Big Ten regular season champion Michigan State inks 10 on National Signing Day
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The 2022 Big Ten Conference regular season champion Michigan State women’s soccer program welcomed 10 future Spartans into the fray, as head coach Jeff Hosler announced MSU’s class following Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
Michigan State is currently preparing to host its first NCAA Tournament game in program history on Friday, Nov. 11. The Spartans welcome the Milwaukee Panthers to DeMartin Stadium, with kick time set for 6 p.m. (ET).
See below for a look at the incoming class of 2023 for the Spartans. To view more on each player along with quotes from Hosler, click here.
Ava Boyd is the youngest child of James and Megan Boyd. She has one sister, named Izzi. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Boyd attends Pine-Richland High School and played club soccer for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC under the direction of coach Scott Gibson. In her club career, Boyd was named to the ECNL All-Conference First Team in 2021 and played (and scored) in the ECNL National Selection Game in 2022.
Boyd has experience with the United States Youth National Team, after being invited to camp in 2021. In her high school playing career, Boyd was a two-year All-Section and All-WPIAL selection in both 2019 and 2020. At Michigan State, she plans on studying Kinesiology.
A native of Perrysburg, Ohio, Adelle Francis was born to Scott and Kristin Francis. She has three siblings, including her eldest sister, Emma, her older brother, Owen, and her younger sister, Camille.
A member of an athletic family, Francis’ mother ran track and field, as well as cross country at the University of Akron, while her father was a three-year varsity letterman for the Zips in football. Her sister, Emma, runs track and field at Central Michigan University. Francis is a National Honor Society student at Perrysburg High School and plays club soccer for coaches Mike Aubrey, Dean Joseph and Mark Batman with Greater Toledo FC.
As a high school athlete, Francis set the Perrysburg High School record for goals scored in a career with 83. Francis is also a two-time All-Ohio selection, with the 2022 awards yet to be announced by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association. She also owns her school’s record in the long jump at 18’11.25” and has recorded a quartet of titles in the event. Francis plans to study nursing at MSU.
The middle daughter of Todd and Ayako Hallier, Mimi Hallier has two siblings, Nanako and Mayuko, who are 19 and 15 years old, respectively. From Lenexa, Kansas, Hallier attends Olathe Northwest High School and plays club soccer for KC Athletics under the direction of Vasil Ristov. With the Athletics, Hallier has already garnered an ECNL Midwest Conference Championship in the 2022 campaign.
As a standout high school performer, Hallier has racked up a litany of accomplishments in Kansas 6A competition, including recognition as the state’s Co-Forward of the Year in 2022. She also owns the Olathe Northwest school record for goals scored in a single season with 22.
A diligent student, Hallier has landed a place on her high school honor roll in every year of her academic career and maintains her membership in the National Honor Society. Hallier plans to study physics at Michigan State and looks to apply her education to become an astrophysicist in the future.
A native of Dublin, Pennsylvania, Maggie Hayes is the youngest daughter of Chris and Shannon Hayes. She has two older sisters, Madison and Makayala, who are 25 and 23 years old, respectively.
Hayes attends Pennridge High School in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and plays club soccer for Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals directed by former professional Boomer Steigelman. She served as the captain on the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals U19 and U17 teams, leading the academy with over 40 goals in three years of Girls Academy league play. Hayes was invited to the Girls Academy ID Center and was also invited to the Capelli Sports Top Talent ID Center.
As a high school student-athlete in her freshman and sophomore years, Hayes played holding midfielder and forward for the 2020 PIAA State Champions but discontinued her high school career afterward to focus on her club commitments. Hayes is a member of the National Honor Society and was inducted before the start of her junior year. She aspires to become a physician’s assistant after college.
The eldest child of Chad and Kristin Janz, Ella has a twin brother, Austin, as well as younger siblings named Aiden and Elin. Janz comes from a rich Spartan legacy, with both of her parents and 10 of her relatives attending Michigan State University and graduating as early as 1969. Her family also features multiple former and current collegiate athletes, highlighted by her cousins Joslyn and Reeghan, who both play Division I volleyball.
Janz plays club soccer for Michigan Jaguars FC under the leadership of Scott Emert, Barry Scott, Dan Diac, Dan Dalzochio and Paul Tinnion. She is a two-time State Cup Champion and has led her club to a pair of appearances in the 2021 and 2022 Girls Academy Playoffs. Janz was selected to the US Youth Soccer National Team ID Center in both 2018 and 2019. She participated in four years of the Michigan Olympic Development Program, highlighted by consecutive selections to the ODP team for the state.
In the classroom, Janz has been named to the Mercy High School honor roll in every year of her academic career. Janz plans to study Human Sciences at MSU and hopes to become a physician’s assistant upon graduation.
Sam is the middle daughter of Chris and Lissa Miller. Both of her parents were collegiate athletes at West Virginia Wesleyan University. Her sister, Paige, currently plays college soccer as a goalkeeper for West Virginia Wesleyan, while her younger sister, Macey, is four years her junior.
