Georgia Soccer Inks Twelve

The University of Georgia soccer team signed twelve recruits to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, as announced by head coach Patrick Baker. Seven of the players hail from the state of Georgia, equaling more homegrown talent than all recruiting classes since 2001 combined. The large incoming freshman class will join a Bulldog squad that posted the second best single-season turnaround in SEC history, putting together a 12-6-2 record during the 2005 season after a 4-9-5 2004 campaign.

³This is a great day for the women¹s soccer program at the University of Georgia,² said Baker. ³We have a group of young ladies that are excited about the university, the program and becoming active members of the team. Each of these young ladies committed to us while we were a 4-9-5 team and wanted to help change the complexion of our program before the success of this past fall. The fact that we had a remarkable turnaround season in 2005 and then add this highly touted class to the mix, makes the 2006 season that much more exciting.²


Olivia West (Westerville, Ohio)

West, a forward with U-16 national team experience, is a product of St. Francis DeSales high school and the Cincinnati United Premier Red squad. She competed with the 2005 Region II team and the Ohio state ODP team in 2001-2002. West saw international action when she participated in the Region II European Tour.

Carrie Patterson (Atlanta, Ga.)

A product of Pace Academy and Tophat ¹06 Gold, Patterson was named her high school 2005 Offensive Player of the Year. She played with the Region III ODP Team in 2005 and 2006 as a forward.

Katie Jacobson (Peachtree City, Ga.)

Named to the 2005 All-Region team and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Area First team, Jacobson is a four-year letterwinner and decorated forward. She played club with both the AFC Lightning ¹88 White and the Peachtree City ¹88 Elite.

Ashley Stinson (Acworth, Ga.)

Stinson is a junior transfer from the Virginia Tech Hokies soccer program. A talented forward, she was named the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2004 after setting four single-season school records during her freshman campaign. She also holds the career record for goals at North Cobb high school with 78.

³We are fortunate to have fulfilled a number of our wants and needs with this group,² said Baker. ³One of the biggest areas we had to address was our front line and needing to bring in talented forwards. National team youth player Olivia West (our first commitment of the class) gave us a named player that whether right or wrong ­ she validated our program. Then came Carrie Patterson who behind Kelly O¹Hara (Stanford signee) is the second best forward in the state of Georgia and one of the best in the South Region. She has size, speed athleticism and ability to create chances for herself and others. With our system we needed a good back-to-goal forward and we feel we have found that in Katie Jacobsen. She understands how to check, how to create space and can bring others into the game which is exactly what we needed. Finally, Ashley Stinson will bring to our program the experience of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference for a great coaching staff at Virginia Tech and will bolster our front line immediatel.²


Britta Byrne (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)

An All-District selection from 2002-2006, Byrne was named the Region II Offensive Player of the Year and Prep Xtra Player of the Year as a senior forward. She played for the Impact ¹88 Premier Club and the Tennessee state ODP team.

³I was first attracted to Georgia because I loved the campus and what the school can offer academically,² said Byrne. ³When I went there for camp I got a chance to meet some of the other girls, and I really liked them. Also the coaching staff is very dedicated to making Georgia soccer more successful than it has ever been and I really wanted to be a part of that.²

Lauren Glancy (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution¹s 2005 list of Players to Watch, Glancy was twice voted Chattahoochee High School¹s Most Valuable Offensive Player. She played with the Georgia ODP State team from 2001-2005 as a midfielder.

Natalie Farley (Carrollton, Tex.)

A product of the well-known Dallas Texans Club, Farley is a versatile midfielder and two-time high school state champion. She served as high school team captain her final two years of competition.

Elizabeth Jackson (Savannah, Ga.)

A three-time All-Coastal Team selection, Jackson played with the CGSA Bandits and was a dual-sport high school athlete participating in soccer, basketball, and volleyball. The 5¹11² midfielder earned the title of Most Valuable Player for her high school¹s 2005 team.

Lindsay Stein (Littleton, Colo.)

A midfielder/forward and Real Colorado National team member, Stein was a dual sport high school athlete, excelling in soccer and basketball. She competed with the 2004 Colorado state ODP team and participated in Region IV camp.

