PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University women's soccer will welcome 10 new student-athletes into the program as members of the Bears' Class of 2022, Brown head coach Kia McNeill announced on Friday.
"I'm very excited to introduce the Class of 2022 and can't wait to get them acclimated and on the pitch here at Brown," McNeill said. "It is an extremely talented class, individually and collectively, and I am confident that these 10 young women possess the character, drive, and ambition to have great college careers here both on and off the field."
The class includes balance across the country and field. The group comprises four student-athletes from California, three from New York, and one each from Connecticut, Florida, and Minnesota. On the field, the class includes three forwards, three midfielders, and four backs with several players having the versatility to play different positions.
The newcomers in the Class of 2022 are midfielder Sara Bermudez (South San Francisco, Calif.), back Charlotte DeVaughn (Minneapolis, Minn.), back Maesyn G'Bye (Ladera Ranch, Calif.), back Lauren Hinton (Middletown, Conn.), midfielder/forward Zoe Maxwell (Irvington, N.Y.), forward Claire Myers (Fairport, N.Y.), forward Rebecca Rosen (Port Washington, N.Y.), back Bridget Stokdyk (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), forward Sam Wald (Bay Harbor Islands, Fla.), and midfielder Malina Yago (Culver City, Calif.).
Hometown: South San Francisco, Calif.
High School: Mercy High School Burlingame
Club Teams: MVLA ECNL; De Anza Force ECNL
Prep Accolades: Earned West Bay Athletic League Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year … Gained team's MVP award … Played for head coach Seth Alberico … Competed on the club level for MVLA ECNL and De Anza Force ECNL … Selected for the Olympic Development Program Region IV Pool … Garnered the Scholar-Athlete Award … An AP Scholar and National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? "Brown is my gateway to an outstanding education and competitive soccer program. I did not feel that I would be sacrificing either in order to be successful at Brown. I am granted the opportunity to excel in both as well as foster a myriad of other interests with its open curriculum. Above all, I knew Brown was the place where I would be happy."
McNeill on Bermudez: "Sara is a true footballer with great vision, awareness, and technique on the ball as an attacking midfielder. She is going to be a huge asset to our team because she's a playmaker with good distribution, but she also has great range, accuracy, and 1-v-1 ability to score herself. Sara's strengths will complement well our speed and ability up top."
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
High School: Washburn
Club Team: Minneapolis United
Prep Accolades: Earned All-State honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Gained All-Conference accolades all four years … Garnered Minneapolis Star Tribune All-Metro honors in 2016 and 2017 … Selected as finalist for Ms. Minnesota Soccer Award in 2017 … Started all four years at center back … Helped team post 64-10-3 record from 2014-17 with 55 shutouts in 77 games … Anchored back line that allowed just two goals, a Minnesota state record, and posted 17 straight shutouts in 2014 … Won four Minneapolis City Conference titles … Reached Minnesota Section Finals four times … Played for coaches Rueben Ndely and Cheryl Peterson … Competed on the club level for Minneapolis United and head coach Greg Wheaton; won Minnesota State Cups in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 … Also competed in track & field as a sprinter and jumper; won the 100-meter dash for Minnesota Region 6AA in 2017 … Served as two-time captain for soccer and track … Earned National Merit Letter of Recommendation … A National Honor Society and high honor roll student.
Why Brown? "As a student with wide interests, I considered the flexibility and freedom of the Brown curriculum a major factor in my decision. I am eager to enroll in interesting courses that I might not have chosen otherwise and make the Brown curriculum my own. I am also excited to be a part of a diverse community, working with students from all over the world both on the pitch and in the classroom. I chose Brown because after just one visit, I sensed a genuine connection among students of all types."
