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NCAA Jul 08, 2022

USC women’s soccer signs four new Trojans ahead of 2022 season

LOS ANGELES – Heading into the first season under head coach Jane Alukonis, the USC women’s soccer team will be adding four newcomers for the 2022 campaign.

The Trojans will address some immediate needs while still building for the future as the class includes two experienced transfers and two incoming freshmen.

See below for a look at USC’s signing class.

TRANSFERS

Nicole Payne
5-4 | Defender | Birmingham, Ala. | West Virginia/Oak Mountain HS/Concorde Fire SC

Payne comes to USC as a transfer from West Virginia and current member of the Nigerian National Team. In three seasons at West Virginia, Payne was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team and the All-Big 12 team twice. She appeared in 53 games, making 44 starts mainly on the back line for the Mountaineers, scoring four times and providing two assists.

Payne is currently a member of the Nigerian National Team and is currently with the Super Falcons at the Women’s African Cup of Nations in Morocco. She and her sister, Toni, became the first sisters to play together on the Nigerian National Team back in 2021. She also previously played in the U.S. Youth National Team system from the U-14 to U-19 levels.

Payne starred in both soccer and track and field as a prep athlete, earning Gatorade State Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors in 2019. She graduated owning two state records, as well as six state championships and nine total state medals. Payne was ranked the No. 27 soccer recruit in the country according to the IMG Academy Top 150 and the No. 4 midfielder in her region according to Top Drawer Soccer coming out of high school. She helped the Concorde Fire to an ECNL national third-place finish in 2017.

Alukonis on Payne: “We watched many of Nicole’s games and were particularly impressed by her ability to perform at a very high level for the entirety of the contest. One game, we purposely watched her action from the 100th minute on, and she was still sprinting up and down the entire field late in double overtime. Nicole is good on the dribble and in 1v1 duels, and she will contribute as a wing back and/or winger.”

Payne on why she chose USC: “I chose USC because I wanted to be somewhere I can continue to grow as a person and player on and off the field. I believe that my new coaching staff, teammates, and environment will help me achieve that goal.”

Brandi Peterson
5-6 | Defender | Douglasville, Ga. | TCU/Chapel Hill HS/Concorde Fire SC

Peterson joins the Trojans as a highly-decorated grad transfer from TCU after earning her degree in Kinesiology this past May. Through four years in Fort Worth, Peterson racked up the accolades, highlighted by a second-team All-American nod and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year this past fall. She also earned All-Big 12 honors twice and was named to the All-Midwest Region first team in 2021. For her career at TCU, Peterson appeared in 81 games and made 76 starts, scoring three goals and providing 10 assists from the back line.

Peterson starred in the classroom as well, earning first-team Academic All-American recognition this past season to go along with three straight years of being on the Big-12 All-Academic Team.

Another product of the Concord Fire system, she played for the club from 2014-18. On the prep side, Peterson played three varsity seasons at Chapel Hill HS, earning Region Offensive Player of the Year as a junior after scoring a staggering 40 goals and dishing out 25 assists.

Alukonis on Peterson: “Brandi is a standout defender with great distribution. She’s calm under pressure and will bring experience and sophistication to our back line either centrally or out wide. She is also an amazing student who will excel in her Master’s program in the Marshall School of Business.”

Peterson on why she chose USC: “I chose USC because it encompasses everything I was looking for in a school. It offers high-level soccer, great academics and is in a culturally diverse area.”

FRESHMEN

Hannah Dickinson
5-11 | Goalkeeper | Seattle, Wash. | Lakeside HS/Crossfire ECNL

A three-sport prep star, Dickinson comes to USC from Lakeside HS and Crossfire ECNL in Seattle. The 5-11 goalkeeper also played four years of varsity basketball and lacrosse, in addition to four years on the pitch. During her time at Lakeside, Dickinson earned Washington State 3A Player of the Year, All-State honors twice, and was named to the All-Metro League first team three times.

Dickinson finished her prep career as the school’s all-time saves leader (181), posting a career 0.47 goals against average and 34 total shutouts. She had a career-high 63 saves as a senior and set the school’s single-game saves record with 11. She also served as team captain for three years in basketball and one year in lacrosse. Dickinson helped Crossfire to a Northwest Conference Championship in 2021.

Alukonis on Dickinson: “Hannah has played an integral role for her club and high school teams as a goalkeeper and leader. She is a very hard worker who will bring grit and competition to the goalkeeping environment.”

Dickinson on why she chose USC: “I chose USC for the combination of rigorous academics with competitive athletics.”

Jayce Woodward
5-8 | Midfielder/Forward | Seattle, Wash. | Seattle Prep/Pac Northwest

Another Seattle product, Woodward comes to USC already familiar with the Trojan Family as the sister of former USC standout midfielder, Jalen Woodward. A two-time conference MVP and Gatorade State Player of the Year nominee, Jayce is poised to make a name for herself at the next level after scoring 57 goals and recording 26 assists in three full varsity seasons (junior season was shortened due to Covid-19 pandemic).

Woodward earned All-League first team honors all four years, was the conference MVP and named to the All-State team as a junior and senior, and played in the High School All-American Game this past season. She also played basketball as a freshman.

Woodward spent time in both the Crossfire and Seattle Reign club systems before playing with Pac Northwest from 2019-22. She was named to the ECNL All-Conference team in 2021 and played in National Selection games in 2020 and 2022. Woodward has participated in U.S. Youth National Team camps at the U-19 and U-15 levels as well.

Alukonis on Woodward: “Jayce is a crafty and selfless attacking player who enjoys scoring, but also setting up others. We look forward to seeing her combine with other fantastic attackers. Throughout the coaching changes, Jayce made it clear she is a diehard Trojan. We love her loyalty and can’t wait to see her Fight On!

Woodward on why she chose USC: “I chose to attend USC knowing I will receive an excellent education. I love the campus and I also love the sunshine!”

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