³When Patrick Baker was at Florida State, it was very well-known how remarkable of a coach he is,² said Stein. ³He was a major factor in my decision to go to Georgia, because I knew that as my coach he would help me improve my soccer skills immensely, considering all of the high-profile players he and his assistants have produced. He is calm, extremely knowledgeable of the game and you can talk to him about anything. I love his personality; he's always laughing or joking about something. Seeing how successful the 2005 season was, there is no doubt that Coach Baker and his assistants, Robin Confer and Rob Thompson, are terrific coaches that work very well together. I fell that in my four years at Georgia, this staff will lead the team to be among the nation's best.²

³When I read about what an accomplished player Coach Confer was in her own collegiate career, I was so excited to be able to draw from her knowledge and experience,² continued Stein. ³Based on the time I've spent talking to Robin, I can tell I am going to have an awesome relationship with her, and she will be able to give me specific coaching points for the outsise midfield and forward positions. She is fun to be around and is an inspiration for young female athletes.²

Leslie McConnell (Richmond Hill, Ga.)

McConnell is a defender/midfielder who was named the Savannah Morning News Costal Empire Player of the year in 2004. She was also selected to the All-Coastal Empire First Team in 2004 and 2005. She becomes a Bulldog alongside Peachtree City Lazers teammate, Katie Jacobson.

³Our midfield did a remarkable job this past fall and it was great to see Randi Bruso and Cortni Joyner receive All-SEC recognition,² said Baker. ³Our future midfield is in this class with a very versatile in Britta Byrne. She could play up top, centrally in the midfield and/or wide in the midfield. That was part of the attraction to this young lady. She¹s a very talented player and she also has the versatility to play a number of positions for us. Britta can hurt you on the dribble or with pace ­ exciting additions to our program.²

³The central midfield lacked depth this past year (because of injuries) and that will become one of the most competitive areas in the line-up this fall,² continued Baker. ³We had to get Lauren Glancy because if you watch her closely, she understands the game and is an excellent passer. The fact that she is one of the best attacking midfielders in the state and region doesn¹t hurt either. She can play people in with the best of them and her skill level is extremely high. Natalie Farley is going to bring a lot of things to our program. Her abilities in the midfield will allow her to challenge for a starting spot right away and coming from the Texans club - she understands how to train, play and win at the highest levels. Rounding out this group is Elizabeth Jackson and we look for her to be more of a holding midfielder for us. She has good size and the ability to keep the game simple, which I like. We love the energy she plays with and has tremendous upside.²

³We needed some true wide players in this class and in-state product Leslie McConnell will help us in the midfield or possibly in the back,² added Baker. ³She has a very good understanding of how to play along the touchline and has shown great service range. With club, state and regional ODP experiences ­ Leslie has the pedigree we were looking for. Lindsay Stein is arguably our fastest recruit and her pace was something that caught our attention initially. Lindsay possesses skill, can get to the end line and is a very good decision maker with the ball. She also has ability to grow and develop into an excellent player.²


Danielle Abelson (Stone Mountain, Ga.)

Abelson is a product of Woodward Academy and was named a 2004 adidas NSCAA All-American at the center back position. She was a member of the Tophat ¹06 Gold squad and played for the ODP Region III team from 2000-2005.

³Having previously played for Coach Baker, I knew I was making the right decision,² said Abelson. ³He has already taught me so much in just the few games I have played for him at the regional level. I cannot even imagine how much I will develop and learn from him in the next four years at UGA. I believe that I benefited from him being my regional coach because I got a ³sneak peek² at his coaching style.²

Michelle Betos (Flushing, N.Y.)

A goalkeeper hailing from New York, Betos was selected as the St. Francis Prep Most Valuable Player. She was also a member of the Region I ODP team and spent her club career playing for the Albertson Fury ¹87.

³Rounding out the 2006 class is defender Dani Abelson and goalkeeper Michelle Betos,² said coach Baker. ³Michelle Betos is going to elevate our goalkeeping situation right away. She comes from an excellent club program (Albertson Fury) and individually has had an exceptional 2005 season. Her mentality, desire and energy will allow her to be very productive here. Dani is one of the best players in the state and in the region ­ we are elated to have her coming to Athens. She is the center back of our future and she helped change our presence in state by committing to us last March. We hope this is the start of great trend, the best players in Georgia year in and year out attending the University of Georgia.²

Notes From Coach Baker:

- The 2006 class is 11 freshmen strong with 1 transfer and there will be two talented recruited walk-ons joining this group in August.

- There are more Georgia players signed today than in the last five years combined.

- Great coverage from across the United States in this class; all four regions are represented, encompassing seven states and these players are from some of the finest club programs in the country.

- One of the largest classes ever signed at Georgia and arguably one of the best.

- With the second-best ever SEC single season turnaround just completed by the UGA 2005 squad, with the development of the current roster and addition of this class ­ the 2006 class maybe one of the most anticipated ever. - Baker had nationally ranked recruiting classes of #13, #8, #24 and #7 at Florida State; it will be interesting to how this class is regarded regionally and nationally.

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