McNeill on DeVaughn: "Charlotte is an incredible athlete who can excel as a defensive mid or in the backline for us. She is fast, aggressive, and a great 1-v-1 defender who takes a lot of pride in that role. She is excellent in the air and will help us continue to win 50/50 balls with her presence. Aside from her soccer abilities, she is a natural leader on and off the field and will be a great addition to our team culture. Her father was a standout athlete here at Brown, and I'm sure Charlotte will follow in his footsteps."
Hometown: Ladera Ranch, Calif.
High School: Tesoro
Club Team: SoCal Blues
Prep Accolades: Led team to CIF Division I So Cal Regional Finals in 2017 … Posted 12 goals and 16 assists as a junior, leading the South Section in points … Gained CIF All-League and Sea View All-League honors as a sophomore … Helped lead team to 2016 CIF Division I South Section Finals … Tallied 16 assists and seven goals as a sophomore … Played for coaches Randy Dodge and Ali Malaekah … Competed on the club level for SoCal Blues … Also competed in track & field.
Why Brown? "After speaking and meeting with Coach McNeill, I was really excited to visit the campus. I fell in love with the campus atmosphere, the community, the culture, the students I met on campus, and the girls on the team. I realized this is an amazing school and an incredible opportunity for me to pursue my education, play the sport I love, and be surrounded by others with similar goals and aspirations. I feel so comfortable and honored to be able to have Brown University be my home away from home for the next four years, and I can't wait to be able to be a positive contribution on the soccer team and make a contribution to my peers and community."
McNeill on G'Bye: "Maesyn is a left-footed left back with great instincts, who is competitive, hungry, and physical, which are all attributes I find important in defenders. She has great service and a long throw that will present a lot of opportunities for us in the box. Maesyn comes to us from one of the best club teams in the country so she's a proven winner who understands the demands of what it takes to be in an accomplished program."
Hometown: Middletown, Conn.
High School: Loomis Chaffee School
Club Team: Oakwood Soccer Club
Prep Accolades: Earned Connecticut Player of the Year honors in 2016 and 2017 … Gained United Soccer Coaches All-America accolades as a junior and senior … Collected United Soccer Coaches All-Region laurels in 2015, 2016, and 2017 … Garnered United Soccer Coaches All-State recognition three times … Won Team MVP in 2015 and 2016 and Team Defensive MVP in 2017 … Played for head coach Carey O'Brien … Helped lead Loomis to 58-12-7 record over her four years … Competed on the club level for Oakwood Soccer Club.
Why Brown? "With my brother being at Brown, I was able to understand how the opportunity for course choice helped him to discover and develop his interests. In college, I want to explore philosophy and religion, and Brown offers various approaches to the study of these disciplines. Athletically, I recognized the opportunity of playing within a program being developed by new coaches. I got the strong sense that I could be a part of a new chapter in Brown women's soccer history."
McNeill on Hinton: "In my opinion Lauren is one of the best players, if not the best player, coming out of Connecticut in 2018. She is a hard-nosed defender who has a great work ethic, competitive spirit, and remarkable focus towards the game. She has excellent defensive footwork, vision, and instinct, making her extremely reliable in the back, never seeming to take a play off. We are excited that she is bringing her solid dependability to our team and we can't wait to see the impact she will make here as a player, leader, and student."
Hometown: Irvington, N.Y.
High School: Irvington
Club Team: World Class FC
Prep Accolades: Earned All-America honors as a senior … Gained All-Section accolades three times and All-League laurels four times … Selected as Rivertowns' Player of the Year three times … Garnered Westchester/Putnam Player of the Year plaudits … Tallied 116 career goals and 40 career assists … Played for head coach Patrick DiBenedetto … Competed on the club level for World Class FC … Also competed in indoor and outdoor track & field for coaches Christopher Barry and Scott Mosenthal … Won sectional track & field titles in the indoor 300 meters, indoor 55 meters, indoor triple jump, outdoor 400 meters, and outdoor triple jump … National Honor Society and high honor roll student.
