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NCAA Nov 24, 2020

Duke women’s soccer adds four recruits during early signing period

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s soccer head coach Robbie Church announced the signing of four future Blue Devils that will don the Duke uniform in the fall of 2021.

Heading to Durham in August will be Atlanta, Ga., product Baleigh Bruster, Michelle Cooper of Clarkston, Mich., Dieynaba Ndaw of Dakar, Senegal and Manhattan Beach, Calif., product Kelly Wilson.

“We’re excited to have these four young ladies join our program,” said Church.  “We think that they have an opportunity to come in and make a major impact. They have an opportunity to come in and play early in our program if they continue to work hard and continue to grow as they have the last couple years.”

Both Bruster and Cooper are listed in the top 20 of the TopDrawerSoccer rankings for the 2021 class with Bruster at No. 15 and Cooper at No. 18.  Wilson was also tabbed No. 92 overall in the class as well.

“We have four student-athletes that we feel very, very good about,” added Church.  “Number one, they’re high character young ladies, they’re Duke people and they really do a good job both in the classroom and on the soccer field. Academically, they’re all very good students, which is something that we obviously look for in our incoming classes too. Then athletically, they all bring something different to the table.”

“It’s just so exciting how we can continue to add such quality people, athletes and young ladies into our program. I think that’s what has really helped our program grow over the last 20 years, just the character of young ladies that we have.”

A player-by-player listing is below:

Baleigh Bruster
5-7  *  Defender  *  Atlanta, Ga. (Woodward Academy College Park)

National Team Experience:
Trained with the U-17 National Team in January and February of 2020 … traveled to Sweden with the U-17 National Team in September of 2019 … trained with the U-17 National Team in June of 2019 … member of the U-17 National Team that went to Portugal in May of 2019 … traveled to England in February of 2019 with the U-18 National Team … competed in the Third Annual U-17 Women’s Torneo delle Nazioni with the U.S. U-16 National Team in Italy and Slovenia in 2018 … traveled with the U-16 National Team to China in 2018 … went to Germany with the U-15 National Team in 2017 … trained with the U-14 and U-15 National Teams in 2016 and 2017.

Regional Team Experience:  
Attended the Boca Raton, Fla. ODP camp in 2015 and Arizona ODP camp in 2016.

High School/Club:  
Ranked as the No. 15 overall recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com in the 2021 class … listed as the eighth-best defender in the class and No. 1 in the South Atlantic regional ledger … a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-America selection in 2017 and 2019 … plays for Tophat Club team.

Personal:  
Full name is Baleigh Nicole Bruster … born January 4, 2003 in Atlanta, Ga. … daughter of Sherman and Kathy Bruster … has one sister, Kayla (21) … her sister, Kayla, is a senior on the Georgia women’s soccer team … member of the National Honors Society as a junior and senior … a three-time Dean Academic Honor Roll selection.

Baleigh Bruster
Michelle Cooper
5-3  *  Forward  *  Clarkston, Mich. (IMG Academy)

National Team Experience:
Member of U.S. National Team pool from 2016-present … in February of 2020, went to La Manga, Spain with the U-19 National Team … competed with the U-18 National Team in the Tricontinental Cup in 2020 … traveled to England in February of 2019 with the U-18 National Team … competed in the Third Annual U-17 Women’s Torneo delle Nazioni with the U.S. U-16 National Team in Italy and Slovenia in 2018.

Regional Team Experience:  
Played in the U.S. Youth Soccer ODF Girls Thanksgiving Interregional in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2015 and 2016 … OTD Region II squad in 2014-15 and 2015-16 … competed in the Rockford Illinois ODP Tournament in 2015.

High School/Club:  
Listed No. 18 in the class of 2021 by TopDrawerSoccer … ranked as the No. 5 forward in the class and No. 2 in the Florida region … a 2019 and 2017 United Soccer Coaches Association All-America selection … 2018 Midwest Regional All-America … competed on the IMG U-19 Girls Academy Team and collected 14 goals and nine assists in 10 matches, while being tabbed team captain in 2020-21 … in the 2019-20 campaign for the IMG U-19 Development Academy Team, collected 26 goals and two assists in 20 matches … tabbed Team MVP, Academy Offensive Player of the Year, Academy MVP and captain for the season as well.

Personal:  
Full name is Michelle Ivory Cooper … born December 4, 2002 in Detroit, Mich. … daughter of Michelle Cooper … has one sister, Lexie (16) … member of the National Honor Society as a senior.

Michelle Cooper

Dieynaba Ndaw
5-6  *  Defender  *  Dakar, Senegal (IMG Academy)

High School/Club:
Competed with the 2020-21 IMG U-19 Girls Academy Team … started all eight matches and notched 11 goals and five assists … in 2019-20, played for IMG U-19 National Elite Team … awarded the Girls Program Core Value Award and Open Mind Award for her IMG team … as a freshman at IMG, named 2018 IMG Academy Defensive Player of the Year … 2019 U-17 National Elite Team MVP.

Personal:  
Full name is Dieynaba Joana Ndaw … born April 10, 2003 in Dakar, Senegal … daughter of Boubacar Ndaw and Margot van der Velden … has two brothers, Hans (19) and Colin (15) … her mother, Margot van der Velden, played tennis at TCU (1986-87) … member of the National Honor Society all four years of high school.

Dieynaba Ndaw

Kelly Wilson
5-10  *  Defender  *  Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Vistamar School)

National Team Experience:
Attended the U-17 National Team camp in 2019.

High School/Club:  
Listed No. 92 in the TopDrawerSoccer class of 2021 rankings … ranked as the 28th among defenders in the class … played for McLean ECNL before moving to California the summer before junior year … currently plays for Beach FC.

Personal:  
Full name is Kelly Elyse Wilson … born July 7, 2003 in Washington, D.C. … daughter of Neal and Coleen Wilson … has one brother, Kyle (28) … has four sisters, Kara (26), Megan (24), Emily (22) and Bryn (20) … her sister, Kara, is a 2016 Duke graduate and was a member of the Blue Devil soccer team … her sister, Emily, is a 2020 Duke graduate and was a member of the Duke soccer team … her sister, Megan, ran track & field and cross country at Stanford and graduated in 2018 … her sister, Bryn, is a junior at Duke and plays on the club lacrosse team … member of the National Honor Society.

Kelly Wilson

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