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Women's Recruiting Jun 17, 2023

University at Albany women’s soccer welcomes five freshmen from four states

ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s soccer program and head coach Sade Ayinde have announced the addition of five student-athletes ahead of the 2023 season.

The group consists of five freshmen hailing from four different states, stretching from Georgia to New Hampshire, that will join a squad that has made consecutive appearances in the America East semifinals.

“We welcome this group of amazing young women that I know will find a place within our program,” said Ayinde. “Gabe (Kleinert) and I spent last year searching for student-athletes that we thought would not only add to our current group on the soccer field, but would also make an impact in the classroom and in the Albany community.”

“As a staff, we are excited to get to develop these five players over the next four years, and to see how they step into this new environment come August 1st,” Ayinde continued. “We have some fun personalities within this class, but the one thing they all share is a passion to compete and grow as soccer players. I cannot wait for Flo, Emily, Brielle, Sydney, and Jolie to officially get to the Capital Region and to get to work.”

See below for a look at UAlbany’s 2023 signing class.

Florencia Bartholomai Ponce de Leon

5-3 | D | Peachtree Corners, Ga. | Norcross

Quick Facts: Bartholomai finished her club soccer career playing for All In FC after ten years with United Futbol Club where she played with fellow incoming freshman, Emily Dorfman.  As a member of her high school team, Norcross, she earned Region 7A Defender of the Year twice, Region 7A First Team All-Region, and contributed to two Region 7A championships.  Bartholomai has competed with both the U17 and U20 Uruguayan Youth National Teams.  Most recently, she won a silver medal with the U20 team at Los Juegos Suramericanos (the South American Olympics).

Why UAlbany?: “I chose UAlbany because of the great soccer program, especially the environment created by the coaches and players that allows me to have an individual connection with the staff, while still being part of a very united team. I was drawn to the super nice area around campus and look forward to a change of scenery.”

What are you most looking forward to at UAlbany?: “The season, of course, and meeting the team.”

Emily Dorfman

5-6 | GK | Atlanta, Ga. | Riverwood International

Quick Facts: Dorfman’s club team, United Futbol Academy finished the 22-23 regular season 13-1-1 and in second place in the ECNL Southeast Conference.  She competed on her high school varsity soccer team during her sophomore and junior years.  In the classroom, Dorfman made honor roll all four years of high school while balancing a course-load that included multiple IB and honors courses, as well as receiving the Work Base Learning Student of the Year Award.

Why UAlbany?: “I chose UAlbany because I believe there are many factors that make it a perfect fit for me.  It offers a competitive athletic environment that will challenge me and allow me to grow and thrive as a player.  The coaching staff is incredible, and I connected with them immediately.  I really like their coaching style and believe it aligns with my style of soccer.  In addition to soccer, UAlbany is also a competitive academic environment with an excellent business program, which intrigued me as I am interested in pursuing a business degree.  Having lived in the southeast my whole life, I’ve never really experienced the kind of snow I am anticipating this next year, and I can’t wait for it.”

What are you most looking forward to at UAlbany?: “I am looking forward to experiencing new things, meeting new people, and playing soccer.”

Brielle Fitzpatrick

5-8 | M | Franconia, N.H. | New Hampton

Quick Facts: Fitzpatrick finished her club career playing with FC Stars White and played on her high school team at the New Hampton School. A three-year member of the varsity team, and a two-year team captain, Fitzpatrick guided New Hampton to the program’s first NEPSAC Tournament appearance in 25 years, and to the program’s first-ever appearance in the NEPSAC title game. Individually, she earned All-NEPSAC honors, the Boston Globe All-Star Athlete award, and the New Hampton School Gulick Award.

Why UAlbany?: “During the college recruitment process I was looking for a highly-competitive atmosphere where the team was focused and driven but all while maintaining the fun and excitement aspect of soccer. I wanted to find a program that would challenge me and support me at the same time. On top of an amazing and encouraging coaching staff, UAlbany encompasses everything I was looking for to pursue athletics and academics.”

What are you most looking forward to at UAlbany?: “Playing soccer, making new friends, and having new experiences.”

Sydney Kofton

5-6 | M | Norton, Mass. | Bishop Feehan

Quick Facts: Kofton competed for Scorpions SC and earned 2022 ECNL All- Conference Second Team honors. Kofton also played three years of varsity soccer at Bishop Feehan High School where she helped her team win a state title in 2019, was named team captain in her senior season, and earned High School All-America honors this past year. In addition, Kofton was recognized as a Sun Chronicle All-Star twice, Massachusetts All-State First Team twice, and was named the 2022 Catholic Central League MVP. She also excelled in the classroom and has been inducted into the National, Math, Spanish, Art, Science, History, and English Honor Societies.

Why UAlbany?: “I chose UAlbany because it offers great academic opportunities, as well as the strong and competitive soccer program that I know will challenge me and push me to become a better player and person. When I first stepped on campus, I knew it was where I wanted to spend the next four years, and I can’t wait to be a Great Dane.”

What are you most looking forward to at UAlbany?: “I am most looking forward to meeting new people, receiving a great education, and playing the sport I love.”

Jolie Pye

5-7 | D | Bayville, N.Y. | Locust Valley

Quick Facts: Pye played club soccer with SUSA FC which competes in the ECNL New England Conference. She was a three-year member of her high school team at Locust Valley, and a two-year team captain. Pye was selected in 2019 to the ODP Northeast Regional Team that competed in Iceland, and was invited to multiple US Youth National Team ID Clinics. In the classroom, Pye finished in the top-15 of her graduating class as an AP Scholar with honors, and was inducted into the National, Spanish, and Tri-M Music Honor Societies.

Why UAlbany?: “From an athletic standpoint, I had the opportunity to play collegiate soccer at the highest level with wonderful coaches and teammates. UAlbany also offered countless academic benefits including a Biochemistry major, research opportunities at an R1 institution, and a student-run ambulance on campus.”

What are you most looking forward to at UAlbany?: “I am really looking forward to meeting new people through sports, clubs, and classes at UAlbany.”