Why Brown? "When I first visited Brown, it immediately felt like my ideal home. At Brown, I'm constantly surrounded by intelligent, hardworking, and down to earth people. Additionally, I chose Brown for the combination of reputable academics, a strong Division I program, and the passionate and kind coaching staff and players."
McNeill on Maxwell: "Zoe will see time in the midfield or up top. She's extremely gifted with the ball at her feet and makes difficult plays look effortless. She has the skill-set and pace to take players on, but also has the vision, awareness, and technique to set others up to score. Her work ethic is second to none, and she has a deep desire to succeed, which fits well with our team mentality."
Hometown: Fairport, N.Y.
High School: Fairport
Club Teams: FC Bucks; Lakefront SC
Prep Accolades: Earned United Soccer Coaches All-America honors in 2018 … Gained United Soccer Coaches Regional All-America accolades in 2017 and 2018 … Garnered 2018 New York State Player of the Year from United Soccer Coaches … Gained New York Sportswriters Association All-State honors three times … Earned First Team All-Monroe County four times, First Team All-Greater Rochester three times, and AA Division I Player of the Year twice … Set school records for career points (166), career goals (75), and career assists (26) … Established school records for points in a season (66) and goals in a season (31) as a senior … Led AA Monroe County in points in each of her four seasons … Tallied 16 goals and 12 assists as a junior … Played for head coach Tom Natalie … Also competed in indoor track & field as a sprinter/jumper for head coach Sean Vanlaken … Played on the club level for FC Bucks and Lakefront SC … High honor roll student.
Why Brown? "I love meeting new people and learning about where they come from. The Brown campus is filled with people of all different backgrounds and origins. There is an extreme level of acceptance among the diverse students, which makes the campus all the more inviting, welcoming, and comforting. The open curriculum allows for experimentation. It allows people, who by nature have many interests, to explore all of their interests. I love the soccer program, the players, and the coaching staff. They have made me feel so welcome. They made sure that I already feel like a part of the team. Brown has a great team, and I know it will challenge and push me to be the best I can be."
McNeill on Myers: "Claire has a great soccer IQ and awareness of the game coupled with excellent technique, work ethic, and composure in the final third. She has natural instincts around the goal that make her an extremely dangerous threat for us up top. Her understanding of the game, passion to win, and coachability will give her the opportunity to make an immediate impact for us."
Hometown: Port Washington, N.Y.
High School: Paul D. Schreiber
Club Team: Albertson Fury ECNL
Prep Accolades: Earned Second Team All-State honors in 2017 … Gained Nassau County All-County accolades as a senior … Collected Nassau County All-Class laurels in 2015 and 2016 … Served team as captain … Tallied 18 goals and 12 assists in her career … Played for head coach Lauren Brossard … Competed on the club level for Albertson Fury ECNL and coaches Paul Riley and Aaron Heffernan; captained team at U18/19 level … Also played basketball and lacrosse, acting as a captain in both sports as a senior … Gained All-County honors in basketball and All-Conference accolades in lacrosse … A New York State Scholar-Athlete and National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? "Brown University offers academic independence found at only a few universities in the country. Its open curriculum encourages me to expand my knowledge in math and science as well as explore and take risks with new classes. As a student interested in multiple subjects, and unsure which path to take as my major, the freedom that Brown provides could not be more suitable for continuing my academic career. I am fortunate to have become a member of the Brown women's soccer team. After visiting Brown's women's soccer team, I'd never met a staff and team as friendly, yet still driven to achieve their goals. I look forward to the opportunity to pursue my studies at a top academic school, compounded with the ability to play soccer there as well."
McNeill on Rosen: "Rebecca is a hard-working player who will add depth to the forward line. She has great presence up top which allows her to hold balls up for others to join the play, but she also has the speed and quickness to get in behind defenses to finish. One of her greatest strengths is her ability in the air, so we certainly look forward to the threat she will pose on set pieces."
Hometown: Pacific Palisades, Calif.
