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Women's Recruiting Mar 16, 2023

UConn women’s soccer solidifies eight-member recruiting class for 2023

STORRS, Conn. – Head coach Margaret Rodriguez announced the addition of eight incoming freshmen to the Class of 2027 for the UConn women’s soccer team.

“We are eager to get this class here to begin to build and grow with them as Huskies,” said head coach Margaret Rodriguez. “We were diligent in our recruiting strategies to build a very strong 2023 class. This class adds depth to all areas of the field and we believe will be a strong class for the future of UConn soccer.”

Jessica Carr
Midfielder | Southington, Conn. | FSA FC United

Rodriguez on Carr: Jess is a smart and composed player who will look to make an impact in our midfield or back line. She is technically sound and looks to play simple with combination play. Her best quality is her ability to impact out of the air. Jess will win the air game in our midfield and be a great target player in the box. We look forward to see her develop as a Husky.

Why UConn: As I begin my college career at UConn, I am excited to experience new opportunities and take on new challenges. It didn’t take long for me to realize UConn was where I wanted to be. I am so excited to be working with such a great coaching staff and special group of players. I’ve always wanted to be a Husky!

Before UConn: Played club at FSA FC. She was a two-time New England Soccer Journal Northeast Player to Watch. Named a 2021 U17 ECNL New England First Team All-Conference selection. Lettered four years for head coach Mike Linehan at Southington High School. Scored 38 goals and 24 assists while starting every match of her high school career. The two-time team captain was a four-time All-CCC Conference performer, three-time All-State and All-New England player.. Also lettered one season in basketball, earning All-Conference honors as a freshman.

Elizabeth DiBlasi
Goalkeeper | Monroe, Conn. | CFC United

Rodriguez on DiBlasi: Liz is an athletic goalkeeper with solid shot stopping abilities.  She is quick off her line and has good instincts.  She communicates well, is confident with her feet, and has good presence in the net.  Liz’s competitive nature, team first mentality, and excellent work rate make her a great addition to our UConn goalkeeper union.

Why UConn: I chose UConn because of the amazing atmosphere surrounding the team and the campus. When I visited the campus and met the coaches and team, they instantly made me feel at home and like I could be a part of a family. At UConn, I will be able to succeed at the highest level academically and athletically, and I know that there will be people supporting me every step of the way.

Before UConn: Played club at CFC United. Posted 31 career shutouts in her career and finished with a 43-10-4 record. While serving as a team captain in 2022, she captured Boston Globe MVP honors along with All-NEPSAC accolades. She also was recognized as an All-State performer in 2021 and 2022. Lettered four years under head coach Kelly Wasleger at Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn. Also lettered in swimming and track.

Anaya Johnson
Defender/Midfielder | Brampton, Ontario | NDC Ontario

Rodriguez on Johnson: Anaya is extremely dynamic with her pace and athleticism, and has the ability to impact in multiple positions for us. She is a defender at heart who can destroy any opponents threat and can also take care of the ball and build our attack very well. Anaya will look to make a big impact on UConn soccer and we are excited to grow with her.

Why UConn: : I am looking forward to the opportunities that will present themselves to allow me to improve as a person and as a player, as well as the responsibility and independence that I will gain outside of being a student athlete. Not only am I looking forward to making lifelong friends at UConn, but I am also looking forward to creating memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Before UConn: Played for NDC Ontario. She was named Female Athlete of the Year in 2021. Made Guyana Women’s U20 National Team debut in 2019. She helped lead her team to the Canada Game gold medal in 2022. Also played basketball and was named the Female Athlete of the Year in 2019.

Lydia Leblanc
Defender/Midfielder | Winchendon, Mass. | FC Stars of Massachusetts

Rodriguez on Leblanc: Lydia is technically very sound and has the movement and vision of a true center midfielder. She is quick, tenacious on the tackle and has an efficiency to her game that is impressive. We are eager to see her in our environment as we believe she can be a difference maker in our program.

Why UConn: I was drawn to UConn at first by the values of the coaching staff and as soon as I visited and watched the first game I knew UConn was where I wanted to be.

