COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina women's soccer coach Shelley Smith announced the signing of 10 student-athletes for the 2013 season. The Gamecocks added players at every position, tapping into nine states to fill this year's class of recruits.
"I'm proud to announce the class that is coming in for 2013. I'm very excited about this group of girls. They are probably our best class ever here at South Carolina. We've been building this program for a long time and the talent that we've been able to attract is phenomenal. I'm thrilled to announce these players. The level of excitement that they bring to the program will make us better. They will help us continue to win championships and they will make our program even stronger than it has been the last couple years. I know they are excited to win SEC championships and to compete for national championships. That's the kind of mindset that we want here, to continue building such a strong tradition of women's soccer at South Carolina. I couldn't be more thrilled about the group that's coming in," said Smith of the incoming class.
"This year's incoming class complements our returning group quite well and provides tremendous depth in every position. With the addition of this strong young talent to the returning group of very hard working committed athletes that we now have, it will make for a very competitive environment. I am excited to see this team come together in the fall and continue competing for more championships," added Smith.
For comments on each player from Smith, click on each player's name.
Paige Bendell Defender Orland Park, Ill. Carl Sandburg PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill. ...lettered two years in soccer...named All-Conference, All-Area, All-Sectional...helped team to a state runner-up finish in 2009...State Cup champion...also lettered in volleyball for three years....volleyball All-Conference, All-Area, All-Sectional, All-Chicago Southtown selection and All-State nominee....both her soccer and volleyball teams were conference and regional champions every year she played...played with the Eclipse club soccer team for head coach Mike Nesci...ECNL regular season champions two years running....was listed on the high honor roll all four years of high school and has been accepted into the USC Honors College. PERSONAL: Paige Victoria Bendell was born Sept. 19, 1994...parents are Dave and Laurie Bendell... twin brother Nick is slated to play volleyball at Harvard next year...older sister Brook is a competitive cheerleader at University of Illinois...plans to major in accounting at South Carolina...hobbies includes beach volleyball.
Anjelyka Brown Defender San Juan Capistrano, Calif. San Juan Hills PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate from San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, California...earned three letters in soccer playing at Northwestern High School in South Carolina and San Juan Hills...was coached by Cesar Robles at Northwestern and by Farrel Moore at San Juan Hills...an All-Region selection while playing at Northwestern...while playing for Breakaway FC Team in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2011-12, team was the California state champion, USYSA Region IV champions and placed third at the USYSA National Championships...Breakaway touts a No. 1 national ranking...Won the USYSA National League tournament, Far West Regional League, Players Showcase 2012, Blues Cup 2012 and the San Diego Surf College Cup 2012....was also a member of the Charlotte Soccer Academy ECNL U16 team...a National Honor Society inductee with a GPA of over 4.0...member of the Junior Civitan Club PERSONAL: Anjelyka Lynn Brown was born on Sept. 15, 1995...her nickname is Anjel...mother is uonisia Turner and step father is Tom Lewis...her mother Tuonisia played basketball at Louisville and her stepfather Tom played basketball at Pepperdine...her hobbies include dancing, singing, reading, hiking and being with friends...intends to major in civil engineering at South Carolina.
Iris Dayton Midfielder Montpelier, Vt. Westminster School (Conn.) PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn. ...lettered four years in soccer while playing for Farrell Greges...two-time Connecticut All-State selection...two-time Vermont All-State honoree...elected team captain two years...three-time team MVP...two-time Region I ODP Team selection...four-time Vermont ODP Team pick...plays for PDA Crush Club Team and played for Far Post Soccer Club in Vermont before...her teams have been New Jersey State Cup Finalists, Region I Premier League semi-finalist, CASL Showcase Champion 2012, semi-finalist 2012 PDA Showcase and won the 2012 Jefferson Cup. PERSONAL: Iris Kay Dayton was born June 29, 1995 to Erika Gustafson Dayton and Paul Dayton...her mother Erika was a two-time squash All-American, earned four track letters, three tennis letters and one field hockey letter at Bowdoin College....her father Paul played tennis at Colorado College for four years and was an All-Conference selection...hobbies include tennis, swimming and playing with her two adopted brothers and spending time with her two older sisters.
