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Feb. 8, 2007

Virginia head coach Michele Madison has announced that seven women have signed letters of intent to join the Cavalier program as part of the Class of 2011. The seven student-athletes hail from three different states and include a host of international experience. The class, widely considered to be one of the nation’s best, includes: Devon Burnley (Lancaster, Pa./Conestoga Valley), Haley Carpenter (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes), Shelly Edmonds (Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus), Kaitlyn Hiltz (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox), Jamie Mulhare (Williamsburg, Va./Walshingham Academy), Taylor Swezey (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham), and Boyd Vicars (Durham, N.C./Deerfield Academy).

“The 2007 recruiting class was told in March 2006 that we were in search of players who wanted the challenges of climbing a big mountain,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “We needed players that were willing to work for success. Without hesitation these nationally recruited students verbally committed last April and May to attend UVa. It is a credit to their determination and courage to accept the ultimate challenge in the ACC. They all cheered us on from the sideline last season as UVa climbed in the national rankings and with great excitement we will welcome them into preseason camp.”

Burnley, a former member of the US Under-16 National Team, was selected to participate in Junior National Camp in both 2005 and 2006. She has represented the US in the CanAm series (’05, ’06), the Holland Tour (’05, ’06), and the Argentina Tour (’07). Burnley helped the USA take first place in the Marteeny Tournament as the Americans went 5-0-3, with the US giving up only one goal in the eight games. The USA Under-19 Olympic Development Select Team will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina at the end of March. Burnley is a four-time National Festival participant (2003-2006), winning the pool in 2005. She was selected for Futures Developmental Invitation Camp in 2005 and 2006 and for Junior Olympics in 2004. Burnley was also named to the Honor Roll at Conestoga for three consecutive years, 2004-2006.

“I chose UVa because of the beautiful campus, outstanding academics, promising field hockey program, and amazing coaching staff,” said Burnley.

Carpenter, the Beach District Player of the Year, earned first-team All-Eastern Region honors in 2006 as well as team MVP honors. A 2006 Futures Development invitational Camp participant, Carpenter was selected to National Futures in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Virginia native won a gold medal at Junior Olympics in 2005 and a silver medal in 2004. Carpenter was a member of the Student Cooperative Association at Ocean Lakes from 2004-2006.

“I knew that if i went to UVa then i would most certainly receive an outstanding education,” said Carpenter. “The coaches seemed very proud of their work with the team, and they were confident that the team would only grow stronger.”

Edmonds, three-time National Futures participant, helped Emmaus win the state title in both 2004 and 2005. An invitee to Junior Olympics in 2005, Edmonds attended Junior National camp in both 2005 and 2006. She is a four-time National Festival participant (2003-2006), and was a part of the winning team in Pool A in 2005. In 2006 Edmonds was invited to the Futures Development invitational Camp. Edmonds will join Burnley in the Argentina Tour in March of 2007.

“I liked Virginia from the moment I saw it,” said Edmonds. “I knew it would be a wonderful opportunity.”

Hiltz led the nation in scoring in 2006 with a phenomenal 50 goals, scoring in 23 consecutive games, a streak that ranked third nationally. The Eastern region Player of the Year, Hiltz was one of only five high school athletes to play in the EPTC National Championship in the summer of 2006 where she played for Team California with current Virginia assistant coach Christina Kirkaldy. The Virginia Beach native led her Cox high school team to the state championship, earning All-State honors along the way. She is a two-year member of the Olympic Development Select team, and was on the team in 2006 that took first place in the Marteeny Tournament along with Devon Burnley and current Cavalier Traci Ragukas. Hiltz scored the game-winner in the 1-0 victory over the Phoenix on that tour. A five-time National Festival participant, Hiltz attended Junior National camp in 2006 and was on the honor roll at Cox for four years (2003-2006) and earned the Scholar-Athlete Award each year. Her sister Liz is a rising third-year on Virginia’s team.

“It is the balance of everything Liz and Kaitlyn were looking for,” said Brad Hiltz, Kaitlyn’s father. “The academics, the student honor code, athletics, their teammate’s, pride, prestige, family and location all combined to make a winning combination. Throw in the new coaching staff of Madison, Spice and Kyser and you have the opportunity to be part of the hottest, up and coming field hockey program in Division I.”

Mulhare captained Walshingham Academy to the 2006 state title and earned MVP honors along the way. A three-time Futures National Championship Tournament player, she earned all-conference, all-state, and and player of the year honors, repeating on the first team from 2005. Mulhare earned academic honors in both her junior and senior years and was a member of the Student Council Association.

“From the time Alex [Kyser] started talking to me, I knew this coaching staff was special,” said Mulhare. “I’m excited to be attending Virginia with the rest of this special class, and we are already friends. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy this experience with your friends?”

Swezey was a member of the 2004-2005 US Under-16 Team and competed in the Invitational Easter Tournament in the Netherlands in 2005. A Junior Olympian, Swezey was on the U16 Championship Stroudsburg team at the 2005 National Futures Tournament along with fellow signee Devon Burnley. She earned all-state academic honors and was named a 2006 All-American by US Field Hockey. Swezey attended Futures Developmental Invitation Camp in both 2005 and 2006.

“I had been the first recruit to commit because I had full trust in the program,” said Swezey. “I was positively sure that I had made the right decision for myself, regardless of who my teammates would eventually be. Everything about the university screamed `me’ and that was just so obvious to me from the beginning. I could not have made a better decision!”

Vicars was named to the US Under-16 team in 2004 and participated on the U19 Futures Elite Team that toured Australia in July of that year. A member of the CanAm series in 2005, Vicars is a three-time National Futures Tournament participant (2003-05) and also was a member of the Futures Elite program for three years (2004-06). She was a silver medalist at Junior Olympics in both 2003 and 2004. The Deerfield Academy senior attended Futures Developmental Invitation Camp in both 2004 and 2005 and participated in the National Indoor Tournament in 2003 and 2004. She is a three-time participant in the National Hockey Festival (2003-05).

“UVa is one of only a few schools that truly recognizes additional excellence and achievement in areas outside of the classroom,” said Vicars. “This is why the student body at UVa is so spirited and supportive.”

The Cavaliers were ranked in the top-10 for the majority of the season in 2006 and returned to the NCAA Championships for the first time in five years, advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. Virginia’s Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn and Traci Ragukas, two of Madison’s recruits at Virginia, both earned national honors.

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