Brown women’s soccer introduces 9-member recruiting class
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Via Brown University) – Brown University women’s soccer will welcome nine new student-athletes into the program as members of the Bears’ Class of 2023, Brown head coach Kia McNeill announced on Friday.
The class comprises a combination of backs, midfielders, forwards, and a goalkeeper. The group hails from eight different states with two student-athletes from the state of California and one player each from Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Texas.
The members of the Class of 2023 include: forward/midfielder Sheyenne Allen (Bear, Del.), back/midfielder Rachyl Francisco (San Jose, Calif.), back Caylah Griffin (Plano, Texas), midfielder/back Laryssa Hamblen (Littleton, Colo.), back/midfielder KK Haug (Minneapolis, Minn.), back Juliette Pike (Short Hills, N.J.), forward Brittany Raphino (Randolph, Mass.), forward Ava Seelenfreund (Truckee, Calif.), and goalkeeper Morgan Turcotte (Lexington, Ky.).
Hometown: Bear, Del.
High School: Cab Calloway School of the Arts
Club Team: Delaware Rush
Prep Accolades: Competed in athletics at the Charter School of Wilmington … Earned All-State honors four times, including First Team All-State in 2017 and 2018 … Garnered Conference Player of the Year honors in 2018 … Gained All-Conference accolades four times … Earned Regional All-American laurels as a junior … Scored 24 goals as a junior and 20 goals as a sophomore … Competed on the club level for Delaware Rush and also as a four-year Regional Team Player, most recently representing Region I in Germany in April of 2019 … Played for head coach Jon Gillespie on the high school level and Dan Frick for Delaware Rush … Also competed in football as a kicker for head coach Brian Winnington and track & field for coaches Lavel Walker and Rick Schruder … Served as Class of 2019 President all four years.
Why Brown? “I chose Brown because out of all the schools I was being recruited by, it was the only one that could provide me with both an excellent education and great athletics. Also, who wouldn’t want to have the opportunity to go to one of the top schools in the country!”
McNeill on Allen: “I had the pleasure of coaching Sheyenne at Regional Camp a few years back and knew she was a special player on the first day. She’s incredibly versatile and has experience playing up top and in the back at the Regional Team level. She is very explosive, shifty, and creative on the ball which makes her a handful to defend up top or when she is attacking out of the back. She is a proven goal scorer who will have a great future here.”
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
High School: Archbishop Mitty
Club Team: California Thorns
Prep Accolades: Played for head coach Lloyd Grist as a center back and left forward … Competed on the club level for California Thorns … National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? “I chose Brown for several reasons. The first was that it had high-level athletics which was important for me as I wanted to grow as a player. The second was that Brown has some of the best academic programs in the country, and with my love of learning, I thought that it would be an amazing place to expand my knowledge. Many colleges do not have the wide range of courses and in-depth topics that Brown has. This was a big factor in choosing Brown.”
McNeill on Francisco: “Rachyl is a tremendous defensive player who has been a standout player and captain on her club team, California Thorns. She is competitive, reads the game well, and is very strong defensively. Her distribution and composure playing out of the back will help spark our attack. Recently, she has experienced playing up top for her club team and has scored some critical goals as they now head into playoffs. Her leadership, ability in the air, and left-footed service are just a few or her many talents that will go a long way at Brown.”
Hometown: Plano, Texas
High School: Plano East Senior
Club Team: FC Dallas
Prep Accolades: Earned U17 Texas ECNL All-Conference Team honors in 2018 … Gained team’s Defensive MVP award in 2016 … Played for coaches Dan Marsical and Matt Grubb … National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? “Brown is the perfect balance of competitive Division I soccer and superior education. I love that Brown will challenge me on the field and in the classroom, and set me up to excel in whatever career field I choose. Receiving a top Ivy League education and expanding my soccer IQ has always been a dream in life, and Brown is a place where my dream can become a reality.”
McNeill on Griffin: “Caylah is a lockdown 1-v-1 defender coming to us from FC Dallas, which is one of the most prominent clubs in Texas. She is an aggressive, yet reliable player who has experience playing all throughout the back and in the midfield. Caylah’s close down speed is unlike anyone I have seen and is a quality that makes her a force on the defensive side of the ball. Caylah has an incredible work rate and is a true difference maker on the field.”
