FIU women’s soccer signs 17 players for 2021 season
MIAMI, Fla. – FIU head women’s soccer coach Jonathan Garbar has hauled in his first signing class for the Blue & Gold, infusing the roster with a crop of 17 newcomers for the upcoming 2021 campaign.
“Our program is excited and honored to announce FIU’s incoming class for the 2021 season,” Coach Garbar said. “We believe we have recruited a diverse group of young women that will bring the levels of maturity, ability, and commitment that are required to drive FIU women’s soccer to the next level of elite performance.”
Since the arrival of Garbar and his new staff this past spring, the Panthers have been working relentlessly to build a positive culture and a winning environment both on and off the field at FIU.
“There is a healthy and intense energy surrounding the program here after a progressive spring season,” Garbar said. “Our returning players have really prided themselves in preparing for the season ahead, and we look forward to welcoming our incoming class to the group. Our goal is to develop a level of trust that will be grounded in our foundational standards and clear objectives. Now the most enjoyable and crucial work begins.”
FIU’s 2021 recruiting class is comprised of 10 incoming freshman and seven transfers. Among the group are nine international players and eight US-based athletes, including three South Florida locals.
The list of transfers includes Casey Kane, Ithaisa Vinoly, Camille Sahirul, Marissa Orlando, Jessica Magerman, Claire Monyard, and Dominique Marcelli. Among the Panther freshman are Deborah Bien-Aime, Farah El Tayar, Noemi Paquin, Delinda Sehlin, Madeleine Hager, Francesca Brito, Nikole Solis, Elli Kainulainen, Reagan Bridges, and Paris Stec.
Kane, one of five transfers joining FIU from Franklin Pierce in 2021, is goalkeeper product from Millis, Massachusetts. In two seasons with the Ravens, Kane recorded 100 saves, 17 wins, and nine shutouts for FPU. Kane was a two-time Boston Globe Honorable Mention during her high school days with Dexter Southfield, and also part of three national championships at the club level for New England FC (NEFC).
“I chose FIU because I knew I would be in the right place with the right people to grow both academically and athletically,” Kane said. “I’m most excited about bonding with all the girls and building a new program in a new environment.”
Vinoly, a product of the Canary Islands, is the second FPU goalkeeper transfer in FIU’s 2021 class. During her freshman season in 2019 with the Ravens, Vinoly recorded 22 saves on 29 shots to post a 1.81 goals-against-average. Vinoly was named to the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Northeast-10 Conference Academic Honor Roll.
“FIU is exactly the type of institution and soccer program that can help me in my personal pursuit of becoming the best person I can be,” Vinoly said. “I am very excited to see how far we will be able to take the Blue & Gold program together.”
Monyard is a Canadian midfielder from London, Ontario, who spent her first two collegiate seasons at Arkansas. As a freshman in 2019, Monyard appeared in six games and dished out one assist, while also appearing in the Razorback’s Second Round NCAA Tournament match against NC State (Nov. 21).
“I chose FIU because the idea of being part of such a diverse academic environment was very appealing to me,” Monyard said. “The opportunity to continue my soccer career under Coach Garbar was also a motivating factor.”
Magerman, a product of Bellingham, Massachusetts, joins the Blue & Gold after previously spending her first three collegiate years at Franklin Pierce. With the Ravens, Magerman saw action in 35 matches and made 33 starts as an attacking midfielder. In only two seasons at FPU, Magerman recorded 18 points on seven goals and four assists, while firing away 61 shots.
“After last season was cancelled due to the global pandemic, I am mostly excited about just being back on the field again with my teammates,” Magerman said. “I can’t wait to meet the other student-athletes and work with the staff at FIU.”
Marcelli, a native of Toronto, Ontario, joins FIU after spending her freshman season at USF. The Canadian product looks to inject immediate talent into the midfield for FIU. During her prep career at York Mills Collegiate Institute, Marcelli was named team MVP in each of her four seasons with the team.
“My choice to join FIU was due to the outstanding academics, as well as the competitive athletic programs at the university,” Marcelli said.
Orlando is a junior-transfer from Franklin Pierce and a product of Peabody, Massachusetts. During her freshman season with FPU in 2019, Orlando appeared in 13 matches for the Ravens and scored three goals, including one game-winner.
“I am extremely excited to become a Panther and get back on the soccer field,” Orlando said. “I look forward to representing FIU in an extremely competitive Conference USA this season.”
