RICHMOND, Va. – With the VCU Women's Soccer team set to open the 2012 campaign Friday night against High Point, we give Ram fans a quick look at the new faces they'll see this season.
Joining the Rams this fall will be midfielders Elora Frye (Yorktown, Va./Grafton), Olivia Defelice (Trenton Falls, N.J./Red Bank Catholic), Brianna Nielsen (Vienna, Va./McLean), forward Kailyn Slade (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), defenders Wendy Acosta (San Jose, Costa Rica), Natalie Moik (Cologne, Germany), and goalkeeper Emma Kruse (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park).
"We are very happy with the way the new group of players has been integrating with our core of returners. We have certainly strengthened our roster and look forward to the impact some players will make immediately," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said.
"Both Wendy and Natalie have had some impressive experiences at the highest levels internationally, and that's a huge asset for our group. We've also been impressed by the efforts of many of the other newcomers. It is not easy to jump in, and compete physically in a new environment while trying to comprehend the way we play tactically. It's a crash course, but this group has passed with flying colors," said Roberts Sahaydak.
Wendy Acosta brings valuable experience to the Black & Gold's back line. Acosta provides a wealth of international experience having been a member of the Costa Rican National Team since 2007. She was also a member of the Universidad de Costa Rica for three seasons, where she served as captain all three years, including team MVP honors following the 2009 season.
Olivia Defelice adds to an already strong midfield at VCU. Defelice attended Red Bank Catholic High School, where she played four seasons of varsity soccer. She also helped lead the Casey's to a State Championship following her junior season. Defelice was named captain of the team as a senior and helped lead Red Bank Catholic to a District Title. She played club soccer for the New Jersey Wildcats.
Elora Frye will help provide valuable depth to the Rams' midfield this season. She played varsity soccer all four years at Grafton High School in Yorktown, Va., and helped lead the Clippers to the Virginia State Quarterfinals as a senior. Frye also garnered First Team All-District and All-Region accolades following hersenior season. She played club soccer with the Virginia Rush.
Emma Kruse will join the Rams after attending VCU last year as student in the fall. Kruse, who enters the season as a redshirt freshman, was able to work out with the team during the spring season. She'll add valuable depth to the goalkeeping ranks for the Rams. A native of Woodbridge, Va., Kruse played varsity soccer and basketball at Forest Park High School.
Natalie Moik will add depth to an already potent Rams' back line. The Cologne, Germany native has played at the international level with the German U16-U19 teams. In 2010, she helped lead the U17 team to a third-place finish in the European Championship, and then went on to win the U17 World Championship that same year.
Brianna Nielsen will bring versatility to the Rams' midfield in the coming years. Nielsen was a multi-sport athlete at McLean High School in Vienna, Va. Aside from being a four-year member of the varsity soccer team, she was a three-year member of the swimming team, and also played one season of basketball. Nielsen helped lead the Highlanders to three district titles during her four-year career. She played club soccer with the McLean Strikers as well as DC Elite.
Kailyn Slade will add valuable depth to VCU's forward position. Slade was a celebrated goal scorer in high school, receiving her team's the "Golden Boot" award following her junior season. She was a three-time member of the All-District and All-Region teams, and also helped lead the Vikings to a pair of District Championships during her freshman and junior seasons. She played club soccer for the McLean Strikers.