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NCAA Jun 09, 2022

George Mason women’s soccer introduces robust 26-player signing class

FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason University women’s soccer team has added 26 student-athletes to the team’s 2022 roster.

“We have a very impressive class of incoming players that we are looking forward to welcoming this coming fall season. Every player has been handpicked by my staff and me to add value and character,” Head Coach Manya Puppione said. “They chose Mason because they want to be a part of something greater. The transfers we have are so very special to me because they are players I have recruited in their original process in high school. We have national team players, leaders on their club teams, and a diverse group of amazing young women. Our players are coming from all over America, one who is graduating a whole year early to be with us this fall. We will be young group but one with a ton of experience, energy and something to prove, so we are excited for the season.”

Keegynn Applegate | Fr. | Anchorage, Ak. | Anchorage Christian School

Applegate was a First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Tournament, and First Team All-State selection during her junior campaign, competing in athletics at Dimond High School. Was the first freshman to start in a varsity competition for the first time in six years. Keegynn will be graduating with honors and a dual diploma.

“I’m so excited to have Keegynn be a part of our family,” said Coach Manya. “She’s a smart, versatile player with a fantastic work ethic and hunger to get 1% better each day.”

Selamawit “Se” Caldart | Fr. | Shorewood, Wi. | Shorewood H.S.

Caldart was a four-time letter winner in soccer at Shorewood High School. Selected to the First Team All-Conference team all four years, was named the MVP in her junior season, and was named team captain this past season.

“Se is one of a kind and I’m so excited she’s going to be ours,” stated Puppione. “Sweet as can be off the field but so very ruthless in goal on the field. I’m looking forward to having her servant leadership, positive attitude and her magical and next fall.”

Shea Carroll | So. | Bowie, Md. | Elizabeth Seton H.S. (Loyola Maryland)

Carroll came to Fairfax for the 2022 Spring semester after transferring from Loyola Maryland. She made her first collegiate appearance in the 2021 spring season for the Greyhounds.

Shea helped her high school team reach WCAC Championship as a senior in 2019 for the first time in a decade. Was named Coach’s Player of the Year that season and an All-MET honorable mention.

“I can’t wait for Shea to start the spring semester with us,” said Puppione. “I had my eye on her for a while when she was a high school recruit, so I know what she will bring. Her experience, knowledge and leadership will be a true asset to our program.”

Kiara Carter | Fr. | Ashburn, Va. | Riverside H.S.

Carter was a three-time letter winner for the Riverside Rams and will be joining us after graduating with her degree in just three years. Was the captain of the varsity soccer team for the 2021-22 season.

“It’s rare you get an opportunity like this! This is amazing history for all of us,” stated Coach Manya. “Kiara is graduating high school after just three years to be with us this fall. She is more than ready for the next level as she is athletic, technical, gritty and fits right into our team culture.”

Mia Casciani | Fr. | Ashburn, Va. | Broad Run H.S.

Casciani was a First Team All-District selection and a captain for the Broad Run Spartans. Was selected to participate in the 2021 ECNL National Playoff Showcase and Washington Spirit ADP program.

“I’m super pumped for one of the best local players to stay home with us,” said Puppione. “Crafty, gritty, and scores goals. Oh, did I mention she scores goals?! Welcome to your new home Mia, you’ll fit right in.”

Victoria Coninck | Fr. | San Ramon, Calif. | California H.S.

Coninck was a varsity letter winner in football, basketball, wrestling, soccer, and track and field, making NCS Division I appearances in basketball, football, and wrestling. Won the U-15 National Championship with the San Jose Earthquakes Development Academy.

“Vicki brings energy, athleticism and presence,” stated Coach Manya. “She dominates in goal with her ability to read the game, communicate and direct and stop shots. I’m so excited that this Cali girl decided to take the risk and come to the East Coast.”

Sydney Dacus | Fr. | Collierville, Tenn. | Houston H.S.

Dacus was a 2018 State Champion along with Rookie of the Year honors. Was a 2021 State Runner-Up, team captain, conference MVP, and Senior All-Star. Sydney won several state championships with her TN Lobos Rush Club team in addition to participating on the Rush Select XI 04 National Team.

“We are so excited for Syd to join our Patriot family,” said Puppione. “She will provide a lot of composure, creativity and character for us. Can’t wait to hear her country music playlists”

Sophia “Sophie” Davidson | Fr. | Fulton, Md. | Reservoir H.S.

Davidson was an eight-time letter winner at Reservoir High School, with four in soccer and four in track. Selected as First Team All-County on two occasions.

“I’ve been following Sophie since she was in middle school from summer camps,” stated Coach Manya. “Sweet as can be but a force on the field. Looking forward to Sophie scoring some goals in a Mason jersey for us!”