Hometown: Littleton, Colo.
High School: D’Evelyn Junior/Senior
Club Teams: Real Colorado
Prep Accolades: Earned the United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award … Earned All-Conference accolades … Led conference in scoring … Competed on the club level for Real Colorado … Also competed in cross country and track & field; earned All-State honors in track … Served as Student Body Vice President.
Why Brown? “I chose Brown because of the open curriculum, the location, and the soccer team. The open curriculum provides endless opportunities and tracks for me to take. Although I already know the career path I wish to pursue, the open curriculum makes it so that I can branch out more than I could at most other places. Also, I absolutely love the location of Brown. The East Coast is gorgeous, and you get to experience every season at its fullest. Being in Providence, you get to experience more nature while only being an hour or so away from big cities. Lastly, I absolutely love the coaching staff at Brown. Right from the get-go, they were welcoming to me and coaching me to be the best player I can be. The team welcomed me with open arms once the decision was made. Overall, Brown is a place I want to call home.”
McNeill on Hamblen: “Laryssa is a versatile player coming to us from Real Colorado. She has experience playing on the flanks and in the center of the field, which will give us a lot of options in terms of how we utilize her this fall. She is smooth on the ball, very fit, and in the run of play makes difficult plays look effortless. She is very good in possession building up the field, yet thrives in situations where she can make an impact and create in the final third. She has many qualities to her game both offensively and defensively that show she has a lot of potential to be a great college player. We are very fortunate to have her join our group.”
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
High School: The Blake School
Club Team: Minnesota Thunder Academy ECNL
Prep Accolades: Earned Miss Soccer Minnesota honors in 2018 … Claimed a spot on the United Soccer Coaches All-America Team as a senior … Garnered First Team All-State accolades as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Gained Independent Metro Athletic All-Conference accolades in 2016, 2017, and 2018 … Collected All-Metro First Team honors in 2017 and 2018 … Earned Team MVP award in 2016, 2017, and 2018 … Captained team as a junior and senior … Started all four seasons … Ranked sixth in Minnesota with 19 assists in 2018 … Competed on the club level for Minnesota Thunder Academy ECNL … Advanced to the ECNL Champions League in 2017 and 2018 … Finished in third place at ECNL Nationals in 2018.
Why Brown? “I love the campus and the open curriculum. When I visited I knew that it would be an amazing place to go to school, and it felt like home. I didn’t want to leave.”
McNeill on Haug: “KK is a left-footed back who plays for one of the best club teams in the country at Minnesota Thunder Academy. She is a stalwart defender who is very composed when playing out of the back and loves getting forward into the attack. KK has an engine that will fit well with our style of play, and she will be someone who will certainly strengthen our defensive unit this fall.”
Hometown: Short Hills, N.J.
High School: Morristown-Beard School
Club Teams: PDA
Prep Accolades: Earned First Team All-State honors as a junior and senior … Gained First Team All-County in 2017 and 2018, Second Team All-County in 2016, and Honorable Mention All-County in 2015 … Garnered First Team Prep B accolades as a junior and senior … Collected All-NJAC Liberty Division laurels all four years … Gained Team MVP honors twice … Selected as a First Team Prep Beast Regional All-American as a junior … Helped lead team to North Jersey-Non Public B and New Jersey Non-Public B championships as a senior … Played for coaches Chris Caveley and Eric Shea at the high school level and for head coach Mike O’Neill at the club level … Competed for PDA on the club level.
Why Brown? “I chose Brown because it is a perfect fit for me. I wanted to be a part of a rigorous academic environment surrounded by a diverse student body who want and love to learn. The open curriculum at Brown and the offering of classes at RISD will allow me the opportunity to customize my college education. Brown also has a highly competitive DI women’s soccer program composed of passionate coaches and dedicated players.”
McNeill on Pike: “Juliette is a hard-nosed defender coming to us from the highly respected PDA club based out of New Jersey. Juliette is a warrior. She has grit, fight, and tenacity to her game that you can’t teach. She is the type of player who leaves everything on the field while also raising the level of the people around her. She is a true leader in the back who organizes and communicates well and has great vision and awareness to build out of the back. She has had a large part in the success of her club team over the years, and I can’t wait to see her contributions during her career at Brown.”
