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Gator Head Coach Becky Burleigh announced Monday the eight who will join the Gator soccer team next fall.

Monday February 27, 2012Eight to Join Gator Soccer Team for Fall 2012

Gainesville, Fla.

Gator Head Coach Becky Burleigh announced Monday the eight who will join the Gator soccer team next fall.

Joining the University of Florida soccer team next fall are eight talented players, Gator Head Coach Becky Burleigh announced Monday morning.

 

We are really excited about this new recruiting class. I think we’ve really addressed some specific needs that we had with the seniors that we lost, and going forward,” Burleigh said. “We were looking to add to the technical ability of our team, as well as have some defensive presence, which I think we got in some of these players, and we’ll make sure that we are continuing to get better on the offensive end.”

 

All of the new Gators have experience with state, regional and/or national Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams. Claire Falknor (Dayton, Ohio), Christen Westphal (Brecksville, Ohio) and Brittney Reed (Venice, Fla.) have been part of youth national teams for ODP or U.S. play. Paulina Speckmaier (Miami, Fla.) played with the Venezuelan National Team earlier this year in Under-20 South America World Cup Qualifier action.

 

“We know what they’ve done as youth players, and some of these players are very accomplished at the youth level. Ultimately, how someone comes in and competes is what separates them in terms of their ability to make an impact right away,” Burleigh said. “In terms of talent, I think there’s a very real chance that these players will come in and make an immediate impact.

 

Meet the incoming Gators below:

 

2012 University of Florida Soccer Newcomers

Name

Position

High School

Hometown (Club Team)

Claire Falknor

F/MF

Centerville

Dayton, Ohio (Ohio Elite Soccer Academy)

Meghan Hussey

MF

Milton

Alpharetta, Ga. (United Futbol Academy)

Brittney Reed

D/MF

Venice

Venice, Fla. (IMG Academy)

Brooke Smith

D

Eustis

Eustis, Fla. (Florida Rush)

Lauren Smith

MF

Eustis

Eustis, Fla. (Florida Rush)

Paulina Speckmaier

MF/F

Gulliver Prep

Miami, Fla. (Coral Springs Lady Renegades)

Valerie Tysinger

GK

Spruce Creek

New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (Stetson FA)

Christen Westphal

D/MF

Walsh Jesuit

Brecksville, Ohio (Cleveland Internationals)

 

 

 

 

 

Claire Falknor

Attended U.S. Under 18 National Team training camp in Sunrise, Fla., in December of 2011…Ranked among ESPN’s Top 150 College Prospects list…Among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s final 2012 Top 100 National Players list…On ESPN’s Class of 2012 Forwards to Watch list…Varsity starter for Centerville High School, coached by Don Skelton…Centerville advanced to the 2009 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I semifinals…Led team in combined goals/assists as a sophomore with 17 goals and 14 assists…Played for the Ohio South State Olympic Development Program (ODP) team from 2008-2010…Traveled to Portugal and Spain with ODP Region II team in 2010…Participated in 2009 and 2010 Thanksgiving Interregional…Member of Ohio Elite Soccer Academy for two years and coached by Doug Bracken and Tim Lesiak…Club team won state championships in 2010 and 2011, also placed third in 2010 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championships…Named to the 2010 ECNL Winter Showcase All-Event team…Will graduate from Centerville High School in 2012.

 

Meghan Hussey

Ranked among ESPN’s Top 150 College Prospects list…Georgia Olympic Development Program (ODP) selection since 2007…Member of United Futbol Academy (UFA) 94 Elite team which took third in Blue Division of US Youth Soccer National League event which completed play Jan. 2, 2012 at Disney Soccer Showcase…Co-captain and six-year member of the United Futbol Academy club team…Won state champion or state runner-up titles with UFA for six consecutive years…Coached by Iggy Moleka at UFA…Member of the Milton High School soccer team which saw nine sign national letters of intent in 2012 to play collegiate soccer…Milton H.S. was runner-up in 2011 Georgia 5A High School Championship…Coached by Philip Broome at Milton H.S…Involved in National Honor Society and National Art, Science and Spanish honor societies in high school…Received a University of Georgia certificate of merit…Has owned a 4.0 average throughout high school career…Will graduate from Milton High School in 2012.

 

Brittney Reed

On ESPN’s Class of 2012 Defenders to Watch list…Member of Olympic Development Program (ODP) 2010 Region III team…part of 2009 ODP Region III player pool…Selected to attend U.S. Youth Soccer national ODP camp in February of 2010 in Coral Springs, Fla…Selected to attend ODP National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz., in March of 2010…Member of IMG Soccer Academy club team and coached by Marcelo Carrera…Varsity member of Venice High School soccer team as a senior and coached by Gary Bolyard…Coached U-13 girls soccer…Will graduate from Venice High School in 2012.

