Toledo Signs Eight Recruits for 2013 Campaign
TOLEDO, OH - The University of Toledo women's soccer team has received committments from eight student-athletes for the 2013 season, two-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Brad Evans announced on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The signees are Shelby Antonacci (Perrysburg, OH - Lake), Kiersten Johnson (Cincinnati, OH - Milford), Brooke Maletic (Springfield, OH - Catholic Central), Hannah O'Shaughnessy (Powell, OH - Olentangy Liberty), Claudia Piazza (Brampton, ONT - Cardinal Leger), Regan Price (Bellefontaine, OH), Hannah Scafaria (Kalamazoo, MI - Portage Northern) and Chelsea Thompson (Madison Heights, MI - Lamphere).
"I think that we're in a different place in our program right now," Evans said. "We are shifting gears a little in our recruiting. We've tried to make sure we have a great blend of athleticism and skill in this class, but also a level of toughness and mentality. I think this class is a balanced group and it will be a good springboard for us the next couple of years."
This past fall, the Midnight Blue & Gold posted a 7-12-2 overall record, 5-5-1 in the league. UT finished fourth in the MAC West Division standings and made its eighth-consecutive postseason appearance. The No. 6 seed Rockets also advanced to the MAC Tournament Semifinals for an unprecedented seventh-consecutive season after outlasting No. 3 seed Eastern Michigan, 2-1, on penalty kicks. In the ‘Final Four', Toledo came up a little short against No. 2 seed and eventual NCAA Championship participant Central Michigan, 1-0.
The eight signees will have big cleats to fill, trying to lessen the blow of losing last year's six-member senior class - Megan Blake, Natalia Gaitàn, Rachael Kravitz, Kristen Mattei, Jaimie Morsillo, Blair Sorg - who totaled 47 victories and were part of two conference regular-season titles (2010, ‘11) and one league tourney crown (2011).
The following is an in-depth look at the Rockets' 2013 recruiting class:
Shelby Antonacci (F, 5-3, Perrysburg, OH): Antonacci was a four-year letterwinner in soccer and one year in basketball at nearby Lake High School. A prolific goal scorer, she tallied 77 goals and 48 assists (202 points) in her high school career. As a senior, Antonacci totaled 21 scores with 11 helpers, earning second-team all-state, conference Player of the Year, first-team all-district and first-team all-league accolades. She played a key role in helping the Flyers capture their fourth-consecutive league championship. As a junior, Antonacci registered a school-record 25 goals with eight assists (58 points) and was selected second-team all-state, league Player of the Year, first-team all-district and first-team all-conference. She scored a school-record four goals in a match as a junior and guided the team to a league crown. As a sophomore, Antonacci accumulated 14 goals with 12 helpers (40 points), garnering second-team all-state, conference co-Player of the Year, first-team all-district and first-team all-league honors. She propelled the Flyers to a league title, as well as a sectional championship. An excellent student in the classroom as well, Antonacci has been a member of the National Honor Society the past two years and served as the president of the Spanish Club the last three years. On the club level, she has played 12 years for the Greater Toledo Futbol Club (2000-12) and two years for Pacesetter (2012-Present) under the direction of former UT assistant coach Anne Decker. Antonacci was a member of the 2006 MEAD CUSA Cup Champions, 2004 FC Pride Cup Champions and 2007 OP Cup Champions.
"Shelby is a strong left-sided player who is going to have to develop and adapt to the speed of play up front at the college level," Evans said. "She is a mature person, and I believe she is ready to dive in and go to work. Shelby is also a very good student. She will be a solid contributor both on and off the field for us over her time at UT."
Kiersten Johnson (F, 5-6, Cincinnati, OH): Johnson was a three-year letterwinner in soccer at Milford High School. She tallied 32 goals and 18 assists (82 points) in her high school career. As a senior, Johnson posted 15 tallies and nine helpers (39 points), earning first-team all-district, first-team all-city and first-team all-league accolades. She finished first in the league in total points and goals, as well as ranking second in assists, helping her team capture their fourth-consecutive conference title. Following the completion of her senior season, Johnson was named to the Division I City All-Star Game and selected the "Most Offensive Player" in the contest. As a junior, she registered 13 goals with nine assists (35 points) and earned first-team all-league recognition. Johnson was also selected her squad's "Most Offensive Player" and led them to a conference championship and a regional finals appearance. She finished fifth in the league in goals, third in helpers and fifth in total points. On the club level, Johnson played on the 2009 State Pool Team and the 2010 State Squad. In 2010, she participated in the ODP Spring Tournament in Alabama and the ODP Regional Camp, where her team claimed a Region II championship. Johnson has also played two years for U-13 - U-15 Kings Soccer Academy (2008-10) and most recently three years for the U-16 - U-18 Cincinnati Soccer Alliance (CSA, 2010-Present), helping the U-18 team place third at the national tourney. An excellent student in the classroom as well, Johnson was a two-time academic all-conference honoree, as well as earning All-Southwest Ohio Academic laurels and the prestigious All-Ohio Award on two occasions.