Hometown: Randolph, Mass.
High School: Thayer Academy
Club Teams: Scorpions SC
Prep Accolades: Earned a spot on the 2018 USA Today National Preseason All-American Team … Gained All-America honors as a junior … Garnered All-ISL accolades all four years … Earned All-Scholastic Player of the Year honors in 2017 … Gained All-Scholastic laurels as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Won ISL Offensive MVP honors as a junior … Selected to the Best XI in the 2018 All-American Game … Totaled 87 goals and 23 assists for 110 points in her career; netted 30 goals as a junior and 23 goals as a senior … Played for head coach Nick Rugnetta … Also played basketball … Competed on the club level for Scorpions SC … Finished as the ECNL U17 leading goal scorer (30 goals) … Selected as the ECNL U18 Northeast Player of the Year … Garnered ECNL All-American status.
Why Brown? “Brown gives me the opportunity to pursue rigorous academics, while also playing in a top-level program. The environment and culture of the campus were so welcoming, and I could see that it would be the perfect school to call home. I look forward to starting my journey at Brown, and I can’t wait to make a positive impact on and off the field.”
McNeill on Raphino: “Brittany is an All-American forward from Massachusetts and one of the best attacking players coming out of the 2019 high school class. Her speed and athleticism will allow her to get in behind defenses, but she also has good feet and the capability to hold the ball up to combine underneath to bring others into the game. Beyond that, Brittany has a natural hunger to win as shown with her success at the high school and club level. She thrives in pressure situations and is willing to do whatever it takes to help her team. She is someone who will compete to make an immediate impact when she gets to College Hill.”
Hometown: Truckee, Calif.
High School: Truckee
Club Team: Nevada United Soccer Club
Prep Accolades: Earned All-State honors all four years … Won League MVP as a junior … Gained First Team All-League accolades all four years … Helped lead team to three straight state championships … Totaled 127 career goals, including 33 goals as a senior, 50 goals as a junior, and 32 goals as a sophomore … Played for coaches Kyle Kelly and Kevin Nichols … Also competed in basketball and track … Garnered Distinguished Scholar accolades all four years.
Why Brown? “One of the most appealing aspects of Brown University is the open curriculum. The idea of being able to fully construct my learning experience in relation to what I am most passionate about is truly exciting. I am undecided, so through this curriculum, I will be able to experience a variety of areas of study and comfortably choose what I like most. I also loved the atmosphere of the soccer program; everyone was so welcoming and passionate!”
McNeill on Seelenfreund: “Ava is a natural goal scorer coming to us from Truckee, California. She is very comfortable in front of the net and has a knack for being in the right places to put herself in position to score. She performs in critical moments, and takes a lot of pride in finishing her opportunities in and around the 18. She has led her team to three consecutive state titles as well as receiving league MVP honors in her high school career. She will be a great addition to our forward line this fall.”
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
High School: Paul Laurence Dunbar
Club Team: Ohio Elite
Prep Accolades: Earned 2018 Lexington Player of the Year honors, receiving 151 of a possible 154 votes … Selected as the No. 1 goalkeeper in Kentucky in 2018 … Earned 2018 Regional Player of the Year honors … Gained First Team All-State accolades all four seasons … Played in the 2018 All-American Game; posted a shutout … Tallied 16 shutouts in 2018, the most in the state … Notched 15 shutouts in 2017 … Gained Team MVP honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Captained team as a senior … Played for coaches Doug Bracken, Tim Lesiak, Toby Frolich, Brandon Ponchak, Tom Morgan, Megan Poage, and Caitlyn Wollander … Competed on the club level for Ohio Elite … Won an ODP national championship in 2014 … Served as Junior Class President.
Why Brown? “As soon as I stepped foot on campus I knew I was meant to go here. It was further confirmed when I saw the amazing facilities and coaches that came with the already amazing school.”
McNeill on Turcotte: “Morgan is an All-American goalkeeper coming from Kentucky. She has great hands, a commanding presence in goal, and great range on her distribution. She has some intangibles to her game that will give her a huge upside at the collegiate level, and we look forward to seeing her impact here.”