Pitt women’s soccer finalizes talented 2022 recruiting class
PITTSBURGH – Pitt women’s soccer and head coach Randy Waldrum have finalized the Panthers’ 2022 recruiting class, which features six players.
Penn Fusion ECNL midfielder Misa Kasparcova signed with Pitt this week, as she joins five other players who inked their NLIs in November: Ellie Breech, Fleming Dean, Haylee Mersereau, Margaret Wilde and Katie Zaliski.
The Panthers’ 2022 recruiting class is ranked No. 25 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer in its January update.
See below for more information on each member of the Pitt’s 2022 signing class:
Club: Ranked as a two-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer and the No. 13 recruit in Pennsylvania … Played for the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 Czech Republic National Team with nine caps and one goal, including the 2021 UEFA Qualifiers … attended the ODP National training Center in January of this year … selected to the Olympic Development Interregional Event and Olympic Development East Region Pool three times each … teammate of Wilde on Penn Fusion Soccer Academy … played on the first team of Lancaster Inferno of the United Women’s Soccer, a national pro-am league … led the Inferno to an East Conference semi-finalist appearance this year … helped the Eastern Pennsylvania Olympic Development win the east region championship three times … assisted former club team FCUSA Philadelphia to championships in the WAGS, PDA, Jefferson Cup, CASL and National League Showcase … team was a finalist and semi-finalist of Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup and quarterfinal appearances in the eastern region twice and also the Gothia Cup in Sweden … played with current Panthers Elena Hinkson (Lancaster Inferno and ODP) and Sara Darlington (ODP).
High School: Played just her freshman season and had 12 points for Methacton.
Waldrum on Kasparcova: “Misa comes to us from the other side of the state of Pennsylvania and brings with her an international level experience competing with the Czech Republic national team program. She has competed in European qualifying at the under-17 and under-19 levels, and her experience at that level will be an asset for us here at Pitt. Misa brings a high-level technical quality, tenacity, and composure on the ball that fits with the way we want to play. We are excited to add Misa to our program.”
Why Pitt for Kasparcova: “As soon as I stepped on campus I felt at home! I love the city, and the people at Pitt were so welcoming. The energy from the team is amazing, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I cannot wait to spend my next four years here! Hail to Pitt!”
Club: Ranked No. 85 in TopDrawerSoccer’s IMG rankings as a four-star recruit and also the No. 10 goalkeeper in the nation and No. 3 overall in Pennsylvania … attended the U-18/U-19 US National Camp and Youth National Regional ID Clinic in New Jersey this year and US Soccer Youth National Training Centers from 2016-2018 … participated in the Washington Spirit Advanced Development Program since the beginning of 2020 … selected four times the TopDrawerSoccer Development Academy Weekly Standout in 2019: November 2-3 and 16-17, October 19-20 and April 13-14 (2019) … served as captain for PA Classics Girl’s U-19 Academy the last two years … led team to the 2016 EPYSA State Cup Championship and an undefeated regular season in 2020-21, for a first place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Conference and third in the national U-19 girls’ academy standings … helped team to another undefeated record in the 2021 PA Classics Winter Showcase … played above her age group for the club as a freshman and sophomore in high school … lettered twice in indoor track.
High School: Didn’t play at Cumberland Valley.
Waldrum on Breech: “Ellie is one of the top-tier goalkeepers in the country. One of the biggest qualities we noticed with Ellie in the recruiting process was her drive to continually improve, develop her craft as a goalkeeper, always training and doing more to grow as a player. She’s very athletic, an excellent shot stopper, and has a big-time presence on crosses. Her ability to play with her feet is key in our game model, and we are very excited to have a player on her caliber in our program. She’ll enroll early this spring and brings with her high level experience being involved at the youth national team level.”
Why Pitt for Breech: “I chose University of Pittsburgh because this is where I believe I will become the best version of myself on and off the field. Pitt has countless opportunities available where I can pursue my interests in science and engineering. I get more excited every day to start my journey, submerge myself around top-tier players and compete in one of the toughest conferences in the country. Everyone at the school from students, staff and coaches are so friendly and supportive. I immediately felt right at home when I walked on campus for the first time. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started, H2P!”
Club: Ranked the No. 111 player as a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer and also the No. 34 midfielder in the nation and No. 6 in the South Atlantic Region … Invited to the US Soccer Youth National Team Training Camp in 2019 and 2016 … served as team captain for United Futbol Academy since 2017 … selected to the ECNL 2020/2021 1st team All-Conference U17 Southeast and ECNL Girl’s South Carolina Best IX … top scorer in the girls’ development academy in 2019-20 … was a finalist for TopDrawerSoccer 2020 Goal of the Year … led the U-16 East US Soccer DA in scoring in 2019 … led the team to a No. 4 national ranking and the ECNL playoffs and ECNL Final Four in Richmond this year.
High School: Named Georgia’s 6A Region Six Player of the Year, first-team all-region and Pope’s Player of the Year this past spring … led the team to a regional championship and an appearance in the state playoffs … had team-bests in goals (22) and assists (18) in just 16 games.
