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NCAA Nov 18, 2020

University of Texas announces No. 2 ranked recruiting class for 2021

AUSTIN, Texas – Head soccer coach Angela Kelly and the University of Texas soccer program announced eight signees to National Letters of Intent for the 2021-22 academic year.

See below for the full list of future Longhorns:

(Top Drawer Soccer Top 150 National Rank/Position/Hometown/High School/Club Soccer Team)

The Longhorns class is currently rated No. 2 overall in the most recent Top Drawer Soccer 2021 NCAA Division I recruiting rankings (Oct. 2020) with six of UT’s signees listed among IMG Academy’s Fall Top 150 recruits. Included are four of the national top 10: No. 1 (Missimo), No. 2 (Byars), No. 9 (Fung) and No. 10 (Cox).

Missimo and previously announced Texas signee Amelia Abbott (released as part of last year’s class) both graduated high school in the summer of 2020 and could have played for Texas during the 2020 fall campaign, but delayed entry until January 2021 because of the COVID pandemic. Missimo and Abbott are expected to join Fung, Byars, Miller and Stanley as mid-term additions to the UT program in January 2021.

“We are very excited to welcome this illustrious class of signees to the Forty Acres,” Kelly said. “This has to be one of the finest assemblances of combined talent to have ever had the chance to put on a Texas soccer jersey. Comprised of the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked players in the country, along with four of the top 10 overall and six out of the top 150, it demonstrates the tremendous strength and depth included in this eight-player class. There are multiple years of international experience among this group and years-upon-years of winning championships. Each one of them is expected to make an immediate impact on our program from the moment they step on campus.”

2021 Texas Soccer Recruiting Class                                     

Trinity Byars
Position: Forward
Hometown: Richardson, Texas
High School: The June Shelton School
Club: Solar SC

A five-star recruit as well as the No. 2 overall player and No. 1 forward in Top Drawer Soccer’s 2021 IMG Academy Top 150 rankings, Byars played soccer exclusively for Solar SC while also running track and playing basketball for The June Shelton School. On the pitch, Byars was a two-time United Soccer Coaches Youth Girls All-American and All-Region selection (2018-19) that scored 92 goals over her USSF DA career from 2017-19. She earned the highest InStat rating of any ECNL player in 2020 after scoring a remarkable 13 goals in just five October matches, while converting 59% of her chances. Byars started off her career in the USSF Development Academy by playing up in the Under-18/19 group as a 15-year-old. With Solar SC, she helped lead her squad to a 2018 U-19 USSF National Final, a 2017 U-15 ECNL National Final and a 2016 U-13 USYS National Championship. During the 2019 campaign, Byars earned both a nod to the USSF DA Central Conference Best XI as well as the USSF DA Golden Ball Award. She owns impressive international experience having played with U.S. Women’s National Teams from U-14 through U-19, while traveling throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Central America and North America. Byars was the youngest player on the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team roster that participated in the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay, led the U.S. Girls National Team in goals in 2018 and was a nominee for the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team Young Female Player of the Year award. She spent time in 2019 training alongside World Cup players with England’s Manchester City and Spain’s Atletico Madrid. On the track, Byars was a 2018-19 TAPPS All-State and All-District First Team selection in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100-meter events as well as the TAPPS Running Events MVP. During the 2017-18 girls basketball season, Byars was named the District Freshman of the Year after totaling 189 points, 109 rebounds, 128 assists (top 10 in Dallas-Fort Worth) and 130 steals.

Emily Jane (EmJ) Cox
Position: Center Back
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Highland Park High School
Club: Solar SC

Rated as the No. 3 defender and the No. 10 overall player in the Class of 2021 Top Drawer Soccer IMG Academy Top 150 national player rankings, Cox has served as a captain for Solar SC while helping guide her various squads to a 2016 U-13 USYSA Youth Soccer National title, a 2017 U-15 ECNL National crown and a 2019 U-16/U-17 Development Academy National Championship. She also participated in a U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team camp in Norco, Calif., in March 2018.

Tatiana Fung
Position: Midfielder/Forward
Hometown: Fullerton, Calif.
High School: Sunny Hills High School
Club: Legends FC

Coming in at No. 9 overall (No. 4 midfielder) in the most recent Top Drawer Soccer IMG Academy Top 150 national rankings, Fung has played club soccer exclusively for Legends FC. An Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 United States Women’s National Team camp participant, she has traveled to international events in Germany, Belgium, Portugal, China and Sweden while representing her country. A two-time United Soccer Coaches Youth Girls All-American, Fung has also been a member of California’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) State Team and was named one of the Best XI in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy West Conference (2019)

Megan Hogate
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Orange, Calif.
High School: Mater Dei High School
Club: Slammers FC

A multiple-year letter winner at goalkeeper for Mater Dei H.S., Hogate was named a 2020 All-Trinity League First Team selection after registering 11 shutouts in 13 matches played between the pipes while posting a 0.23 goals-against-average. During the 2019 campaign, she picked up an all-league honorable mention nod. With her club program, Slammers FC, Hogate was a part of the 2020 ECNL Southwest Championship team. In her Under-17 days, she and her club squad defeated the U-17 Chinese National Team, 2-1.