Sarah DeWitt | Gr. | Annapolis, Md. | St. Mary’s H.S. (St. Francis College Brooklyn)

DeWitt comes to Fairfax after transferring from St. Francis College Brooklyn. She spent three years with the Terriers.

Sarah was named to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times in her career. Was a three-time IAAM Champion in high school, three-time All-Anne Arundel County Selection, and three-time team MVP.

“Sarah will bring so much leadership, maturity, versatility and experience to our team,” said Puppione. “Another recruit I had my eye on when she was in high school, so I’m very grateful that I finally get to coach her, even if it’s for one year.”

Rachel Eberly | Fr. | Denver, Pa. | Cocalico H.S.

Eberly was a two-time letter winner at Cocalico High School. Selected as an LL League First Team All-Star on two occasions and currently holds the Cocalico Girls Single Season Scoring Record with 29 goals.

“I went after Rachel since the moment I saw her play,” stated Coach Manya. “She’s going to be a dynamic addition to our team… plays with grit, tough to beat, quality passing range… just an amazing person and addition to our team culture.”

Christin Grant | Fr. | Atlanta, Georgia

Grant played for Concorde Fire ECNL prior to Mason.

“We got ourselves a sweet as can be Georgia native,” said Puppione. “Christin is a gritty defender, will out run anyone (even me…) and will be a positive addition to our team culture! Looking forward to having her be a part of our family!”

Alexandra “Michi” Hooks | Fr. | Milford, Mich. | Milford H.S.

Hooks was a two-time letter winner for Milford High School where she earned All-Conference and All-District accolades her freshman and junior years. Three-time State Cup Champions with her former club team and has gone to the ENCL National Playoffs with the Michigan Hawks.

“I’m so excited for Michi to join us next fall,” stated Coach Manya. “Quality attacking player and super good human.”

Kiyomi McCausland | Fr. | Bolton, Ontario | Humberview S.S.

McCausland had a decorated career at Humberview Secondary School as the leading goal scorer and the 2022 Senior Athlete of the Year. She also is highly involved in flag football and is ranked in speed skating. Kiyomi will be joining the team in the spring of 2023 after playing soccer at the semi-professional level.

“Our entire process with Kiyomi has been something special because she reminds me a lot of me when I was her age,” said Puppione. “She’s dynamic, quick as lightning & scores goals. Her desire to succeed outmatches anything I’ve seen. Looking forward to her coming this spring.”

Abby Najdzinowicz | Fr. | Tinton Falls, N.J. | Red Bank Catholic H.S.

Najdzinowicz was letter winner in soccer, basketball, and track at Red Bank Catholic High School. Abby has won several Division Championships, Sectional Championship, and the State Championship with the Casey’s who are consistently ranked top 10 in the Shore Conference and top 20 in New Jersey.

“I’m really excited for Abby to be a part of our family,” stated Coach Manya. “She’s come out even tougher through her recovery process and has been so solid and consistent every time I see her play. A natural leader, Abby is going to be so impactful for us on and off the field.”

Tessa Niedzwiedzki | Fr. | Boca Raton, Fla. | West Boca Raton H.S.

Niedzwiedzki was the captain for West Boca Raton High School prior to Mason. Tessa won the Florida state Championship with her club Team Boca.

Get ready Virginia because this Florida girl is bringing the sunshine,” said Puppione. “I’m so excited for Tessa to be a Patriot. Speedy, athletic, and smooth on the ball. The best part is that she is the nicest human you will ever meet.”

Tori Paul | Jr. | Charlotte, N.C. | Olympic H.S. (Maryland)

Paul comes to Fairfax after transferring from Maryland. She played in 10 matches for the Terrapins, making her first collegiate appearance versus Ohio State in the spring of 2021.

Tori lettered in four years during her time at Olympic High School and is second all time in school history for goals and assists. She played in the U20 World Cup Qualifier for the Trinidad & Tobago National Team.

“I’m so extremely grateful to finally be able to coach one of my former recruits,” said Puppione. “Tori is a gem all around and I can’t wait to see the impact she will have for us on and off the field.”

Milan Pierre-Jerome | So. | Fort Lauderdale, Fla. | Saint Thomas Aquinas H.S. (Maryland)

Pierre-Jerome comes to Fairfax after transferring from Maryland. She played in 15 matches for the Terrapins, making her first collegiate appearance versus Michigan State in the spring of 2021, playing all 110 minutes in the 1-1 draw.

Milan lettered in four years during her time at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School. She represented the Haiti National Team in U17 and U20 World Cup qualifiers and Olympic qualifier and played for Haiti at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.

“Milan is a special one for me. I recruited her when she was 16 years old,” stated Coach Manya. “From the moment I met her I knew she would become a leader, an impact player and a fantastic role model for younger players. Here’s to a new chapter in her story, I’m just grateful to be a part of it!”

