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NCAA Jan 14, 2022

Mississippi State soccer program signs five newcomers for 2022

STARKVILLE – Five new faces will be joining the Mississippi State soccer program this spring, three transfers and two early enrollees.

The transfer class features a mix of SEC experience, as well as a pair of Freshman of the Year honors. The two freshmen arrive to Starkville with a plethora of club and high school experience.

“I am immensely proud of the recruiting efforts the staff has made during the off-season to strengthen our roster,” head coach James Armstrong said. “We cannot wait to integrate them into an already special group.”

Alexis Gutierrez | Saint Mary’s College

  • West Coast Conference’s Freshman of the Year (first Saint Mary’s player to win award)
  • All-WCC Second Team
  • WCC All Freshmen Team
  • Finished rookie season with three goals and three assists, good for third on team in scoring with nine points

What Armstrong said: “A tireless runner who can play central or wide. She will allow us to stretch the game press the ball defensively.”

Ashlyn Kane | University of Florida

  • Appeared in three matches during the 2020-21 season (SEC Tournament Quarterfinal finish)
  • Saw action in five fall matches and three spring matches
  • Member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll

What Armstrong said: “Brings SEC experience from her time at Florida, and will also bring size and composure on the ball to our midfield group.”

Haley McWhirter | East Carolina University

  • American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year (first ECU player to win award)
  • Scored a record-breaking six goals during rookie season
  • Her five goals and 11 points in conference play lead all players in the conference, leading to three straight AAC Rookie of the Week honors.

What Armstrong said: “A player who has a ton of personality on the field. She loves to have the ball at her feet and create scoring opportunities.”

Maggie Wadsworth | Gwinnett Soccer Academy

  • U-19 Southeast First Team and All-Conference team honoree with GSA
  • Named the ECN: Southeast Conference Player of the Year and made the All-America team (2018-19)
  • Wadsworth scored the most goals for Flowery Branch High School (2019)
  • Named Region 7-AAAA Player of the Year, and made it to the All-Region First Team (2019)

What Armstrong said: “Has been one of the elite goal scorers in the southeast at the club/high school level and has a great turn of pace. She’s technical and can strike a great ball.”

Bailey Wagenknecht | Gwinnett Soccer Academy

  • Participated in the 2021 AAAAA All-Star game
  • 2019 ECNL National title
  • Named to the 2019 Top Drawer Soccer ECNL National Finals Best XI team
  • Earned All-Region and All-County High School Freshman of the Year honors after putting up 28 goals and 10 assists her rookie year

What Armstrong said: “She is someone with next level speed and has a fearless attitude – a type of player who will keep defenders on their toes.”

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