Villanova women’s soccer welcomes seven class of 2023 recruits
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova head coach Samar Azem and her staff have announced the addition of seven student-athletes to join the Wildcats. This class brings in one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders and two forwards spanning the United States and Canada.
“We are extremely excited to add this group of young women to our roster this fall,” Azem said. “Each player has the potential to play an important role in our journey, and they each add a very important dynamic as we build competition, athleticism, and depth in each position. They are competitors with a drive to be successful and they are fantastic fits with who we are at Villanova University and who we are becoming as a program. I have no doubt they, along with our current team, will give our fans a lot to be excited about at Higgins this fall.”
Gabrielle Koluch | Midfield
Freehold, N.J. | Freehold Township HS
A two-year captain and four-year letter winner at both defense and midfield for Freehold Township, Koluch capped off her career as an All-American in 2022 and won back-to-back Shore Conference Tournament Titles. She was also a part of a team that won three straight CJ4 Sectional State and A-North Championships from 2020-2022. Throughout high school, she landed All-Monmouth County honors including a spot on the first team as a season. She tacked on New Jersey Midseason Defender of the Year accolades in 2022 and was an All-A-North First Team member from 2020-2022. In 2021, she was tabbed an NJGSCA All-Central Jersey selection. She has also played at the club level for Cedar Stars Monmouth GA since 2020 after a stint with the Players Development Academy from 2016-2020 where she was an ECNL National Championship Finalist in 2019.
Azem on Koluch: “Gabby has an elite ability to orchestrate within our phases of play and possesses the athleticism to cover ground in transitional moments very well.”
Alex Little | Forward
Fallbrook, Calif. | Mission Vista HS
Little was a four-year forward on the varsity soccer team at Mission Vista where she was a two-time League Player of the Year. She landed both First Team and Scholar Athlete accolades in three consecutive seasons. Also a member of the track team, Little competed in the 100, 200 and 400 meter, setting the school record in the 100 and 200 meter.
Azem on Little: “Alex has an incredible engine and an undeniably exceptional work rate. She brings a tenacity to our front line and will be a handful for back lines.”
Olivia Marrone | Outside Back
Marlton, N.J. | Cherokee HS
A four-year midfielder for the Cherokee High School she captained as a junior and senior, Marrone was a three-time All-South Jersey selection and made the All-Conference team in each of her four years, landing first team honors each season. She amassed 31 career goals while adding on 23 assists. She played 10 years with the Players Development Academy Blue and received an invite to both the U14 ECNL National Training Camp and ID2 Camp. She was a call up to both the U15 Youth National Team and U17 Women’s National Team while also being a part of the Young National Team ID for New Jersey in 2005 and 2006.
Off the field, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Business Honor Society. She intends to major in Liberal Arts.
Azem on Marrone: “Olivia comes from a winning club culture and brings that mindset; she loves to compete. She is a tenacious, quick, athletic, and dangerous wide player.”
Rebecca Miller | Forward
West Chester, Pa. | WC Henderson
Miller was a three-year varsity winner playing at attacking mid for WC Henderson. As a junior, she was tabbed both a first team All-Chesmont and First Team All-Area selection. She plans to pursue an ARTS Exploratory route.
Azem on Miller: “Becca’s work rate and energy in her team’s press stood out to me. She is relentless in putting teams under pressure and she is extremely opportunistic.”
Ireoluwa Omotayo | Centerback
Calgary, Alberta, Canada | St. Mary’s HS
As a centerback for St. Mary’s High School, Omotayo was named the team’s Most Promising Player in 2022. She was selected to the U-17 Women’s National Soccer Team which participated and achieved third in the MIMA Cup held in Spain in 2022 and also earned bronze in the 2022 Concacaf Championship held in the Dominican Republic, qualifying for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India. She was selected to the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite National Development Center in 2022 and the BMO Academy Centre in 2021 and 2022. Omotayo won gold with the Elite Team in the inaugural Women’s League1 British Columbia in 2012 and was selected to Team Alberta for Canada Summer Games in 2022. She was also the captain for the Calgary Rangers Soccer Club from 2020-2022 and was selected to the Provincial Soccer Team from 2017-19.
Academically, Omotayo was a three-year member of the Honor Roll and was Student Councill President in the 2021-22 year. She plans to major in Business.
Azem on Omotayo: “Ire comes from an elite professional training environment. She’s an intelligent defender with an elite ability to set play from and through our backline.”
Elon Rutty | Midfield
Charlotte, N.C. | Hough HS
Rutty won three conference championships at Hough High School, playing forward on the varsity soccer team. She has played six years with the CSA ENCL Regional 05 G White where she is in the top two of all-time career goal scoring with her current team. Her team went undefeated in the NCFC Showcase in 2021 before going undefeated in the 2022 Jefferson Cup Tournament. During the summer of 2022, Rutty played with the U23 Lady Eagles semi-professional team.
In the classroom, Rutty is within the top 80 of her class rank and has participated in various clubs in high school, including Black Student Union, English Honors Society and the Math Theta Honors Society.
Azem on Rutty: “Elon is a player we watched for some time. She has an extremely high ceiling and an incredible ability to change direction and be opportunistic in the 9.”
Allie Vincent | Goalkeeper
Milford, Conn. | Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall
Ranked No. 15 in the Northeast Region on Top Drawer Soccer, Vincent has been a two-time All-Conference First Team selection, earning four varsity letters on the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall soccer team. She played for the Connecticut Football Club for seven years and was on the Connecticut FC ECNL team for five years. She landed a spot on the ECNL New England All-Conference First Team in 2022. Off the pitch, she was a varsity basketball player, playing at power forward.
Academically, Vincent was named to the High Honor Roll all for years and was inducted into both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society in her junior year. She plans to pursue a Computer Science degree at Villanova.
Azem on Vincent: “What stood out to us was her drive and ambition to push her limits and refine her craft. She’s a consistent shot stopper and has a strong presence in goal.”