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Women's Recruiting Nov 14, 2020

East Carolina University adds eight women’s soccer recruits for 2021

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Eight student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend East Carolina University and compete for the soccer program beginning in the fall of 2021.

The incoming ECU recruits include: Lindsey Aiken, Peyton Godbey, Isabela Lusardi, Haley McWhirter, Samantha Moxie, Holly Schlagel, Abigail Sowa and Molly Thomas.

“We are very excited for this group to join us,” said ECU head coach Jason Hamilton. “We believe they are very talented and will have an immediate impact on the program. This is a group that excels not only on the field, but in the classroom as well – truly a representation of what we want in this program.

“In this class, we have added individual talent, athleticism and physicality. We know that combining a group of this caliber with what we already have here in the program will make for exciting times for ECU soccer. You see a lot of individual and team success when looking at their bios and we are confident that we will see that success continue as they begin their time here as Pirates.”

Haley McWhirter, Center Midfield/Forward, Magnolia, Texas (University of Texas at Austin High School) – Houston Dash

  • The No. 2 ranked student academically at the University of Texas at Austin High School.
  • Competes year-round with the Houston Dash Academy.
  • A dynamic, attacking player that has combined for more than 100 goals and assists over the last three seasons.
  • Ranked 13th in the 2020 Top-Drawer Development Academy League Scorers and has been selected to the Top-Drawer Weekly Standout Players to Watch list more than 20 times.
  • US Market Training Center and Combine invitee from 2014-2018.

Hamilton on McWhirter: “Haley has an incredible drive that has made her the player and student she is today. She is a dynamic, attacking player that is dangerous in a lot of ways. Effective with both feet, she can beat you to either side. When she drives toward goal, she has the ability to hit the ball with both feet from distance and penetrate on the dribble. When she beats someone wide, she serves a dangerous ball in to the area that leads to chances from her teammates.”

Holly Schlagel, Center Midfield/Forward, Centennial, Colo. (Smoky Hill High School) – Real Colorado ECNL

  • Earned selection to the all-academic and all-conference teams as a freshman and sophomore.
  • Tabbed the Smoky Hill Most Valuable Offensive Player.
  • As a member of Real Colorado ECNL, helped the team win state titles from 2015-17 before competing in the ECNL where the side won the 2018/2019 ECNL Mountain West Conference Championship.
  • Individual accolades include invitations to the US Training Center and ECNL PDP as well as inclusion in the Olympic Development Program.

Hamilton on Schlagel: “Holly has the athleticism and physicality that will translate to the college game very quickly. Her ability to play in different places on the field will benefit her with how we play, as she has spent time in the midfield and as a forward.”

Peyton Godbey, Defense/Forward, Leland, N.C. (North Brunswick High School) – Wilmington Hammerheads ECNL

  • Scored 58 goals in 28 games over two seasons of high school soccer, leading the area with 35 her sophomore year.
  • Earned first-team all-conference honors twice.
  • Selected to the State and Regional Olympic Development Teams as a member of the Wilmington Hammerhead ECNL program while also earning multiple invitations to US Training Center events.
  • Garnered induction into the National Honor Society.

Hamilton on Godbey: “The athleticism and physicality trend continues with Peyton. She strong, fast and physical and it all shows in her play. She is a very attacking minded defender who fits exactly what we want with our outside backs. She also brings versatility with her to play as a forward.”

Molly Thomas, Central Midfield, Schwenksville, Pa. (Spring-Ford High School) – FC Delco ECNL

  • Selected to the all-conference first team in both 2018 and 2019.
  • Garnered 2019 all-area second-team laurels and Mercury All-Area Student Athlete recognition.
  • Helped lead her team to the 2020 Pioneer Athletic Conference championship.
  • Spring-Ford will vie for a district championship this week in hopes of an extended postseason run.
  • Also competed for FC Delco – a member of the Elite Clubs National League in the North Atlantic Conference.

Hamilton on Thomas: “Molly brings a lot of good qualities you want in a holding mid. She is very good at seeing and attacking the ball in the air. She likes to get on the ball and her passing range enables her to open up the game. Molly has a very polarizing personality that will be welcomed into the program.”

Lindsey Aiken, Defense, Macungie, Pa. (Emmaus High School) – Penn Fusion

  • Member of the Penn Fusion Soccer Club which produced current Pirates Kim Sanfordand Cashlin Copley.
  • Penn Fusion was ranked No. 1 nationally during the 2018-19 season.

Hamilton on Aiken: “The first thing I noticed watching Lindsey was her involvement in the attack. She fits exactly what we are looking for in our outside backs. She is very comfortable on the ball and has no hesitation in jumping into the play.”

Sam Moxie, Forward, Edison, N.J. (Edison High School) – Princeton Soccer Association

  • Three-time all-division and all-county selection.
  • Has scored over 100 career goals, holding the program record in the statistic.
  • Helped lead Edison to a divisional championship in 2018.
  • A two-year Top 20 player for the North 2 Region.
  • Having just wrapped up the 2020 division title, Edison will begin its state championship run next week.
  • Two-time state champion with the Princeton Soccer Association who also helped the club capture the 2019 regional title.

Hamilton on Moxie: “Sam is a very well-rounded player. A lot of people will focus on the how much pace she has, but I think her technical ability is often underrated. She will be a very dangerous attacking player, and her history of scoring goals is something we look forward to having here with us.”

Abby Sowa, Defense/Central Midfield, Southington, Conn. (Southington High School) – FSA Football Club

  • Helped lead Southington to the 2019 state championship game.
  • Selected to the Class LL All-State, GameTime CT All-State, Central CT All-Conference, All-Hartford Courant, All-New Britain Herald and All-Record Journal Teams.
  • Named Record Journal Player of the Year and was tabbed to the United Soccer Coaches All-New England Region I Team.
  • Prior to the 2020 season, earned recognition in the New England Soccer Journal CT Preseason Best XI, GameTime CT 25 CIAC Players to Watch List, CT Soccer Watch List and the High School Soccer All-American Game Watch List.
  • Served as a team captain for both her high school team and FSA Football Club.
  • Named a 2018 New England Soccer Journal ECNL Player to Watch and was a Northeast ECNL PDP selection the same season.

Hamilton on Sowa: “Abby is another one that checks off the athletic and physical boxes for us. She is very scrappy and puts her body on the line for her team. She brings a leadership aspect as well, having been in the captain role with both her club and high school teams – something that shows when you are watching her.”

Izzy Lusardi, Forward/Midfield, Willow Springs, N.C. (Fuquay-Varina High School) – North Carolina Courage

  • Competes year-round for the North Carolina Courage in both the US Soccer Development Academy and the Elite Clubs National League – a team that consistently achieved success over the years.
  • Averaged 4.5 goals and 7.5 assists over the last three seasons in the Development Academy.
  • Helped the Courage qualify for the US Soccer Champions League where the club became a Champions League top-8 team in 2019.
  • Selected for the US Soccer Market Training Centers.
  • Member of the National Honor Society.
Hamilton on Lusardi: “Izzy hails from a club that I believe prepares her well for our program. She joins former club teammates Annabelle Abbott and Adie May, who began their college careers at ECU this year. There are quite a few similarities in the way we play and what we demand from our group that have allowed the other players from that club to have a fast acclimation when arriving. Izzy is quick with a good one vs one mentality. She puts herself in good positions around the goal to be dangerous.”