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Women's Recruiting Jun 08, 2020

Vanderbilt University women’s soccer team welcomes 7 newcomers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt University women’s soccer program is welcoming the 2020 incoming freshman class to West End.

Abi Brighton, Christina Bruni, Kate Devine, Sophia Gorski, Amber Nguyen, Mya Swinton and Alex Wagner make up the next wave of soccer student-athletes prepared to don the Star V.

“I love the personality this class brings to the table,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “They are a wonderful compliment to the returning core of the team. They have a similar competitive mindset that our program embraces and represent the personal qualities that we strive to represent.”

“Collectively, they are a confident, charismatic group with the potential to positively affect the direction of the program during their careers. On the field, they bring versatility in their roles as each of them are able to play multiple positions with their athleticism and technical qualities. Most importantly, they are young women of whom we are proud to represent Vanderbilt and our program on and off of the field.”

“I want to thank our staff, Ken Masuhr and Kelly Keelan, for their incredible efforts in helping put this talented  class together. They worked tirelessly and invested themselves in each of these young women.”

The inbound freshman class joins a program on the rise as the Commodores finished first in the SEC East standings in 2019, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight season. Last year’s campaign also marked Vanderbilt’s third-consecutive season with 10-plus victories – an accomplishment the program hasn’t seen since the 90’s.

Vanderbilt Soccer’s 2020 Signees

Abi Brighton

ABI BRIGHTON

Coach Ambrose on Abi Brighton: “Abi is a player that has continued to evolve as a well-rounded player over the past two-to-three years.  She is incredibly comfortable with the ball at her feet and has always been a sophisticated attacking minded player. She could play almost any position on the field and do it well.  She has grown into a fierce competitor and elevated the defensive aspects of her game to compliment her offensive qualities which will give her to opportunity to step into midfield quickly.”

Bio:

  • Born March 29, 2002 in Beaufort, S.C.
  • Parents: John and Stephanie Brighton
  • Has two siblings: James and Sarah Brighton
  • Twitter: brighton_abi
  • Instagram: abi_brighton
  • High School: Heritage High School
  • Hometown: Hilton Head Island, S.C.
  • Club Team: Armada FC
  • Club Coach: Daniel Villarreal
  • Position: Midfielder

Accolades:

  • Student of the month (May 2019)
  • Heritage Academic Scholarship Award (2019)
  • Captain (2012-18)

Abi Brighton on becoming a Commodore: “I am excited to experience a change of scenery going from a small island to a big city. I can’t wait to be a part of such a competitive team and school to push me to the best of my ability.”


TINA BRUNI

Coach Ambrose on Tina Bruni: “Tina is a tough, strong player who can serve a great ball from wide areas. She can create chances as well as finish them herself, which is an element of her game that stood out when we watched her play in the recruiting process. Above all else, Tina is a fierce competitor and does what it takes to help her team be successful.”

Bio:

  • Born April 26, 2002 in Torrance, Calif.
  • Parents: Harry and Sylvia Bruni
  • Has two siblings: Leslie, Erica and Harrison Bruni
  • Instagram: christina3b
  • Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
  • High School: Chadwick
  • Club Team: Strikers FC ECNL
  • Club Coach: Terri Patraw
  • Position: Forward

Accolades:

  • Second place in southwest ECNL (2018-19)
  • First team CIF Prep League (2016-17 and 18-19)
  • ECNL PDP selection southwest region (2018-19)
  • Leading goal scorer for Chadwick (2016-17 and 17-18)
  • Leading assists for Chadwick (2017-18)
  • Team MVP award (2018)
  • Team Most Valuable Freshman (2017)
  • Club team captain (2018-20)
  • High school captain (2019-20)

Tina Bruni on becoming a Commodore: “I was attracted to Vanderbilt because of the unique combination of top-level athletics, elite academics and an urban campus, but I chose Vanderbilt because of the extremely kind-hearted and genuine coaches, players and students I met there.”

Kate Devine
KATE DEVINE

Coach Ambrose on Kate Devine: “Kate is an athletic goalkeeper who is as comfortable with the ball at her feet as most field players are. It’s been fun watching her grow up as a local product of Tennessee Soccer club. Along with her excellent distribution, she is also capable of big saves and game changing moments. Kate has a great sense of humor and such an easy going personality that is fun to be around.”

Bio:

  • Born Oct. 6, 2001 in Paducah, Ky.
  • Parents: Mike and Ginny Devine
  • Has two siblings: Ann and Whit Devine
  • Twitter: KateDevine5
  • Instagram: kate.devine
  • Hometown: Brentwood, Tennessee
  • High School: Brentwood
  • Club Team: Tennessee Soccer Club
  • Club Team Coach: Ronnie Woodard
  • Position: Goalkeeper

Accolades:

  • District 12-AAA champions (2017 and 2019)
  • Region champions (2017-19)
  • State semifinals (2017) and quarterfinals (2018)
  • State finalists (2019)
  • Ohio Valley conference regular season champions
  • District 12-AAA Player of the Year (2019)
  • District 12-AAA Goalkeeper of the Year (2017-18)
  • 2018 All-State All-American
  • Tennessean girls’ soccer player of the year nominee (2017-18)
  • Ohio Valley Conference All-Conference team
  • Bimbo All-American (2019)
  • School record 18 shutouts (2019)
  • National Honor Society
  • Top 10% freshman and sophomore year

Kate Devine on becoming a Commodore: “I love everything about Vanderbilt: the team, the city, the coaches, the academics. “I am excited to make lifelong friends and memories and be challenged academically and athletically each and every day. I am excited beyond words to call Vanderbilt my home.”

