April 4, 2002
Charlottesville, Va. ? On the heels of one of its most successful seasons in school history, the University of Virginia women’s soccer team has added another deep first-year class that will be considered one of the nation’s best. Among the eight are five members from the U.S. U-19 National pool for this year. Soccer America has already ranked the class No. 3 in the nation.
“We are extremely excited about this year’s class and feel each of them will add a significant amount to our team both on and off the field,” head coach Steve Swanson said. “All of them have a wealth of experience playing at the highest level be it club, regional or with our National Teams and this should help ease the transition for them to the college game. This is a talented, hard-working group and they will fit in extremely well with what we feel is a very strong nucleus of returners. We look forward to having them become a part of our soccer family here at Virginia.”
Eight players from five different states compose the 2002 class.
For a second year in a row, the Cavaliers have plucked the NSCAA Player of the Year. A year ago, it was Jamie Fabrizio. For 2002 it is Kristen Weiss. Weiss comes to Charlottesville after a superb career at Walsh Jesuit High School in Brecksville, Ohio. She led her team to two consecutive state championships in her final two years there, and was named Player of the Year four times. She totaled 138 goals and 80 assists, for a career-total of 356 points. She is also a two-time Parade All-American, a four-time first team All-Ohio selection, four-time Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Year and two-time Female Athlete of the Year.
The Cavaliers also received three big commitments from the state of Maryland as Kelly Hammond, Noelle Keselica and Julie Napolitano, who all play for the reigning National Club Champion Bethesda Fury, have all committed to the Cavaliers. In addition to playing for the Fury, all of these players are or have been part of the U-19 National Pool along with current players Jessica Trainor and Lindsey Gusick.
Hammond was a four-year letterwinner at St. Mary’s High School, in Annapolis, Md. She was named Player of the Year by three prime media outlets in her region (Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Annapolis Capital Gazette), in addition to being an All-Region, All-Metro, All-State and All-County selection. Hammond was also a U.S. Youth Soccer All-American, NSCAA All-American and Parade All-American, for 2001.
Keselica is a four-year member of the U.S. National ODP team, and attended National camp twice. She was a two-time MVP for the Maryland State Cup, and four-time All-State MSYSA. She set a high school record as a freshman in high school with 35 goals in a season, including an individual game record of five goals in a game. Both records still stand as Montgomery County Public High School records. She was a four-year letterwinner at Watkins Mill High School, for coach Troy Bowers. Keselica was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Maryland as a senior, was a two-timeNSCAA All-American, two-time Youth All-American and three-time All-South selection. She was named to the Washington Post All-Metro first team four years in a row, the only student-athlete to ever earn that distinction.
Napolitano is a former member of the U-16 and U-19 National team. She is a NSCAA All-American, a Youth All-America, a former Player of the Year for Howard County by the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and Howard County Times as well as a member of the Eastern Regional Team.
Nikki Lieb comes to Virginia, after finishing as Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year and NSCAA Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year. Lieb is also a member of the U-19 National pool and was a four-year starter for coach Mick Stratham at Radnor High School, finishing as the school’s career leader in points and assists, while helping them to a state championship in 1999. She is a four-time first team All-Central League, All-Delaware County and All-Main Line selection. She was named All-Delco Player of the year twice, All-Inquirer Player of the Year in 2000 and Rotary Club Athlete of the Year for 2002.
Sarah Huffman, a midfielder from Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas, was recently selected to the U-19 Women’s World Cup team and will look to help the team secure a bid to the finals in qualifying next month in Trinadad and Tobago. She is also a two-time Parade All-American and two-time NSCAA All-American. As a high school freshman, she was named All-Area freshman of the year and All-District freshman of the year. As just a sophomore, she was named District MVP and was named All-State for the first time of her career. She helped her club team to three state championships, two regional championships and as high as a third-place finish nationally.
The Cavaliers also received commitments from two top players in its own state, as Kara Frederick and Carrie Uffelman will join the team in the fall. Both Frederick and Uffelman play for the PWSI Sparklers Club team, helping them to a runner-up in the 2000 National Championship, as well as a Virginia State Championship. Frederick was a first-team all-district and all-region selection and a member of the Eastern Regional Team. She also competed for Desert High in Irvine, Calif., where she was named Team MVP and first-team All-District. Uffelman was a two-time Team MVP and first-team All-State as a senior. She was named first team All-Region and All-District, and was also Washington Post All-Metro first team selection as a senior. A three-year captain and two-time team MVP at C.D. Hylton, Uffelman also lettered in volleyball and basketball.