High School: Harvard-Westlake School
Club Team: Real So Cal
Prep Accolades: Earned All-Mission League honors three times, including First Team accolades twice … Helped lead team to three Mission League titles … Competed for US Soccer Development Academy rather than high school team as a senior … Gained team's Defensive MVP award as a junior … Played for head coach Richard Simms … Competed on the club level for Real So Cal.
Why Brown? "Brown appealed both for its academic rigor and highly competitive soccer program. Although I am still undecided on my concentration, I am interested in business and therefore the open curriculum allows me to be able take classes for that concentration right away, while also having the chance to explore other courses and new topics of other interests. Additionally, upon meeting the coaching staff and team I was incredibly impressed with the community and family they form and the competitive mentality that they encompass. Ultimately, I knew that Brown would be a place where I would be pushed to be the best on both the soccer field and in the classroom, and I can't wait for that challenge and all that lies ahead."
McNeill on Stokdyk: "Bridget is going to be a tremendous asset to our defensive unit. She is a talented defender who reads the game well and cuts off plays before they develop. She has good feet and ability to play-make out of the back off the dribble or with her distribution, which is key to our transition play from back to front. She's a great leader who leaves everything on the field with her club team and we look forward to seeing a lot of those same traits here at Brown."
Hometown: Bay Harbor Islands, Fla.
High School: Miami Beach Senior
Club Teams: Sunrise Soccer Club; Miami Shores Soccer Club
Prep Accolades: Earned All-County honors three times … Gained Team MVP and Best Offensive Player accolades … Served team as captain … Tallied 114 career goals and 55 career assists … Played for head coach Gustavo Camacho … Competed on the club level for Sunrise Soccer Club, tallying 57 goals and 51 assists from 2015-17, as well as Miami Shores Soccer Club … Won Florida State Cup titles with Sunrise SC in 2015 and 2016 … National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? "I am extremely excited about the prospect of continuing my soccer career as a Brown Bear, where I know I will have the confidence and support of my coaches and the chance to build chemistry and trust with my teammates. Brown's aggressive, attacking style of play seems particularly well suited to my strengths as a player. I look forward to joining Brown's welcoming, passionate, engaging, and unique community."
McNeill on Wald: "Sam is a clinical finisher who we look forward to adding to our front line. She has a powerful shot and an uncanny ability to get herself in the right pockets to best position herself to score. She is skillful and doesn't need much space to get her shot off, which makes her a handful to defend. She has a great attitude and an insatiable desire for success that will make her a pleasure to coach and have on our team."
Hometown: Culver City, Calif.
High School: Marymount
Club Teams: Culver City FC; Westside Breakers
Prep Accolades: Earned First Team All-Sunshine League as a junior and senior and Second Team honors as a sophomore … Won team's Most Inspirational Award as a senior and Coaches Award as a sophomore … Played for head coach Manu Appelius … Competed on the club level for Culver City Football Club and Westside Breakers … Also competed in cross country and track & field … Gained Sunshine League All-Academic Team accolades … National Honor Society student.
Why Brown? "After visiting Brown for the first time in November of my junior year, I immediately knew this was the university for me. Academically, Brown offers such a wide range of majors and concentrations. For someone undecided, like me, having so many choices of classes to choose from allows me to find a specific major that intrigues me and encourages me to learn more each day. From an athletic standpoint, I am so excited to play soccer at Brown! I love the chemistry of the team; no matter what grade or where someone is from, the whole team enjoys each other's company and bonds over their passion for soccer. I cannot wait to attend Brown for the next four years and experience all it has to offer!"
McNeill on Yago: "Malina is fast, athletic, and a ball-winner, who is extremely versatile and dynamic. She will give us another option in the back or in the midfield. She has an engine that allows her to cover ground on both sides of the ball, which will translate well with how our team plays. She is the type of player who would run through a wall for her team, and I'm confident her will and determination will give her a lot of success at the collegiate level."