BATON ROUGE – The LSU Soccer program has built its international brand in recent seasons while attracting elite youth talent from across the globe to Baton Rouge year in and year out, and that is certainly the case again in 2014 as six recruits from three different countries signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday as part of National Signing Day.
The Tigers have strengthened the spine of the team at each level of the pitch with this year’s signing class, while also recruiting some of the more versatile players who will feature in the squad in 2014.
Joining the LSU Soccer program as one of the Top 10 recruiting classes in the country in 2014 are goalkeeper Lily Alfeld (Christchurch, New Zealand), striker Jorian Baucom (Scottsdale, Ariz.), center back Jordane Carvery (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), midfielder Christyna Pitre (Austin, Texas), midfielder/defender Madeline Ramsey (Rock Hill, S.C.) and defender Alexis Urch (Round Rock, Texas).
LSU Soccer’s Class of 2014 has already earned a reputation as one of the very best in the country as the No. 8-ranked recruiting class nationwide in the early class rankings published by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
In signing Baucom, Pitre and Urch to National Letters of Intent, the Tigers will welcome three of the Top 150 prep recruits in the United States as Baucom ranks No. 13, Urch ranks No. 55 and Pitre ranks No. 104 with the release of the final Girls IMG Academy 150 national rankings by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Ramsey is also arguably the top-ranked recruit in the state of South Carolina in the Class of 2014.
Alfeld and Carvery join the LSU Soccer program with an international pedigree at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels while coming up through the youth national team systems in New Zealand and Canada, respectively.
“Recruiting classes are really three and four years in the making in our sport in this day in age, and a lot of work has been put in by our staff here to identify and recruit the top talent in the United States and around the world to help us compete on a national level,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “LSU Soccer is now an international brand that is recognized by young players and their families from around the world as an opportunity to join us and continue their development in the type of environment that will help them grow and mature as players.
“We’re excited about the potential of the class we’ve signed today. These six young women follow in the footsteps of other talented classes that have joined us in recent years as we look to compete for SEC titles and College Cups in years to come. We look forward to what the 2014 season will bring for LSU Soccer.”
The Tigers have tapped a pipeline into New Zealand over the past two recruiting cycles as Alfeld follows the likes of Emma Fletcher and Megan Lee to Baton Rouge as she is one of the top goalkeepers worldwide at the youth level in her time with New Zealand’s U-17 and U-20 squads. Alfeld has twice represented her country at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago in 2010 and Azerbaijan in 2012.
As the starting goalkeeper for the Young Football Ferns at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Alfeld earned “Player of the Match” honors for a sensational display in goal against Mexico in the group stage.
A product of Lincoln High School in her hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, Alfeld has earned 11 international caps at the U-17 and U-20 levels as part of New Zealand’s youth national team system since 2010. She is also set to join the U-20 New Zealand Women’s National Team in the coming months for the qualifying stages of the Oceania region for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
In building from the back, Carvery and Urch will find their home along the back line to start their collegiate careers as they look to add strength and depth for an improving defensive unit for the Tigers in 2014.
An emerging talent in the Canadian Women’s National Team system, Carvery will provide an imposing presence in the middle of LSU’s defense as one of the top young center backs in her home country. Carvery spent time with Canada’s U-17 and U-20 teams as she looks to represent her country at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup being held in Canada later this year. She took part in her first U-20 National EXCELeration Camp in December and has been invited for her second to be held Feb. 16-27 as part of the player pool for World Cup selection.
Carvery, who hails from Bill Crothers Secondary School, is also a decorated member of the Ontario Provincial Team and has trained at the Canada Soccer Association National Training Center during her youth career.
Urch also joins the program as a highly-touted defender while competing with the Longhorn Soccer Club and Round Rock High School during her youth career. Not only is she the 55th-ranked recruit nationally in the last rankings by TopDrawerSoccer.com, but she is also the No. 12-ranked defender recruit in the country and the No. 6-ranked recruit in the state of Texas for 2014.
Urch has played primarily as a center back during her youth career, but could also feature at right back for the Tigers during her rookie season in the fall. A leader on and off the pitch, Urch captained Lonestar SC for the U-15 level in 2011 and U-16 level in 2012, while leading her club to the Elite Clubs National League U-15 national championship during the 2011 season.
Like her club teammate, Pitre signs with the Tigers as one of the nation’s top talents in this recruiting cycle as an elite defensive midfielder prospect who hails from Cedar Ridge High School. She is a four-star recruit and the No. 10-ranked recruit in the state of Texas by TopDrawerSoccer.com while also on the cusp of a Top 100 ranking nationally.
Pitre is a veteran of the U.S. Women’s National Team system as a member of the player pool at the U-15, U-17 and U-18 levels during her youth career. She has also competed with the top players in her region with an extended stint with the Region III Olympic Development Program Team before signing with the Tigers.
Pitre joined Urch in leading the Lonestar Soccer Club’s U-15 team to the ECNL U-15 national championship as one of the top club teams in the youth ranks in the United States during the 2011 season.
Ramsey is certainly no stranger to the LSU Soccer program as the younger sister of four-year letterwinner Alex Ramsey, who just wrapped up her stellar collegiate career with the Tigers during the 2013 season. Like her older sister, Madeline is a four-star recruit and arguably the No. 1-ranked recruit in the state of South Carolina to sign a National Letter of Intent during the 2014 recruiting cycle.
A product of Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C., Ramsey’s youth career is highlighted by her experience with the Region III ODP Team, which includes an international trip to Costa Rica back in 2011. Ramsey has also earned experience training at the U.S. Soccer Federation Training Center in Greensboro, N.C., after competing as part of a U.S. Soccer National Player ID Camp in Portland, Ore., earlier in her career.
Not only have the Tigers strengthened in midfield and in defense with this year’s class, but will also feature one of the more feared strike forces in the SEC and NCAA ranks in the fall with the addition of Baucom as one of top recruits in the country regardless of position as a five-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Baucom is the No. 3-ranked striker recruit in the United States while earning a No. 13 national ranking among the top recruits in the Class of 2014 in the final Girls IMG Academy 150 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Baucom, who hails from Scottsdale’s Pinnacle High School, is a veteran of the U.S. Women’s National Team system at the U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-18 levels for three years from 2011-13. Among her other highlights with regional and national acclaim is experience with the Region IV ODP Team and an invitation to the Nike “The Chance” Top 100 national camp held at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in 2012.
A prolific goal-scoring center forward, Baucom will form a partnership with LSU’s All-American candidate Summer Clarke that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenses over the next three seasons.
“This is another recruiting class that we feel will strengthen our squad on each level of the field in our push for SEC Championships and College Cups in the coming years, “said Lee of LSU’s Class of 2014. “We’re certainly pleased with the development of our younger players over the past couple of seasons, and we believe this class will fit right in with the team and the style of play we like to play at LSU.”
LSU Soccer has signed the nation’s No. 8-ranked recruiting class in the early recruiting rankings for the Class of 2014 after signing a Top 15 class a year ago when its Class of 2013 was ranked as high as No. 14 nationally by the likes of AllWhiteKit.com. Three members of last year’s class of recruits went on to earn Freshman All-America honors by such media outlets as Soccer America and TopDrawerSoccer.com as Clarke, Fletcher and Lee each proved themselves among the top newcomers in NCAA Division I college soccer during the 2013 season.
Pongetti enjoyed an outstanding first season with the program in her own right while playing as both a defensive midfielder and center back in 2013. Gomez-Junco, who is already a capped member for Mexico’s senior squad at the international level, will compete with the Tigers as a junior for the first time in 2014 after redshirting during her first season in Baton Rouge a year ago.