Taryn Reich | Fr. | Boyds, Md. | Northwest H.S.

Reich was a four-time letter winner at Northwest High School. Was a captain for the Jaguars and a member of the Art Honor Society.

“I’ve been following Taryn for a few years and I finally get to coach her,” stated Coach Manya. “Humble off the field but a force to be reckoned with when she’s on the ball. I can’t wait for Taryn to be on the field with us next fall.”

Sydney Reifschneider | Fr. | Raleigh, N.C. | Wakefield H.S.

Reifschneider was a letter winner at Wakefield High School. Completed US National Training for three years while playing for the NC Courage Academy, who is ranked eighth in the nation.

“We can’t wait for Syd to be a Patriot this fall,” said Puppione. “Competitive, strong, relentless, and won’t apologize for a crushing tackle… and oh, fun to be around!”

Ashley Shimberg | Jr. | Tampa, Fla. | Tampa Preparatory School (Middle Tennessee)

Shimberg came to Fairfax for the 2022 Spring semester after transferring from Middle Tennessee. She made her first collegiate appearance in the 2020-21 spring season for the Blue Raiders.

Ashley scored four goals in less than 20 minutes in the 2020-21 season, becoming the fourth player in Middle Tennessee history to score four goals in one game. Was named as a Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week and to a Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.

“She’s here!! I’m so excited for Ashley to be joining us,” stated Coach Manya. “I’ve previously recruited her, so I am stoked to finally get to coach her. We are excited for her leadership, energy, relentless effort and that left foot she’s got.”

Alexis Spans | Fr. | Ashburn, Va. | Independence H.S.

Spans was a letter winner at Independence High School. Plays for Virginia Union FC ECNL team while also spending time training with the Washington Spirit Development Academy and the Virginia Olympic Development Program.

“This awesome young woman has put in the work to get to where she is,” said Puppione. “We’re excited to have Alexis in our Patriot Family! She’s got grit, she’s smart and passionate, and she is overall an awesome human. I can’t wait to see how she’s going to impact our program!”

Josephina “Josie” Stockett | Fr. | Norristown, Pa. | The Baldwin School

Stockett earned a varsity letter in all four years at The Baldwin School. She served as the team captain and was selected for the All Main-Line Second Team.

“Josie is so fast, even I won’t be able to keep up with her! This player is a “Steel” (United),” state Coach Manya. “I’m so pumped to have Josie in our family. She will fit in well with all of her smiles, goals she scores and relentless work ethic.”

Dayl “Dot” Tieszen | Fr. | Anchorage, Ak. | South Anchorage H.S.

Tieszen had a decorated career at South Anchorage High School. Was a four-year letter winner, a captain her senior year, League Champion, two-time State Runner-Up, and First Team All-Conference Forward.

“I knew the first time I saw her in Alaska in 2019 that she would one day play for me,” said Puppione. “I’m so excited to have Dot join our family. She’s super dynamic, smart with her movement, and a fierce attacker with a nose for the goal, but also the nicest human”

Zoë Vidaurre | R-Fr. | Clarksburg, Md. | St. John’s College H.S. (Ohio State)

Vidaurre comes to Fairfax after transferring from Ohio State.

She lettered all four years during her time at St. John’s College High School in soccer and basketball. Zoë has won a plethora of athletic accolades, with her most recent being named the Washington D.C. Girls Soccer Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019 and 2020. She is currently rostered with the U20 Jamaican National Team.

“Zoë fits right into the championship culture we are building here at Mason,” stated Coach Manya. “Her level of experience, knowledge of the game, leadership and character will benefit us greatly. I’m looking forward to coaching her and seeing her out on the field with us this fall.”

Brooke Volpi | R-Fr. | Tampa, Fla. | T.R. Robinson H.S. (Elon)

Volpi came to Fairfax for the 2022 Spring semester after transferring from Elon. She did not play in the 2021 season due to injury.

Brooke lettered in soccer all four years during her time at T.R. Robinson High School in addition to being a three-year letter winner in flag football. She had her high school jersey retired for her success during her four years.

“Brooke is amazing! She will fit right into our family,” said Puppione. “I remember watching her from her club days and was so impressed by her hard work ethic, speed and ability to impact the game in a positive way. We are looking forward to Brooke joining us this spring!”

Nina Wilson | Fr. | Raleigh, N.C. | Millbrook H.S.

Wilson was a four-time letter winner at Millbrook High School. Served as a team captain and was nominated to play in the East/West All-State game.

“Nina adds so much quality and personality to our incoming class,” stated Coach Manya. “She’s composed, versatile, and able to shut down anyone she goes against. I’m really looking forward to the impact she’s going to have on and off the field for us.”

(Photo by Art Pittman / George Mason University)

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