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Women's Recruiting Nov 18, 2020

University of Florida adds seven future Gators during November signing period

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida soccer team revealed a signing class featuring recruits from five different states and the program’s first player from Puerto Rico. Florida head coach Becky Burleigh announced the seven who signed with the Gators during the November signing period.

The class includes players with international experience, members of state club champion teams who also played at regional or national U.S. Player Development Academy or ODP events.

“Really excited to welcome the 2021 class to Gainesville,” Burleigh said. “We have a great group of not just players, but people who really fill some needs that we have on our roster.”

Florida Soccer Signees (enrolling for 2021 season)
Name Hometown Position High School Club
Maddy Pirrello Harrison, N.Y. F Harrison H.S. New York SC
Oakley Rasmussen Millville, Utah MF Ridgeline H.S. La Roca FC
Amaya Simoni-Walters Seattle, Wash. D Lakeside H.S. Crossfire Premier
Riley Thompson Collinsville, Miss. F/MF IMG Academy IMG Academy
JLo Varada San Juan, Puerto Rico GK IMG Academy IMG Academy
Sophie White Herriman, Utah F Mountain Ridge H.S. La Roca FC
Madison Young Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. D Cardinal Gibbons H.S. Weston FC

Maddy Pirrello 

Becky Burleigh says: “We like Maddy’s feistiness. She’s a forward who is really busy quick, got good pace and is able to assist as well as score.”

Oakley Rasmussen

Becky Burleigh says: “Next up is Oakley Rasmussen. She’s from La Rocca football club in Utah and were fortunate enough to have two players sign from that club which we really respect. I love the way that they develop their players. Oakley is a player who really reminds me a lot of a Gator fan favorite from the past, Meggie Dougherty Howard. She may be an understated player but really does a lot of the small things that help our midfield go. We’re very excited to welcome her.”

Amaya Simoni-Walters

Becky Burleigh says: “Amaya Simoni-Walters is another player who has some versatility. We expect her to be able to play anywhere in the backline for us as well as potentially in the midfield. She’s really composed, very technical and fits us very well. Also excited that both of her parents played collegiate athletics; both were tennis players at a pretty high level.”

Riley Thompson 

Becky Burleigh says: “Riley Thompson is from Mississippi but played most of her high school career at IMG in Florida. Riley’s been the leading scorer basically on every team that she’s played on. She’s really, really scrappy. She’s willing to work hard, willing to sacrifice her body and is someone who will definitely take a shot. Very excited to see her play at the collegiate level.”

JLo Varada

Becky Burleigh says: “JLo played her high school years also at IMG Academy, but on a different team than Riley. JLo has some international experience having played for Puerto Rico in CONCACAF qualifying. I’m really excited about JLo’s upside. She’s got great feet, she’s got really good range and she’s also one of the most appreciative people I know. I’m excited about working with her.”

Sophie White

  • Position: Forward
  • High School: Mountain Ridge High School (Coach: Eric Arthur)
  • Hometown: Herriman, Utah
  • Club Team: La Roca FC U18/19 ECNL (Coach: Adolfo Ovalle)
  • High School:
  • Club:
  • Fun Fact: Owns a 4.0 grade point average and aspires to pursue a career in sports medicine.

Becky Burleigh says: “The second player from La Rocca FC is Sophie White. She and Oakley [Rasmussen] connect really well with each other on the field so were excited to have that continue at UF. Sophie in her own right is just a very, very busy forward who’s willing to press, willing to have a really high work rate and can score goals.”

Madison Young

  • Position: Defender
  • Instagram: Maddieyouung
  • High School: Cardinal Gibbons High School (Coach: Margo Flack)
  • Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Club Team: Weston FC (Coach: Jerome Samuels)
  • High School:
    • Cardinal Gibbons was runner-up in 2019 2A Florida High School Athletic Association state championships; played with team until injury in December 2018
  • Club
    • Played for Weston FC the last two seasons
    • Part of South Florida Football Academy ECNL for three years
    • Missed 2019 season recovering from injury
  • Fun Fact: Can solve a Rubik’s Cube

Becky Burleigh says: “Madison Young is from the state of Florida so we’ve had our eye on her for quite some time. She’s a very, very composed player who can play anywhere in the midfield or anywhere in the backline. She struggled with a few injuries as a high school player but is now full speed and ready to go. Great athlete. Looking forward to the composure that she’s going to bring to our team.”

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