A native of North Haven, Connecticut, Sahirul comes to FIU by way of Franklin Pierce, where she recorded two assists and six shots-on-goal as a freshman midfielder in 2019. While at FPU, Sahirul was named to the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Northeast-10 Conference Academic Honor Roll.
“I chose FIU because of the university’s diverse student population and its competitive academics,” Sahirul said. “I believe the coaching staff’s values and expectations will allow me to develop into the best version of myself on and off the field.”
Kainulainen is incoming freshman midfielder hailing from Vantaa, Finland, where she played for her country’s U19 and U17 National teams. During the 2021 season, Kainulainen recorded seven goals for top-division Finnish club Tikkurilan Palloseura, or TiPS.
“The moment I saw the campus and got to the university, I knew I wanted to go there,” Kainulainen said. “FIU is a huge university with tons of possibilities and opportunities for its students and student-athletes. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Paquin, a Canadian midfielder from Montreal, Quebec, joins FIU as an incoming freshman. Paquin played collegiately at Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Quebec’s RSEQ, where she earned mulitple honors such as Rookie of the Year (2018), Championship All-Star (2019), Player of the Year (2019), and an RSEQ All-Star team (2019) nomination. Paquin was also named to the CCAA All-Canadian Team in 2019.
“I am very excited to get started at FIU and meet all of my teammates!” Paquin said upon signing with the Panthers.
Bien-Aime is a local product out of Margate, Florida. As a standout for Cardinal Gibbons High School, Bien-Aime was named 2020 All-County Broward 5A-2A First Team. Bien-Aime also played club locally for Sunrise Prime and Weston FC.
“I decided to join FIU because it will allow me the opportunity to play locally in a diverse environment with a group of very talented players,” Bien-Aime said.
Brito is a freshman forward and local product from Pembroke Pines, Florida. The attacking player graduated from Pembroke Pines Charter and also played club soccer with Sunrise Prime.
“I chose FIU due its up-and-coming program and the opportunity to play in the highly competitive Conference USA,” Brito said. “Coach Garbar has developed a reputation of winning championships at all of his previous programs and that factored into my decision as well.”
Solis is a South Florida native, hailing from Boca Raton, where she played at West Boca Raton High School and won the Palm Beach 7A-6A girl’s soccer Player of the Year as a senior.
“I look forward to joining the program at FIU and getting to work with my new teammates and coaches,” Solis said. “I can’t wait for the season to get started.”
Sehlin is a Swedish defender hailing from the city of Sundsvall. The international recruit lands at FIU after spending time as a starter and key player for her hometown club of Sundsvalls DFF. While with Sundsvalls DFF, Sehlin helped the club earn promotion from Sweden’s third national tier to the second tier of the country’s football league structure.
“FIU offers a great soccer program with ambitious people, both players and coaches,” Sehlin said. “I am incredibly excited to start this adventure and join the Panther Family.”
Hager, the second Swedish recruit in FIU’s 2021 class, comes to the 305 by way of Stockholm. During her club career in Sweden, Hager played as a central midfielder and center-back for IF Brommapojkarna, a club belonging to Sweden’s second-highest division of women’s football.
“I chose FIU because it allows me the unique opportunity to earn a top-class education and also play soccer at a very high level,” Hager said.
Bridges comes to sunny South Florida as a freshman out of Littleton, Colorado, where she played prep soccer for Arapahoe High School. During her senior season at Arapahoe, Bridges recorded nine points, seven assists, and one goal.
“I chose FIU because I wanted to go to a school that would challenge me both academically and athletically,” Bridges said. “FIU feels like an environment that will provide me with the best support in both areas, while also allowing me the opportunity to make life-long memories.”
Stec is a Canadian defender out of Keswick, Ontario. Before landing in the 305, Stec played her prep soccer at Bill Crothers Secondary School.
“I chose FIU because of the academic programs the university has to offer, along with the diversity and culture on campus,” Stec said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to fulfill my goals while representing FIU on the pitch, and I can’t wait to meet and work with my new teammates.”
El Tayar joins the Blue & Gold as a freshmen from Bsous, Lebanon. Among her country’s best footballers, El Tayar played as a winger for Lebanese club Eleven Football Pro, and also earned caps for the Lebanon Women’s National Team.
“I can’t wait to arrive on campus, meet the team, and begin training together,” El Tayar said upon signing with FIU.