Waldrum on Dean: “One of the best ways to describe Fleming is she is a soccer junkie. Our staff and I felt like Fleming in the recruiting process was one of the top midfield players in the country. She has elite technical qualities and soccer IQ that you must have to compete in the ACC. Her ability to create chances for others and herself out of the midfield is special, and we expect Fleming to contribute and impact our team from the start.”
Why Pitt for Dean: “Other than the obvious factors of Pitt’s growing program and competitive conference, the coaching staff here sold me. Going so far from home, I was worried about missing my family and parents, but Randy, Ben, and Dustin felt like family to me from the first couple of calls we had. It is so easy for me to work hard and play for coaches that I respect and look up to, and I feel like I am getting that relationship here. I am looking forward to continuing my studies in computer science, and Pitt is the perfect place to do so. I am very excited to come into a new environment that will challenge me day in and day out. I hope that I can make a big impact on this amazing team!”
Club: Ranked as the No. 177 recruit by TopDrawerSoccer and also the No. 45 defender in the nation and No. 13 player in Florida … invited to the US Youth National Team (USYNT) Regional Identification Center in March 2021 … earned a US National Soccer Training Invite for 2017-18 … selected a TopDrawerSoccer Girl’s Academy Showcase Best XI Standout for April, 2021 … called to the US Development Academy Captain’s Workshop in 2019 … led previous club team, the U17 Weston DA squad, to finish the 2019-20 season ranked 3rd in the country, Elite Eight DA Championship Cup Finalist (cancelled due to COVID) and first-place finish in the southeastern conference … served as team captain for another club team, Boca United DA.
High School: Led Boca Raton to a 7A District 11 Championship last season with an undefeated season (9-0-3), including seven shutouts … named to the 7A All-State Team, All-State Academic Team, First-Team All-County by the Palm Beach Post and team’s most impactful player award … produced 12 points (four goals and four assists) while starting every game as a defender … starting her senior year this month playing as an attacking center midfielder … has only played two year of high school soccer due to previous development academy restrictions … ran track and helped team win the district championship in freshman year.
Waldrum on Mersereau: “One of the first impressions in the recruiting process with Haylee is she is a highly intelligent defender with versatility to play centrally or as an outside back. She’s hyper-competitive, excellent pace, and possesses a high level soccer IQ. Haylee is an excellent fit for us in our game model, and she’ll be able to step in right away and impact our program.”
Why Pitt for Mersereau: “Pitt presented me with everything I was looking for, the strong biology and research programs, beautiful city and change of seasons and opportunity to learn from an exceptional coaching staff. I chose Pitt because I know it will help me achieve my goals of continually developing into the best athlete, student and person I can be. I am beyond excited to be part of the Panther family and compete in the top conference in the country alongside truly amazing people!”
Club: Ranked a three-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer and also the No. 10 player in Pennsylvania … attended the US National Soccer Team Training Center from 2016-2019 and US National Soccer Training East Combine in 2017 … member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Olympic Development State Team from 2015-17 and Philly Summer Select Team in 2013-14 … played for the Ukrainian Nationals from 2010-16.
High School: Led Wissahickon to win the Suburban One/Liberty Division Championship this fall in her only season of high school soccer … named the Liberty Division MVP and First-Team selection … produced 44 points, 17 goals and 10 assists, in 18 games.
Waldrum on Wilde: “Early on in the recruiting process it was clear that Margaret is the absolute definition of a competitor. I’m not sure there was a game where we evaluated Margaret and she did not score or create a goal for her club team. She’s excellent in and around the goal, a composure in front of goal that is rare with young players. She’s an exceptional talent at forward that will make an excellent addition to our program.”
Why Pitt for Wilde: “I chose the University of Pittsburgh because of its highly respected academics and nationally recognized soccer program. I loved the feel of the campus and its proximity to the city of Pittsburgh. The Pitt soccer coaching staff was supportive to me on and off the field, and the atmosphere that they created was one that I immediately wanted to become a part of.”
Club: Led Gwinnett Soccer Academy to win the 2019 ECNL Championship … invited to the ECNL National Camp, US Soccer Youth National Team Regional Training Camp and USYSA ODP National Camp in 2018 and 2019 … named to the US Club Soccer 2018 id2 National Selection Team and went to the US Club Soccer ID2 National ID camp in 2017 and 2018 … selected to the USYSA ODP 2004 Girls All Star Team … helped former club team Jacksonville Futbol Club (ECNL) to a third-place finish at the 2017 US Club Soccer NPL National Tournament …
High School: Led Ashley Ridge to the last three 5A regional championships … although a centerback, scored 18 goals as a freshman.
Waldrum on Zailski: “Katie is a dynamic and elite level center back. The first thing Pitt fans will notice with Katie is her size and athleticism. She’ll bring some more bite to our defense. What makes her an elite level back is she also has the technical quality and soccer IQ to help us set play from the back. We fully expect Katie to impact our program right away.”
Why Pitt for Zailski: “I chose Pitt not only because of the great academics, but athletically I will be competing in the strongest conference in the country with a program on the rise and under great leadership. I look forward to playing under an amazing coaching staff that will help me develop to my highest potential both as an athlete and as a person. Pittsburgh is a great city and the facilities are top-notch! Excited to begin a new chapter!”