Mississippi State signs 6 more players, completing 2019 recruiting class
STARKVILLE – Six newcomers have joined James Armstrong‘s initial signing class at Mississippi State for the 2019 season.
Freshmen Onyi Echegini (London, England), Grace Seymour (Port Neches, Texas) and Sydney Strunk (Montgomery, Ohio) join transfers Gabby English (San Diego State), Niejia Watkins (Nebraska) and Sam Stiglmair (Shaw) to complete the Bulldogs’ roster.
Armstrong previously announced six additional freshmen in March and retains four of the five early enrollees that joined the program in January. The 16 total newcomers will join a dozen returning players in Starkville.
Echegini played her club soccer for Arsenal FC where she won the FA Cup in 2019. The forward attended Bexleyheath Academy where her school won the London Borough of Bexley Championship three times and finished third in the London Youth Games.
Seymour, a defender out of Port Neches-Groves High School, played with the Houston Dash’s Development Academy team and started more than 40 matches. She also played for the Albion Hurricanes of the ECNL where she won the U.S. Soccer National Cup Southeast Regional and played in the 2017 National Championship tournament.
Strunk also played in the ECNL, qualifying for the Champions League National Playoffs in 2017 and 2018 with the Ohio Elite. The defender started all four years at Ursuline Academy and was a four-time invitee to the U.S. Soccer Training Center.
English will be expected to bring veteran leadership to a young goalkeeping corps. She will be the only keeper on the roster to have played a collegiate match entering the season. The graduate transfer from Winter Park, Florida, closed her SDSU career among the Aztecs leaders in career saves (second), shutouts (fourth) and goals against average (seventh).
Watkins redshirted her freshman season with the Cornhuskers, but played 15 matches in 2018. In high school, she earned Defensive MVP honors three times and was first-team all-conference as a senior.
In her one season at Division II Shaw Unviersity, Stiglmair scored five times in seven matches, including two game-winners. The Karlshuld, Germany, native played club soccer for FC Ingolstadt 04 where she was named team MVP of the club’s top women’s team and scored seven goals in 13 matches. Stiglmair’s squad placed third in the 2014 International Women’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain.
MSU is coming off its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 after finishing with a 9-7-2 record. State opens its 25th season of soccer at home on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. CT against Alabama A&M.
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