Ashlyn Miller
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: McKinney, Texas
High School: Liberty High School
Club: Solar SC

Listed at No. 105 overall, and No. 33 nationally as a midfielder, in the latest Class of 2021 Top Drawer Soccer IMG Academy Top 150 rankings, Miller is another standout member of Solar SC. She was also rated among the 2020 Top 50 SoccerWire GA League and came in at No. 33 by the ECNL InStat Index Ranking. Thus far in 2020, Miller has scored five goals and dished nine assists for Solar SC, while in 2019 she totaled 10 goals and six assists for the Under-17 GDA. For her club team, Miller was on the 2019-20 GDA U-17 Top Scorers List (10 goals), was a five-time 2020 U-18/U-19 GDA weekly standout, an eight-time 2019-20 GDA U-17 weekly standout, a six-time 2018-19 U-16/U-17 weekly standout and was a 2018 GDA U-15 Playoffs Best XI selection. She was a part of the 2015 & 2018 Dallas International Girls Cup Champions and a 2014 North Texas State Cup titlist. Miller was also a 2016-17 Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region III Pool Player and a USSF Market Training Attendee (2015-18). Internationally, she played in the Gothia Cup (Sweden – 2017), and Dana Cup (Denmark – 2017) as well as in friendlies in Canada (2015).

Alexis (Lexi) Missimo
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Southlake, Texas
High School: Southlake Carroll High School
Club: Solar SC

Rated as a five-star recruit and both the No. 1 overall player and midfielder in the nation according to Top Drawer Soccer’s 2021 IMG Academy Top 150 rankings, Missimo played club soccer exclusively for Solar SC. The 2019 USSF Girls Development Academy Player of the Year, after scoring 66 goals and dishing 41 assists over just 31 matches, Missimo was also named the 2019 USSF Girls DA Golden Boot winner as the nation’s leading scorer and played a huge role in her squad securing the U-17 Girls National Championship (one of two national titles won in her career). A 2017-18 USSF DA Player of the Year and 2016-17 IMG/Top Drawer Soccer Player of the Year nominee, Missimo was also selected as a four-time all-american, including twice being listed on the United Soccer Coaches Girls Youth All-American Teams. She owns significant international experience having participated in 26 domestic and international camps with U.S. Soccer teams stretching from Under-14 through the Under-19 age groups while playing in 11 different countries. Among those events, Missimo scored five goals and dished five assists in powering the U.S. Women’s U-17 National Team to the 15th Tournament Delle Nazioni Women’s U-17 Grand Championship, totaled three goals and two assists over three matches during an international friendly tournament in Falkenberg, Sweden (Sept. 2019) and scored the match-winning goal to beat the German U-16s in a U.S. Girls U-15 international friendly (2017). She most recently participated in U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Training Camps in Florida (Feb. 2020), Colorado (Jan. 2020) and California (Nov. 2019). Missimo spent time in 2019 training alongside World Cup players with England’s Manchester City and graduated from Southlake Carroll H.S. a year early.

Lola Stanley
Position: Forward/Midfielder
Hometown: Frisco, Texas
High School: Frisco High School
Club: Solar SC

A four-star recruit listed at No. 131 overall in the Top Drawer Soccer IMG Academy 2021 Top 150 national recruit rankings, Stanley is one of five members of the Texas recruiting class that plays for Solar Soccer Club. A captain of her club team, including for Solar SC’s national championship team during the 2018-19 season, Stanley has been named as a weekly standout for Development Academy and the ECNL multiple times. A U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Champion in the U-16/U-17 age group (2018-19), she was also invited to play in the adidas ESP event at the Portland Timbers (Major League Soccer) stadium in 2017. With Solar SC, Stanley has been a part of a 2016/17 ECNL National Championship finalist, a 2016 USYSA National Champion and was part of the 2016 USYSA National Championship Best XI. She also captained her squad to Canada to train and compete against the Vancouver Whitecaps. She only played soccer for Frisco H.S. as a freshman in 2017-18, but she helped her team to the district playoffs while being named second-team all-region and the District 9-5A Newcomer of the Year.

Holly Ward
Position: Forward
Hometown: North Vancouver, British Columbia
High School: Burnaby Central Secondary School
Club: Vancouver Whitecaps Girls Elite REX

Another in what’s becoming a pipeline of Texas recruits from the Vancouver Whitecaps Girls Elite REX (current Longhorns Julia Grosso, Emma Regan and Teni Akindoju were a part of the same club program), Ward heads to the Forty Acres with international playing experience. She has been a part of three Canadian Under-17 National Team Camps (May 2019, Sept. 2019, Dec. 2019), including starting and playing in a pair of friendlies against Mexico during the December Excel camp in Mexico City, and received an unofficial invite to the Canadian U-20 Women’s National Team camp in Aug. 2019. Ward also made the Canadian U-17 Women’s National Team roster for World Cup qualifying at the canceled CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, but the official squad was never released because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to her time with the Whitecaps, Ward played with Mountain FC, helping her club to a win at 2018 Canadian Nationals (assisted on both goals in the finals) while being named the team’s Most Valuable Player.

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