A native of Butler, Pennsylvania, Miller is enrolled at Butler Area Senior High School and plays club soccer with Beadling SC for coaches JR Little and Arne Thomas. With Beadling SC, Miller has served as a team captain in all seven of her years with the club, leading her team to seven tournament titles in that span. Miller has also had a tremendous career in the high school ranks, being named to the All-WPIAL and All-Section teams in each of the past three seasons. She boasts the highest goals-per-game average in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and was named a WPIAL Player to Watch in each of the past four years.
Miller boasts an incredible track record in the classroom, placing in the top three percent in her class, registering as an AP Scholar and National Honor Society member in the process. She plans to study biomedical sciences at MSU and become an orthopedist working in sports medicine upon graduation.
A native of St. Charles, Illinois, Bella Najera is the youngest child of Abe and Tricia Najera. She has two older siblings, including her 22-year-old sister Claudia and 20-year-old brother Alex. Claudia spent four seasons as a player on the Iowa State women’s soccer team, while Alex plays baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Najera is currently enrolled at St. Charles North High School, and plays club soccer for coaches Mike Nesci, Marc McElligott and Dave Lovercheck with Eclipse Select Soccer Club. She was a part of the International Champions Cup Futures Midwest All-Star Team that took home first place in the silver bracket at IMG Academy in 2019. The following season, Najera led the ECNL U15 division as the nation’s top goal scorer with 31 goals in the 2020 season. She was also named to the ECNL Midwest All-Conference First Team earlier in the 2022 campaign. She also has experience with the ODP Illinois State Team, attended the 2018 ODP Midwest Region Camp in Saginaw, Michigan, and appeared at the id2 Training Camp in Chula Vista, California, in 2019. In high school competition, Najera garnered All-Conference, All-Section and All-State honors from IHSSCA in 2021 and 2022.
She was named to the United Soccer Coaches Spring All-North Region and garnered both the Player of the Year Award and Golden Boot from the Dukane Conference. She landed Academic All-Conference honors in 2020-22, and has appeared on the All-A Honor Roll in high school in each of her academic years to date. She plans to study business marketing at Michigan State.
The oldest daughter of Jason and Kristin Piotrowski, Sophia Piotrowski is a native of Troy, Michigan. She has two younger sisters named Madelyn and Isabel, who are 14 and 15 years old, respectively. Her mother, the former Kris Goff, was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan State women’s soccer. A defender for the Spartans, she logged one goal and a pair of assists during her MSU career and graduated in 1997.
Sophia currently attends Athens High School and plays club soccer for Michigan Hawks, led by coaches Michele Krzisnik and Doug Landefeld. With the Hawks, Piotrowski secured the 2018 and 2020 State Cup Championship in Michigan and reached the 2019 and 2021 ECNL Quarterfinals. She also participated as a member of the 2018 and 2019 Michigan Olympic Development Program State Team.
In the classroom, Piotrowski has been a National Honor Society member since 2021 and was named a Scholar Athlete every year since 2019. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA in every year of her high school career and has been named to her high school honor roll in all four years. Piotrowski plans to study Human Biology or Kinesiology at MSU and hopes to become a physician’s assistant or physical therapist upon graduation.
A native of Saint-Lazare, Quebec, Katerina Vassilounis is the oldest child of Alexis Vassilounis and Jennifer Muraca. She has a younger sister named Bella, who is 15 years old, and a younger brother named Anthony who is 13. Vassilounis attends John Rennie High School in Point Claire, Quebec, and plays for coach Rudy Doliscat with Quebec REX for her club commitments. Vassilounis led her team in assists in 2020-21 and was named the MVP of the Saint-Laurent team that season.
The following year, she took home the Saputo Bourse Award for academic and athletic excellence during her time with QC REX. A familiar face on the international circuit, Vassilounis participated in the Canada U17 National Camp, held in Mexico City in 2021.
A year later, she took home the prestigious Russ Kelly Award, recognizing the best all-around athletic and academic performer in her age group. In the classroom, Vassilounis has garnered a place in her high school’s academic honor roll twice to date. She plans to study Sports Psychology at Michigan State University and hopes to play soccer professionally in the future. Upon the completion of her athletic career, Vassilounis hopes to work as a clinical sports psychologist.
The only daughter of Colin Watson and Christine Koulas, Renee Watson is a standout player based out of Toronto, Ontario. One of the most prominent international recruits throughout collegiate soccer, Watson brings experience as a starter for the U17 Canadian Women’s National Team.
As a part of the National Team, Watson earned a bronze medal at the 2022 CONCACAF U17 Championship in the Dominican Republic, and garnered Player of the Game honors in the game against Jamaica. She participated in the 2022 U17 Revelations Cup and was named Player of the Game against host-Mexico.
Watson also helped lead the Canadian National Team to a placement in the 2022 U17 FIFA World Cup in India. Currently working with the National Development Centre in Ontario under the direction of coach Joey Lombardi, Watson participated in the Women’s Premier League 1, was selected to the Team of the Week on two occasions and totaled eight goals playing at the fullback and winger positions. She led Team Ontario to the 2022 Women’s Soccer Gold Medal in the Canada Summer Games and was selected to the Canada Games Women’s Soccer All-Star team as a fullback.
Academically, Watson attends the Monarch Park Collegiate Institute and has garnered Honors with Distinction in grades 9, 10 and 11. She plans to major in mathematics or computer science at Michigan State.