"Kiersten is extremely athletic and has really grown in her mindset towards attacking," Evans said. "She is very aggressive with her first touch. Kiersten looks to get in behind the defense with her dribble and has developed the ability to make runs as well. One of the good things about Kiersten is that she has continued to develop and hasn't been stagnant as a player over the last two years since we started recruiting her. It's always good to add a player with her kind of athleticism, and I think it will certainly help our attack this fall."
Brooke Maletic (F, 5-8, Springfield, OH): Maletic was a four-year letterwinner in soccer and two years in basketball at Catholic Central High School. A prolific goal scorer, she totaled 84 markers and 36 assists (204 points) in her high school career. As a senior, the three-time first-team all-league performer tallied a school-record 36 goals and 15 helpers (87 points), earning second-team all-state, conference Player of the Year and first-team Miami Valley recognition. She also received the team's Coaches Award. Maletic's junior year was cut short after suffering a season-ending injury. Before the injury, she registered three goals and was named a "Player to Watch" by the Springfield News. As a sophomore, Maletic contributed 25 goals with 11 assists (61 points), collecting first-team Miami Valley, first-team all-area and first-team all-county honors. On the club level, she played five years for the Springfield Thunder (2003-08), two years for the Ohio Premier Eagles Black (2008-10) and most recently three years for the Ohio Premier Eagles ECNL (2010-Present). The Ohio Premier ECNL is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation after finishing No. 6 nationally in 2012. Maletic played a key role in helping the Ohio Premier claim the 2011 state championship and a regional runner-up finish. An excellent student in the classroom as well, Maletic has been a member of the Honor Roll of Distinction each of her first three years.
"Brooke is smart and extremely coachable," Evans said. "She understands the importance of getting herself into the right position to maximize her strengths. She is also very good on the ball, smooth with her first touch and delivers good crosses. Brooke is skillful enough to get the ball around defenders and also creates space, not just to beat players but to put her teammates in a good position."
Hannah O'Shaughnessy (D, 5-6, Powell, OH): O'Shaughnessy has played the last nine years for the Ohio Premier Eagles on the club level. She played a key role in helping the Eagles capture the 2007, '09 and '11 Ohio South State Cup, as well as advance to regional finals in '09 and '11. Since the Elite Club National League has been open to girls, Ohio Premier has finished in Top 10 nationally every year.
"Hannah likes to win her battles and she will do whatever it takes to compete and win," Evans said. "If it's on the defending side she will play outside back, or if it's up front she will find a way to hold the ball and put a player in or get a cross off. She will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and I think that's the type of person you can sometimes overlook in the recruiting process. It is important to have someone like Hannah who will get in there and fight."
Claudia Piazza (MF, 5-8, Brampton, ONT): Piazza is currently a member of the Oakville Titans Soccer Club (2012-Present) after playing the previous 12 years for the Brams United Soccer Club (2001-12). She helped Brams United emerge victorious at the 2008 League and Ontario Cups. Piazza was also a member of the 2009-10 Provincials on the ODP level and traveled to Barcelona to play against some of the premier Spanish teams.
"We came upon Claudia a bit later in the recruiting process, but players develop at different times so that's not a bad thing," Evans said. "She is a good central midfielder. Claudia likes to link players and looks to be dangerous with the ball. She is also savvy enough that she can possess the ball in tight spaces. She enjoys the defending side, as she was recently asked to play in the back for her club team. I feel she can think both ways (offensively and defensively) as a central midfield, being able to defend as well as attack when she has the ball at her feet."