Chelsea Drennan Midfielder Anderson, S.C. T.L. Hanna PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C... lettered four years in soccer... played for head coach Katelyn Davis... evaluated as a four-star recurit and ranked No. 19 in the South Atlantic region by TopDrawerSoccer...helped her team to the 4A state title in 2012... team also was the 2012 Viking Cup Champions... highly decorated as a junior... named an NSCAA All-American, the SCSoccer.com Player of the Year, the HSSR 4A Player of the Year and nominated for the Gatorade Player of the Year... garnered SCCAWS 4A Player of the Year honors as both a sophomore and junior... earned All-Region and All-State honors in each of her first three prep seasons... was a member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Champions in 2012... also a member of the South Carolina state club champion soccer squad every year from 2005-12... off the pitch, was the editor of the 2013 Yearbook, a member of the Key Club and Beta Club, a commencement marshal, the treasurer of the National Honor Society and ranked among the top 15 academically at T.L. Hanna. PERSONAL: Chelsea Nicole Drennan was born Sept. 9, 1994... parents are Bob and Kim Drennan... nickname is Chels... brother, Andrew, was on the men's soccer team at Wofford College from 2009-12, serving as a goalkeeper... hopes to major in exercise science or pre-pharmacy... hobbies include church basketball and church.
Daija Griffin Forward Piscataway, N.J. Piscataway PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of Piscataway High School in Piscataway, N.J...earned four varsity letters in soccer from...also earned one letter in track...considered a four-star recruit and ranked as the #10 player in Pennslyvania by TopDrawerSoccer...named to the ESPN High School Top 150 Class of 2013...2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America HS Girls All-America...two-time NSCAA HS Girls All-Region...USYSA National Championship Lead Scorer in 2012 ... Region I ODP Interregional Team 2011...Region I ODP NJ State Team 2011...MSG Varsity Top 30 Players to Watch for 2012...GMC (Greater Middlesex County) Player of the Year...All-Area Player of the Year...two-time top-20 player in New Jersey...three-time top-20 player in the North Jersey Area...two-time All-State second team...three-time All-Area First Team...two-time All-Group 4 First Team...four-time All-GMC...four-time All-Red Division...three-time Greater Middlesex Area Top-20 scoring leader...2009 Middlesex Area Freshman of the Year...her Piscataway High School team was the 2011 GMC Champion and three-time GMC Finalist...while on the FC Pennsylvania Strikers, Griffin's team was a two-time USYSA National League Championship team, winning the 2012 USYSA National Championship...three-time USYSA Premier League Champions...three-time Eastern Pennsylvania NCS State Champions...off the pitch, Griffin was also a part of PEGS (Piscataway Exceptional Gathering of Students) and the Martin Luther King Leadership Program...National Honor Society member PERSONAL: Daija Anell Griffin was born on Nov. 14, 1994...parents are Darius and Mary Griffin...father Darius Griffin, Sr., played basketball and football at Rutgers University...brother Reco Owens played football at Duke University...brother Darius Griffin, Jr., played basketball at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)...hobbies include listening to music and reading.
Sophie Groff Forward Grapevine, Texas Southlake Carroll PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of Southlake Carroll High School in Grapevine, Texas...lettered in soccer four years playing for Matt Colvin...rated as a four-star recruit, the No. 41 player in the 2013 Top 100 and the No. 1 player In Texas by TopDrawerSoccer...2012 NSCAA Texas High School Player of the Year...2012 NSCAA High School All-American...in 2012 garnered 7-5A MVP, TASCO All-State and Dallas Morning News All-Area Team honors...two-time Fort Worth Star-Telegram Super Team...2010 6-5A Newcomer of the Year...2012 ECNL San Antonio All-Event Team...2011 US National Championship Best 11...2011 June U18 NT Camp...2011 Region III Spain Trip...2011 Feb. ECNL/ID2 National Camp...2010 Thanksgiving ODP Subregional...2007 U14 Nike Developmental Camp...National ODP Camps (2008-2011)...Region III '94 Pool (2008-2011)...team placed third in nationals in 2010 and 2011...advanced to finals for ECNL in 2012 and 2013....three-time high school All-Academic Region Team selection PERSONAL: Sophie McMahon Groff was born on December 2, 1994....parents are Jon and Gaye Lynn Groff...her grandfather Royce Hamala played football at the University of Nebraska...she hopes to major in elementary education at South Carolina.her hobbies include watching movies and TV
Vanessa Kovar Forward Manassas, Va. Forest Park PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of Forest Park High School in Manassas, Va... lettered three times in soccer... played for head coach Mark Malloy... regarded as a four-star recruit ranked No. 75 in the 2013 Top 100 and the No. 6 recruit in the Mid Atlantic region by TopDrawerSoccer... was the ESPN HS Girls Soccer No. 72 recruit in the nation...club team, the VSA Heat, was ranked No. 1 in the nation from 2011-13... served as team captain from 2010-13... was part of the USYS Region 1 and National Champions in 2012... helped her squad to three Virginia State Cup championships... has been part of the Virginia State ODP team since 2006.... U15 National Team Player Pool with Caps against U-17 South Korea and Nigeria National Teams...U14 National Team Identification Camp...Region I ODP team and pool in 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2012...ODP Interregional Team in 2010 & 12 PERSONAL: Vanessa Anne Kovar was born Jan. 5, 1995... parents are Ricky and Kathy Kovar... undecided on her major field of study... hobbies include hanging out with friends and listening to music.
