Terps Sign 'Breakthrough' Class In Women's Soccer
Feb. 6, 2002
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland women's soccer head coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski has announced the signing of five recruits to national letters of intent to begin play at the university in the fall of 2002.
"This is a breakthrough class for the University of Maryland women's soccer program," said Higgins-Cirovski, who will enter her fourth year at the school this fall. "In addition to all of the veteran players that will be returning from injuries for 2002, these signees will make a major difference all over the field. Our staff is very proud of this class."
Coming to College Park to don the red and black will be Ali Andrzejewski (Lutherville, Md./McDonogh High School), Simone Dekker (Ringwood, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy), Mallory Mahar (Medina, Ohio/Medina Senior High School), Danielle Malagari (Wheaton, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel High School) and Kristin McHugh (Gaithersburg, Md./Quince Orchard High School).
Andrzejewski is a member of the U-16 National Team and part of the U-19 National Team Pool. She was a standout player at the McDonogh School in Baltimore, where was named two-time Maryland state player of the year, two-time city player of the year and two-time county player of the year. She was named the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year in 2001 after scoring 20 goals and adding 15 assists as a senior. She has been named a NSCAA All-American twice in both high school and club play and a Parade All-American. She a two-time ESP All-Star. She has been a member of the Maryland ODP, and Regional ODP Team as well as a USYSA All-Star. She has led her club team, the Bethesda Dragons, to a No. 1 ranking in the nation.
"Ali is an incredibly dangerous player," said Higgins-Cirovski. "She is very fast, smart and a natural finisher as well. She is going to be a major offensive force in her career at Maryland."
Dekker is a member of the U-16 Region I National Team Pool. She starred at Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, N.J., leading the team with 27 goals and 13 assists as a senior . She was named to the New Jersey State Soccer Coaches All-State First Team as both a junior and senior. She was also named first team all-county and all-league both seasons. She has been an ESP All-Star.
"Simone is extremely pacey," said Higgins-Cirovski. "She loves to take defenders on one-v-one and also is a good finisher. Combining with Ali, she can bring our offense to the next level."
Mahar was a first-team All-Ohio selection as a junior and senior at Medina Senior High School in Ohio. She was a NSCAA All-Mideast selection as a senior after scoring 20 goals and adding 10 assists in leading Medina to the conference and district championships. She was named MVP of the Pioneer Conference, Medina County MVP and Sun Newspapers MVP as a senior. She was also named Akron Player of the Year and a first team all-star by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal and Beacon Journal Gazette. She has been a member of the Ohio ODP since 1998 and became part of the Regional ODP Team in 2001. Her club team, the Internationals, was ranked No. 4 in the nation and won the 1999 and 2000 Region II titles along with five Ohio-North State Cup championships.
"Mallory has great size and technical ability," said the coach. "She is a force in the air in front of the goal and in the midfield. She has the ability to take over games."
Playing at Quince Orchard High School, McHugh racked up numerous honors during her career. She was named first team All-Maryland as a senior and earned All-State honorable mention as a junior. She was an All-Met pick and an all-county selection by The Gazette Newspapers and The Montgomery Journal as a junior and a senior. She served as team captain as a senior, completing a four-year varsity career. She played her club soccer with the Bethesda Fury which has captured five Maryland state championships. She captured the U-17 USYSA National Championship and U-17 USYSA Region I title in 2001.
"Kristin is a raw athlete," said the coach. "She is very versatile and has the ability to play many positions. She is used to winning, the kind of player we want to play for the Terps."
Malagari has been a member of the Maryland ODP for the last three years and a standout at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Md. She was a NSCAA All-South selection this past season. She was named the conference's (WCAC) player of the year in both 1999 and 2000. Over her four years she tallied 60 goals and 45 assists and was the school's leading scorer her final three years. She started every game of her four-year varsity career as she was named WCAC All-League, All-Maryland, All-County and Washington Post All-Met after her sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. She was a team captain as a junior and senior. In her club action, Malagari played with Andrzejewski on the Bethesda Dragons and captured numerous titles in moving to a No. 1 national rankings.
"Danielle is a very technical and tactical player," said Higgins-Cirovski. "She has a great work ethic and a love for the game. We expect her to be a tremendous asset to the program."
In addition to the five signees, the Terps will return three starters for the 2002 season, all of whom missed most or all of the 2001 season. Dynamic offensive play-maker Kimmy Francis, a NSCAA high school All-American and the consensus Pennsylvania State Player of the Year in 2000, will make her college debut after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. On defense, the Terps will get back a pair of redshirt-junior backs in Sally Harrison (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Carly Viher (Mentor, Ohio). Both players, who started every game of their freshman and sophomore seasons missed the majority of the 2001 season. Harrison played in just the first four gams before suffering a dislocated knee cap which forced her to miss the remainder of the season. Viher missed the entire campaign after suffering a torn ACL late in preseason camp.
"With the addition of Kimmy, it is like having another top-level recruit," said Higgins-Cirovski. "She missed all of last season, so this will be her freshman year. I am very excited to see all of our new offensive weapons.
"On defense, Sally and Carly were consistent starters for their first two seasons. Then to lose them to injuries was an incredible setback, they will be back at full strength along with All-ACC back Lindsay Givens ."
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