Sophia Gorski

SOPHIA GORSKI

Coach Ambrose on Sophia Gorski: “Versatility is the word to describe Sophia.  While she was highlighted as the defensive MVP of the High School All-America game, she can also create problems for opponent’s backlines as a forward. She is good in the air and brings a powerful athletic quality to the class that will be a great compliment to our current roster.”

Bio:

  • Born Jan. 28 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Parents: Brian and Christine Gorski
  • Has two siblings: Daniel and Annalise Gorski
  • Instagram: sgorski3
  • Hometown: Hinckley, Ohio
  • High School: Walsh Jesuit
  • Club Team: Cleveland FC
  • Club Team Coach: Dave Sidloski
  • Position: Forward

Accolades:

  • District Champion (2016-17 and 2019)
  • North Coast League Winner (2017-19)
  • Regional and State Champion (2016)
  • Club State Cup and National Champion
  • District Player of the Year (2019)
  • NCL Player of the Year (2019)
  • First Team All-Ohio Division-I (2019)
  • Akron Beacon Journal Player of the Year (2019)
  • Three-time First Team All-District
  • Four-time First Team All-NCL
  • US Soccer Great Lakes Conference Top 11
  • Team Captain (2019)

Sophia Gorski on becoming a Commodore: “Attending Vanderbilt never seemed like a possible reality, but now I cannot see myself going to any other school. Vanderbilt encompasses everything I have ever wanted in a school from great athletics with coaches and teammates who are supportive, to the high-level academics, as well as the location.”

Amber Nguyen

AMBER NGUYEN

Coach Ambrose on Amber Nguyen: “Amber is a very versatile player. Watching her develop over the past two years has been incredibly exciting for us. In addition to her quickness, she is technically gifted and has the vision of a central midfield player. She can play almost any attacking position. Her experience at the international level will help her ease into the college game and contribute to this team early in her career.”

Bio:

  • Born Feb. 26, 2002 in Macon, Ga.
  • Parents: Don and Tonya Nguyen
  • Has two siblings: Micah and Daniel Nguyen
  • Instagram: _ambernguyen
  • Hometown: Snellville, Ga.
  • High School: Shiloh
  • Club Team: TopHat DA
  • Club Coach: Troy Garner
  • Position: Midfielder

Accolades:

  • U-20 Women’s National Team Camp (2019)
  • U-18 WNT Camp (2018)
  • USSF Girl’s DA best Midfielder (2019)
  • United Soccer Coaches All-American (2018)
  • Selected Girl’s DA Playoffs standout (2018)

Amber Nguyen on becoming a Commodore: “I am extremely excited to come to an environment surrounded by diligence and integrity. I selected Vanderbilt because the culture here is based on hard work and authenticity both on and off the field. To be great you have to be pushed by others who want to be great, and that is what it takes to succeed at Vanderbilt.”

Mya Swinton

MYA SWINTON

Coach Ambrose on Mya Swinton: “Mya brings similar qualities to our current group of wide players. She is quick, tough and has a very competitive mindset. She has played all over the field in her young career but seems most suited to wide areas with her quickness and one-on-one ability.  She has a personality people love to be around and maybe one of the most positive people I have been around. She brings energy to everything she does.”

Bio:

  • Born Dec. 23, 2001 in Okinawa, Japan
  • Parents: Thomas and Seiko Swinton
  • Has one sibling: Aila Swinton
  • Instagram: myapineapple
  • Hometown: Gulf Breeze, Fla.
  • High School: Gulf Breeze
  • Club Team: Gulf Coast Texans
  • Club Coach: David Kemp
  • Position: Midfielder

Accolades:

  • Two-time Class 3A FHSAA state finalists
  • Three-time district champions
  • Two-time regional champions
  • Most Valuable Player (2018-19)
  • All-area team (2018-19)
  • Two-time Class 3A FHSAA state finalists
  • Team captain (2018-19 and 19-20)
  • Club – Florida State Cup champions (2019)
  • Club – WPSL finalist (2018-19)

Mya Swinton on becoming a Commodore: “I’m so eager and excited to go to Vanderbilt. I can’t wait to be a part of a school that has such high academic excellence and a soccer team that has immense team chemistry. Anchor Down!”

Alex Wagner

ALEX WAGNER

Coach Ambrose on Alex Wagner: “Alex is an attacking outside back who time and time again has shown an ability to get forwards into dangerous positions in the final third. In addition to her agility and speed, she possesses the tenacity and grit as a defender to be successful at this level. Alex has a great engine that allows her to consistently get up and down the flank on both sides of the ball.”

Bio:

  • Born Feb. 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Parents: Michael and Melissa Wagner
  • Has two siblings: Ava and Cate Wagner
  • Instagram: alexwagner734
  • Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
  • High School: The Westminster Schools
  • Club Team: Concorde Fire
  • Club Coach: Garvin Quamina
  • Position: Defender

Accolades:

  • Two-time state champions (2017 and 2019)
  • DiVarsity All-Star MVP
  • Captain Concorde Fire Soccer (2018-19)
  • High school Ambassador
  • National Honors Society
  • Honor Roll

Alex Wagner on becoming a Commodore: “I fell in love with Vanderbilt the first time I was on campus. The energy and excitement from the coaches, the players and everyone in the athletic program was infectious. I chose Vanderbilt because the soccer program and education is incredible. I can’t wait to be a Commodore! Anchor Down!”