Lindsey Lane Midfielder Lusby, Md Patuxent PRE-COLLEGE: A December 2012 graduate of Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md. ...Lane enrolled at South Carolina in January...played for Charles Grubby at Patuxent, earning soccer letters in 2009 & 2010... noted as a four-star recruit and ranked No. 36 by TopDrawerSoccer in the 2013 Top 100 and No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region...2012 NSCAA Youth All-American Team...Women's U17 National Team Pool 2011 and 2012..U15 National Team Pool in 2010......2012 Super 20's National All-Event Team playing for DC United Super 20's...2008-2011 Region I ODP Pool, 2010 & 2011 Region I Interregional Team...2010 Region I Team Costa Rica, voted MVP three of four games at 2010 ODP Costa Rican Tournament...2008-2011 Maryland ODP Team...2011 ECNL ID2 National Camp, 2009 US Club ID2 Camp, ECNO All-Event Team PDA College Showcase May 2010 & National Championships Seattle July 2010...ECNL team captain 2011 & 2012... while playing at Forest Park High School was named All-County twice, first team All-Conference selection, team captain and MVP in 2010...first team All-County... also lettered in indoor track (2010) and cross country (2011 & 2012)...2011 cross country team MVP...state qualifier in the mile while on the indoor track team...Futsal Region 1 - MVP of 2010 State Championships...Lane's Free State Elite ECNL team was the 2010 Maryland State Cup Championships and the 2011 Maryland State Cup Finalist...while on DCFA Flamengos Futsal, they were the Region 1 State Champions in 2010... Lane was a first team All-SMAC Academic Team pick and was on honor roll all four years of high school. PERSONAL: Lindsey Marie Lane was born on Sept. 9, 1995...parents are Dave and Trish Lane...her father Dave played football at Lafayette College...her mother Trish swam at Virginia Tech and compete in the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in 2006 and 2008...plans to major in exercise science...her hobbies include soccer, running and paddleboarding
Evelyn Robinson Defender McLean, Va. McLean PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of McLean High School in McLean, Va. ... earned three varsity letters with women's soccer, playing for Robert Bouchard at McLean...a first and second team All-District soccer selection...second team All-Region...selected for SuperY National Team Camp...played on the 2011 Virginia AAA State Championship team...2011 and 2012 Liberty District Champion...2012 McLean ECNL Power National Champion BFlight...also earned two varsity letters for basketball...participated in the DECA International competition...Habitat for Humanity volunteer....AP Scholar and National Honor Society inductee. PERSONAL: Evelyn Frances Robinson was born on Nov. 21, 1994...parents are Al and Sallie Robinson...her cousin David Broyles plays men's soccer at East Carolina University...brother Burgess Robinson plays club lacrosse at the University of North Carolina...intends to major in business at South Carolina...hobbies include reading, shopping and traveling
Claire Studebaker Midfielder Summerfield, N.C. Northwest Guilford PRE-COLLEGE: A 2013 graduate of The Early College at Guilford High School in Summerfield, N.C. ...earned three varsity letters in soccer playing for Jason Allred at Northwest Guilford High School entering her senior season...TopDrawerSoccer four-star rating and rated as the No. 18 player in the South Atlantic Region... ESPN-HS Top-150 high school players in nation...2012 Region III ODP Europe Trip...2012 ECNL Player Development Program...2008-2011 North Carolina ODP `95 Team 1...2011 Thanksgiving ODP Interregionals ...2011-12 Region III ODP Player Pool...2009, 2011 Region III ODP Camp ...All State, All Region, All Conference North Carolina 4A High School player...Offensive MVP and team captain for Northwest Guilford High School soccer...Greensboro News and Record's All-Area first team... Charlotte Soccer Academy ECNL, (2010-2013)...2008 North Carolina State Champion at Northwest Guilford...a National Honor Society member...has completed over 500 hours of community service...Moses Cone Hospital teen volunteer...on the advisory council at her church youth group...National Merit semi-finalist...AP Scholar with distinction PERSONAL: Anna "Claire" Studebaker was born on Jan. 14, 1995...parents are Jay and Melissa Studebaker...plans to major in chemistry at South Carolina...hobbies include baking and watching movies.