The University of Pennsylvania's head coach of women's soccer, Darren Ambrose, has announced his incoming class. Six women will join the Quakers' program for the 2012 season as members of the University's Class of 2016.
"This is a very talented and deep class," said Ambrose, who enters his 13th season at Penn in 2012. "We have a lot of speed and great competitive attitudes in these six players. They are a blue-collar group that I think will have an impact on the program as they gain experience. They are certainly one of the most athletic classes in recent years to come into our program. They come in with a good background in competitive club programs and/or ODP. They are great girls off of the field and will positively represent our program at Penn and in the community during their college careers."
Penn is looking to repeat the success it has had in recent years. The Quakers were 2010 Ivy League champions, while last year they went 14-2-1 overall -- tying the program records for most wins and fewest losses in a season -- and finished second in conference play. Penn led the nation last year in shutout percentage and set a number of school single-season records including most shutouts (13) and fewest goals allowed (7).
High School: Played four years of high school soccer at Palisades ... Three-year captain ... Two-time first-team All-Colonial League and all-conference ... Allentown Morning Call First-Team All-Area ... Doylestown Intelligencer Top 5 Players to Watch ... Member of FC Bucks' regional club championship team in 2010 ... Also played for Eastern Pennsylvania '93 ODP Team, won Region 1 title in 2010 ... Invited to the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) 2012 Mid-Atlantic Combine ... National Honor Society and French Honor Society member.
Personal: Daughter of Marion Conlon and John Berdini ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: "I had the pleasure of getting to know Elissabeth several years ago on my ODP team. She was a natural goal scorer. Since then, she has expanded the technical and tactical aspects of her game playing with a very competitive FC Bucks team. She has a great competitive mentality and can play in several attacking positions. I think she could be a factor on the field early in her career."
West Chester East
High School: Lettered in soccer and track & field at West Chester East ... Two-time second-team All-Chesmonts in soccer ... Played her club soccer for Penn Fusion '93 ... National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society member ... Interact Club member.
Personal: Daughter of Dianne and Tim Dwyer ... Cousin, Kevin Kelly, was a kicker for Penn State's football team from 2005-09 ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: "Caroline is a fantastic athlete with great speed and a good left foot. She will bring versatility to our left side, as she can play anywhere on the flank, though predominantly in a more defensive role. I coached Caroline for a couple of years on my Penn Fusion Club team and know that her attitude and commitment are outstanding and will fit in well with our program. She is an incredibly competitive player and is one of the most tenacious defenders I have ever coached."
San Ramon Valley
High School: Lettered four times in soccer at San Ramon Valley, served as captain ... North Coast Section (NCS) champion in 2009 and finalist in 2010, 2011 and 2012 ... Two-time winner of Tri-Valley Classic ... East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) champion in 2012 ... Two-time All-EBAL ... All-East Bay in 2011 ... Four-time NCS and San Ramon Valley Scholar Athlete ... Club team in Mustang Soccer ... Invited to the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) 2012 Northwest Conference Combine ... National Merit finalist ... Wellesley Book Award recipient ... Two-time Mustang Soccer Student Athlete of the Year ... Yearbook Editor-in-Chief.
Personal: Daughter of Lisa and Paul Hennessy ... Will enroll in the Wharton School of Business.
Coach Ambrose: "Shannon is a great leader on the field. Her club pedigree is very high, having played for the highly successful Mustang Rampage who were regional and national champions. She is a tough, physical player who can play as an outside back or in holding midfield. I watched her play a lot in the recruiting process and she was by far one of the most consistent performers I saw. Her effort is 100 percent every time she is on the field, which is crucial in the college game."
High School: Lettered three years in soccer and twice in field hockey ... Captain of soccer team as a junior ... First-team all-league as a junior, second-team all-league as a sophomore ... Club team, Pennsylvania Strikers, won state club titles from 2007-11 and USYSA Region I championship in 2011 ... Distinguished Honor Roll all four years ... Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Key Club member.
Personal: Daughter of Michelle and Thomas Mikolai ... Will enroll in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach Ambrose: "Erin is another great local player like Berdini and Dwyer who I got to see play a lot in the recruiting process. She has a feisty, competitive attitude which will go a long way in our program. Her composure on the ball allows her to play in multiple positions on the field, which will be an asset this fall."
James W. Martin
High School: Four-year letterwinner in soccer, two-time captain ... Helped James W. Martin to Class 5A District 4 championship and Region I semifinals in 2011 ... First-team all-district and Midfielder of the Year in 2011 ... Second-team all-district in 2009 ... Also lettered once in track ... Club team is Solar Red '94, which won the USYSA under-16 national championship in 2010 ... Student Council member ... ACE Mentor Program ... Fellowship of Christian Athletes ... Art Club member.
Personal: Daughter of Bless and John Simmons ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: "Jazmyne is another great athlete in this class, a very quick left-footed player who can play in central midfield or out wide. She is smooth on the ball and runs as fast with the ball as she does without it. She comes from the very successful Solar club program in Dallas, and her team regularly won regional titles and a national championship. Her pace on the flank will be dangerous in the League."
High School: Lettered in soccer and basketball at Feldston School, captain of basketball as a senior ... Helped soccer to first Ivy League title in 2008 ... Two-time New York Post All-City (first-team in 2009, second-team in 2008) ... All-Bronx in 2010 ... Helped basketball team to 2008-09 Ivy League and NYSAISAA titles ... Three-time All-City in basketball ... Captain of club soccer team, Manhattan SC Pride, which went undefeated in North East Regional Premier League in 2010 and 2011 ... Pride were state cup finalists in 2009, as she was named the championships' Howard Rubenstein Sportsmanship Award recipient ... Member of Eastern NY ODP (2009-10) and Region I ODP (2010-11) ... Dope Ink art magazine member ... Diaspora member ... On Giant Shoulders member ... Environmental Club member.
Personal: Daughter of Carol Terilli ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: "Kalijah flew under the radar of a lot of programs in the recruiting process and I think she is the best goalkeeper on the East Coast in the Class of 2012. She is very athletic and can cover a lot of the goal effortlessly. She has quick reflexes and great range. We expect her to push the other goalkeepers immediately."