 

Brooke Smith

Two-year selection for state Olympic Development Program (ODP) team (2009 and 2010)…Attended ODP regional camp in Montevallo, Ala., both years…Captain of the Florida Soccer Alliance’s team…Part of Florida Rush club team which won 2009 Florida Youth Soccer Association State Cup…Part of Florida Rush 93/94 Nike Premier Girls team which played in 2011 Region III Championships…Scored more than 100 career goals with Eustis High School’s varsity team, including 36 as a senior…Eustis High School advanced to the 2012 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 3A Championship semifinal round…Eustis H.S. also advanced to 2010 FHSAA 4A semifinal round and reached the regional final in 2009...2012 All-State All-Star team selection…MVP of 2010 Hickory Point Invitational and also part of 2009 all-tournament team as Eustis H.S. won 2009 and 2010 team titles…Coached by Wayne Lockett at Eustis H.S…2011 Florida Athletic Coaches Association 4A All-State selection…2009 Florida Girls Soccer High School Class 4A All-State Honorable Mention…Also named to the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida All-Star team in 2010 and 2011…The Daily Commercial newspaper’s 2011 Player of the Year and All-County team selection for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012…Awarded Lake County Girls Soccer Player of the Year by the Florida Citrus Sports Commission in 2010 and 2011…Graduates from Eustis High School in 2012.

 

Lauren Smith

2009-10 Region III Olympic Development Program selection…Part of Florida Rush 93/94 Nike Premier Girls team which played in 2011 Region III Championship…Florida Rush won 2009 Florida Youth Soccer Association State Cup…Part of Florida Rush 93/94 Nike Premier Girls team which played in 2011 Region III Championships…Turned in 36 goals as a senior on Eustis High School team which advanced to the 2012 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 3A Championship semifinal round…Eustis H.S. also advanced to 2010 FHSAA 4A semifinal round and reached the regional final in 2009...Coached by Wayne Lockett at Eustis H.S…Part of Eustis H.S.’s 2009 and 2010 Hickory Point Invitational title teams…2011 Florida Athletic Coaches Association 4A All-State selection…Graduates from Eustis High School in 2012.

 

Paulina Speckmaier

Among ESPN’s Class of 2012 Top 150 College Prospects…Competed in Brazil in 2012 Under-20 South American World Cup Qualifier as part of Venezuelan National team…Traveled to Costa Rica, Germany and Netherlands with Olympic Development Program (ODP) region team…ODP regional team selection every year since 2006 and part of 2007 national pool…Plays for two-time defending US Youth Soccer state champion Coral Springs Lady Renegades and coached by Rohan Shakes…Part of Gulliver Prep High School team which won 2011 Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A State Championship and advanced to regional final in 2012 (2A), 2010 and 2009 (3A)…Coached by Everton Edwards at Gulliver Prep…Earned Rookie of the Year and three MVP honors from high school team…Also member of varsity track team…Will graduate from Gulliver Prep School in 2012.

 

Valerie Tysinger

2010-11 Region III Olympic Development Program (ODP) member…Played with region ODP team in Costa Rica in 2011…Participated in 2011 ODP Philadelphia Interregional event…Goalkeeper for Stetson FA soccer club for four years and coached by Allen Mandell…Stetson FA won 2012 and 2010 Orange Class U-19 championships and 2009 Florida State League U-18 Championship…Four-year member of Spruce Creek High School team…Spruce Creek advanced to Florida High School Athletic Association regional final in 2012 (5A) and 2011 (6A)…Named Spruce Creek defensive MVP in 2009, 2011…Coached by Edson Abadia at Spruce Creek H.S…All-area first team goalkeeper in 2011, second team in 2010 and third team in 2009…One of the Orlando Sentinel’s “Fab Five” Central Florida goalkeepers in 2011…Has a Class-E coaching license…Member of high school frisbee club and American Red Cross Association…Also played basketball…Will graduate Summa Cum Laude from Spruce Creek High School in 2012.

 

Christen Westphal

Part of 2011-12 U.S. Under-18 National Team player pool…Traveled to Portugal with regional Olympic Development Program (ODP) team…Member of Region II ODP team for three years…Among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s final 2012 Top 100 National Players list…Plays with Cleveland Internationals soccer club, which has won five state titles in six years…Coached by Zdravko Popovic at Cleveland Internationals…Four-year member of Walsh Jesuit High School team, which topped the final 2010 Powerade Fab 50 ESPN National Rankings…Walsh Jesuit also won the 2010 Division 1 Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championship…Coached by Dino McIntyre at Walsh Jesuit H.S…Awarded girls soccer player of the year honor by the Touchdown Club of Greater Akron in January of 2012…Named to 2011 Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division II All-State first team as a senior…2011 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region team…Academic All-State honor…Also lettered in varsity basketball, playing through sophomore year…Member of the National Honor Society…Will graduate from Walsh Jesuit High School in 2012.

 

 

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