eric Ritter.
Coming from what is widely considered one of the best club programs in the nation, Becky Knoll (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) joins the Bobcats from her Eclipse club squad under head coach Mike Nesci. The team earned an MRL Championship in 2008. She played for James B. Conant High, a two-time regional champ under head coach Jason Franco. Knoll earned all-conference last season.
"Her experience and excellent technical ability together with her composure and distribution makes her the kind of complete player we love to have," said Favero.
Filling perhaps the biggest need of the recruiting class was goalkeeper Taylor Mulryan (Roswell, Ga.). Mulryan joins the Bobcats from Blessed Trinity High under Gilbert Jean-Baptiste and is a "very hard-working, disciplined young lady with a great attitude". She also has very good physical attributes which are key to successful goal-keeping at this level, and "with her strong foundation technically we believe she will give us another excellent net-minder".
Bolstering the attack is Anna Wierzbicki (Fayetteville, Ga.) giving Georgia College more depth in two critical attacking roles. As a center-forward "she is excellent with her back to goal, shows well for her teammates, and has a knack for scoring goals". A member of the AFC Lightening Soccer Club, "her excellent technical ability and vision also help her in her secondary role as an attacking center midfielder. She has been very well coached by Andy Thompson and we believe she will be able to step in right away and make a positive impact for us" according to Favero.
Haley O'Hayer (Savannah, Ga.) is a versatile player from the Savannah Arts Academy under head coach Rob Priestley. O'Hayer gives the Bobcats the option to play her as a forward as well as an outside midfielder or an attacking marking back. A two-time all-region selection-twice making the A squad-she played her club ball with the Coastal Georgia Soccer Association, led by Hillary George.
"Her speed, relentless work ethic, and her great attitude make her stand out in the crowd," said Favero. "We also loved her confidence in taking defenders on and her ability to score goals, so we feel very good about what she brings to the team. We think Hailey will thrive in our environment and her potential is limitless."
A defensive center midfielder and the lone junior-college transfer, Sarah Young (Rome, Ga.) comes with two years of college experience from Middle Georgia College led by head coach Vincent Gill.
"Sarah is a great athlete and has the ability to win balls both on the ground with her tackles and in the air," said Favero. "Sarah has a great work-rate and besides her experience she also adds depth to the very important part of the midfield."
Visit www2.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.