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Dec. 1, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women’s lacrosse head coach Julie Myers announced that Sophie Aleece, Maggie Jackson, Angie Loynaz, Kaitlin Luzik, Emily McBride, Allison Shields and Avery Shoemaker have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Cavaliers beginning with the 2015-16 season.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the 2016 recruiting class,” Myers said. “I think it’s a really solid class with a strong nucleus of players. I know that they are as excited to come to Virginia as we are excited to have them on our team, field and in our classrooms. They will really enjoy the atmosphere and the environment of the University of Virginia in all ways academically, socially and athletically.”

Sophie Aleece (Baltimore, Md.) has played defense on the varsity McDonogh School squad since sophomore year, winning two championships and will be a team captain this season. Alecce is also running indoor track this season. Academically, she has been a member of the Dean’s List since her freshman year and earned the Alfred Ogden Ramsey Award for Achievement in Biology.

“Sophie plays for one of the most dominant high school programs in the country,” Myers said. “She brings great speed and strength in her game, so we will really look to use her in the transition game and to really just set a tone in the midfield.”

Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) will go into her final season as a midfielder at Georgetown Visitation with 134 career goals and 138 assists. The 2014 U.S. Lacrosse First Team All-American also earned a spot on the Independent School League All-Conference team in 2013 and 2014. After leading the ISL in assists last season with 67, she also earned a Washington Post All-Met honorable mention. She is also a two-time member of the Washington, D.C. Under Armour Underclass All-America Team. She played high school lacrosse with first-year Cavalier Ana Hagerup.

“Maggie plays for one of the best club programs in the country as well as a very successful high school squad and her teams have always looked to her to carry the load, so she should make an impact early on in her career,” Myers said. “She’s a true middie in terms of helping transition the ball but also a go-to goal scorer and a solid defender as well.”

Angie Loynaz (Cos Cob, Conn.) is an attacker at Greenwich Academy who earned First Team All-America honors last season. As a sophomore, Loynaz was the leading scorer with 123 points on 91 goals and 32 assists. Loynaz is a two-time Fairchester Athletic Association All-League honoree and was a 2014 Western New England Prep School Women’s Lacrosse Association All-Star and an Under Armour New England Team member.

Angie Loynaz is a prolific goal-scorer and nearly impossible to stop,” Myers said. “She is a true attacker that can shoot the lights out of a ball that is determined and willing to do anything it takes to score and to win. She is really going to be fun to work with on the attacking side and we will look to her to help fill in the blanks with so many attackers graduating this spring.”

Kaitlin Luzik (Washington, D.C.) is a two-time First Team All-American defender at Bishop Ireton. Recognized as one of the 20 top junior lacrosse players in the nation to watch in 2013, she has twice earned first-team all-state honors as well as First-Team All-WCAC recognition in 2013 and second-team honors in 2014. Last season as a team captain, she helped lead Bishop Ireton to both a conference and a state title. She also earned four varsity letters in cross country.

“Kaitlin plays for a top notch club program and does a lot of the leading on defense for them,” Myers said. “She can transition the ball, she has great speed, great hands and solid stick work for a true defender. We will have a couple of spots to fill on the defensive end next year, so she we expect for her to make contributions early on in her career.”

Emily McBride (Lititz, Pa.) is a First Team All-American midfielder at Manheim Township High School, helping lead her squad to three-straight District 3 championships and a No. 12 national ranking in 2012. The 2014 Lebanon/Lancaster Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year was also the MVP Midfielder last season and a two-time first-team all-star selection. Last year, she set the Lebanon/Lancaster record for goals in a season with 125. McBride will enter her senior season with 227 goals and 93 career assists. McBride was also a four-time all-county selection and four-time state qualifier in cross country, winning 10 league dual meets in her career.

“Emily is a tall, strong, tough player who is also very determined to go hard and to win,” Myers said. “She is a true competitor and should work to find her way onto the field early on in her career.”

Allison Shields (Phoenix, Md.) played defense and midfield for a Notre Dame Prep squad that advanced to the IAAM A Conference Final Four each of the last two years. Shields also played four years of varsity soccer, helping to lead her team to the championship game this season.

“Allison is a very fast defensive middie who is coming to us from Baltimore,” Myers said. “I expect to see Allison working her way onto the field helping us to shut down attackers and to set the tone in the transition game as well.”

Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) is a three-time First Team All-Inter-Ac League, leading her Penn Charter team in scoring all three seasons. Shoemaker was also a two-time member of the Philadelphia Under Armour Underclass All-America team as well as garnering Philadelphia Inquirere Second-Team All-South Eastern PA honors last season. Shoemaker was a three-year varsity starter on the field hockey team, ran one season of cross country and played club ice hockey from 2003-12 on boys and girls team.

“Avery is a true lefty coming out of the Philadelphia area,” Myers said. “I think her speed and athleticism are going to be the things that she relies on. She is a tough competitor and a winner. I expect she is going to work her way on to the field early on in her career.”

These recruits will replace the seven players on the Cavaliers’ 2015 roster playing in their final season, including fifth-year attacker Liza Blue and fourth-years defender Morgan Stephens, attacker Courtney Swan, midfielder Caroline Seats, defender Kelsey Gahan, attacker Casey Bocklet and midfielder Daniela Eppler.

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