Before UConn: Played club soccer for FC Stars of Massachusetts. Earned First Team All-Conference honors in 2022. She was selected to play in the National Selection Game in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. She attended U17 National Team camps in 2022. Lettered one year for head coach Pete Gamache at Gardner High School in Gardner, Mass. As a team captain, scored 29 goals and added 10 assists to earn MVP honors. Scored 60 career goals in her high school career.

Maya Mathis
Defender/Midfielder | Acton, Mass. | FC Stars of Massachusetts

Rodriguez on Mathis:  Maya has the ability to impact our back line as a central defender or outside back. She is comfortable with both feet and has the athleticism and pace to handle the game at this level. She is a true competitor and understands what it takes to compete and win games. Maya is also a natural leader on the field and we are excited to see how she will impact our program moving forward.

Why UConn: Since the minute I stepped on campus, I knew UConn was the place for me.  From the beginning I wanted a school with strong academics, a competitive and established soccer program with great coaching and positive team culture, school spirit you could feel, and close proximity to my number one supporters – my family. Proud to say UConn checks all the boxes. Can’t wait to be a Husky!

Before UConn: Played club for FC Stars of Massachusetts. Served as team captain for four years. Named to the Northeast Conference First Team player in 2021. Was a National YNT Regional Camp call-up. Lettered four years for head coach Ru Sweeney at Acton Boxboro Regional High School. Earned All-American, All-New England and All-State accolades. Scored 31 goals and added 22 assists in her high school career. Two-time DCL Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

Alayna Taylor
Forward | Glastonbury, Conn. | FSA FC United

Rodriguez on Alayna Taylor: Alayna is a true flank player. She can play out wide as a forward or as an attacking outside back. Simply put, she is fast and fit.  She is strong and aggressive, and has good technical ability to capture the corner and serve a quality ball in. Alayna has the work rate of a true Husky and I know she will be a dangerous attacking player for us during her time here at UConn.

Why UConn: I chose UConn because it has been my dream school to play soccer at since I was young and the second I stepped on campus I knew it was the perfect place for me. UConn offers everything I love about a college, especially the competitive soccer program with an outstanding coaching staff. I’m very excited to be a part of this talented team.

Before UConn: Played club at Farmington Sports Arena ECNL. Lettered four years for Mark Landers at Glastonbury High School. Helped lead her Glastonbury squad to the 2019 Class LL State Championship. During her time at Glastonbury her team posted 1 56-6-6. Named an All-Conference performer in 2021 and 2022. Also was an All-State performer in indoor track. She won States in the Sprint Medley Relay.

Alexandra Taylor
Forward | North Stonington, Conn. | FC Stars of Massachusetts

Rodriguez on Alexandra Taylor: Lexi will impact our forward line as she has a natural attacking instinct matched with a tenacity to defend relentlessly as a forward. She can play anywhere across the front line, which speaks volumes to her versatility. She has the ability to score goals and set up goals. She’s a proven goal scorer at the club level and we feel confident she will continue in college.

Why UConn:  I am excited to experience the combination of academics and soccer. The sense of community and support at UConn is unmatched, and I knew very early into my college search that UConn was the place for me. The best is yet to come.

Before UConn: Lettered three years at Wheeler High School and Choate Rosemary Hall for head coach Rich Koczak. During her career she was recruited for U.S. Women’s National Team East Region player pool. Played club at FC Stars in Acton, Mass. She was the leading scorer on her club team.

Brooke Walonis
Forward | Walpole, Mass. | NEFC

Rodriguez on Walonis : Brooke is a natural target forward who can play back to goal and attack the space in behind.  She is a threat on goal on any service and can shoot from distance.  Defensively, she has the ability to destroy a back line with her work rate and athleticism. She is selfless in her play and will defend very well for us up top. She is a great addition to our front line and we are ready to grow with her.

Why UConn: I am so excited to be joining such a competitive program where I will meet new people, learn as a player, and grow as a person.

Before UConn: Played club at New England Futbol Club. Named a team captain in 2022. She was a three-time Bay State All-Star. In 2022, she was recognized as Eastern Mass All-Star, All-State performer and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Honorable Mention. Played four years at Walpole High School. Lettered four years in basketball. She was a three-time Bay State All-Star and a two-time Bay State MVP Award winner.