Regan Price (F/D, 5-5, Bellefontaine, OH): Price was a four-year letterwinner in soccer, four years in basketball and one year in track & field at Bellefontaine High School. The four-time first-team all-conference selection totaled 67 goals and 44 assists (178 points) in her high school career. As a senior tri-captain and Team MVP, Price tallied 19 markers with five assists (43 points), garnering first-team all-state, first-team all-district and conference Player of the Year recognition. As a junior, she registered 17 goals with three assists (37 points) over the first seven matches before suffering a season-ending injury. Despite the shortened season, she still earned second-team all-district honors. As a sophomore Team MVP, Price posted 19 goals with 20 assists (58 points), earning first-team all-district and league Player of the Year accolades. An accomplished player of the club level as well, Price was a member of the ODP State Team for six years (2006-11), the Region Pool Squad for two years (2009, ‘11) and the Regional Team in 2011. She attended the National Camp in 2010 and played in Germany and Holland in 2008 with the State Team. Price also played for U-10 - U-16 Elite FC and the U-17 Hilliard FC, helping Hilliard advance to the Ohio South State Cup finals.
"I've seen Regan over the years through ODP, and she is a hard worker," Evans said. "She loves to compete and is another player that has been asked to play different roles at different levels. Regan played up front for her high school team and in the back in ODP, and I thought she adapted extremely well in both situations. Health is going to be a key situation for her. Regan has to get healthy. I think what we look forward to with Regan is having her in a training environment every day."
Hannah Scafaria (F, 5-4, Kalamazoo, MI): Scafaria was a three-year letterwinner in soccer and four years in basketball at Portage Northern High School. Her senior soccer season will take place in the spring. As a junior, Scafaria registered 24 goals with 16 assists (64 points), earning honorable mention all-state, first-team all-region, first-team all-district and first-team all-conference accolades. As a sophomore, she tallied 25 goals with 13 helpers (63 points), collecting honorable mention all-state, first-team all-region, first-team all-district and first-team all-league honors. An accomplished player of the club level as well, Scafaria was a member of the ODP State Team in 2007, '08 and '11 and the Regional Team in ‘11, helping them capture a national championship. She also played three years for the Michigan Gators (2009-11) and four years for the Kalamazoo Kingdom (2005-08). In 2011, Scafaria helped the Gators advance to Regionals in the State Cup. She is also an all-league performer in track & field, holding the school record in the 400-meter dash.
"Hannah is a very good ODP player and she really started to distinguish herself about a year-and-a-half ago," Evans said. "She has a knack for scoring goals. She finds ways to be in the right position and finish the job with goals. You can tell Hannah is instinctive about what she does on the field, and when she is fully fit and ready to go, I think she will be a good contributor to our program for many years to come."
Chelsea Thompson (D, 5-7, Madison Heights, MI): Thompson was a three-year starter in soccer at Lamphere High School. Her senior season will take place in the spring. As a junior team captain, she tallied seven goals with 10 assists (24 points) and was named second-team all-state, first-team all-district, first-team all-league, first-team academic all-conference and second-team All-County Dream Team, according to the Oakland Press. As a sophomore, Thompson posted five markers with 10 helpers (20 points), earning second-team all-state, first-team all-district, first-team all-conference, first-team academic all-league and Team MVP honors. She played a key role in helping the Rams secure a league championship and advance to the state semifinals. On the club level, Thompson played four years of Michigan Football Club (2008-2012) and was a member of the 2009 and ‘13 State Cup Champions, State Cup finalist each of the four years, 2011 MRL Premier League Champions and 2012 Region II Championship Semifinalist. Thompson was also selected to the 2008 Super ‘Y' National Finals All-Tournament Team.
"We recruited Chelsea a couple of years ago down in Florida and we really liked what she did," Evans said. "She is an athletic player with good speed. As a back, she is good on the ball and comfortable under pressure. I think that will be good for the times we look to try to build out of the back. Chelsea is also very comfortable with the ball at her feet and can also cover ground very quickly defensively. Chelsea is a smart player and an excellent student. She will fit in very nicely into our program and adapt quickly to the college game."
2013 Toledo Women's Soccer Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (High School)
Shelby Antonacci F 5-3 Fr. Perrysburg, OH - Lake
Kiersten Johnson F 5-6 Fr. Cincinnati, OH - Milford
Brooke Maletic F 5-8 Fr. Springfield, OH - Catholic Central
Hannah O'Shaughnessy D 5-6 Fr. Powell, OH - Olentangy Liberty
Claudia Piazza MF 5-8 Fr. Brampton, ONT - Cardinal Leger
Regan Price F/D 5-5 Fr. Bellefontaine, OH - Bellefontaine
Hannah Scafaria F 5-4 Fr. Kalamazoo, MI - Portage Northern
Chelsea Thompson D 5-7 Fr. Madison Heights, MI - Lamphere
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