Florida Tech Soccer Thrilled With Incoming Additions, Ready For 2015 Season

By  //  July 17, 2015

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This
Florida-Tech-Soccer-580-2

New Florida Tech head coach Dustin Smith is looking forward to what might be in store for the Panthers on the pitch this fall. When camp opens in August, Smith will not only have multiple players returning from injury, but also seven key commitments to add to the puzzle. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – New Florida Tech head coach Dustin Smith is looking forward to what might be in store for the Panthers on the pitch this fall. When camp opens in August, Smith will not only have multiple players returning from injury, but also seven key commitments to add to the puzzle.

After filling their recruiting class with three defenders, two midfielders, a forward and a goalkeeper, the Panthers appear to have the depth needed to contend once again for a Sunshine State Conference Championship.

“First and foremost, we’re really excited to get back some of the girls that weren’t able to play last year due to injury,” said Smith.

“Having some of those players back was like another recruiting class, in a sense. For us, what we really wanted to do was go out and fill a goalkeeper position, solidify our defense and try and find some more attacking prowess. We feel like we filled those holes with this incoming class.”

With the arrival of the recent signees and the loss of only three starters from last season, competition is expected at all positions, creating even more buzz about 2015.

Florida Tech DB Manny Abad Nominated For 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works TeamRelated Story:
Florida Tech DB Manny Abad Nominated For 2015 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team

“We’re really excited for this class all together, and how it’s shaped up,” added Smith.

“Again, this recruiting class was a joint effort between Fidgi and me. That balance that he and I usually have between Americans and international players will get to bear its fruit come preseason.”

“I know that Fidgi would’ve been super excited for the class that we’ve brought in. He was already excited for some of the players that had committed prior. But to have rounded it out with two or three more players makes it even better. So as far as the season is concerned, we’re looking forward to it. I know the girls are excited and just want to get out on the field, mesh with the new incoming players,” said Smith.

Information on each of the signees can be found below.

Brienna Heitz

Defender, 5-3
Monroe CC (Whitesboro, N.Y.)
Business Administration

Brienna Heitz

Brienna Heitz

Heitz proved she can do a bit of everything a season ago before transferring from Monroe Community College. Starting all 19 matches, she helped direct the Tribunes to a NJCAA regional championship with a total of six goals and 10 assists, including a pair of scores against Nazareth College last October 11. She intends to study business administration while at Florida Tech.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“She’s going to be another left-footed player that’ll provide us some more depth on the back line and hopefully allow us to move some players around. She’s a strong, physical player, which is what we need in this conference. There are a lot of great teams in the SSC that can attack, so being able to neutralize that is key. Brienna is one of those players that can step in and be an impact player right away, and help us shut down some of those top offenses.”

Maddy Keenan

Defender, 5-6
Leon HS (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Biology 

Maddy Keenan

Maddy Keenan

As a member of a highly-touted Leon High squad, Keenan propelled the Lions to a district championship and a berth in the regional semifinals in 2015. A midfielder in high school, she’ll likely play more of a defensive-minded role for Florida Tech. A First Team All-Big Bend selection, Keenan was being recruited by a couple schools near the panhandle before committing to the Panthers. She plans to major in biology.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“We think she’ll be a good fit. She’s got size and pace, which we need in the back. She’s going to provide us, hopefully, with some more depth in the center-back position, which will allow us more opportunities to push forward.”

Agathe Malmberg

Defender, 5-6
Strand Videregående Skole (Jørpeland, Norway)
Engineering

Agathe Malmberg

Agathe Malmberg

One of two student-athletes to join the Panthers from the international ranks, Malmberg brings a unique level of experience with her from Norway. The defender was a member of Staal Jørpeland IL in Norwegian Division 2, and even spent time on the youth National Team. Malmberg plans to earn her degree in engineering.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“We think she’ll help provide us some international experience. Playing at the highest level in her country, Agathe will hopefully be able to come in and add depth to the defense. She’s done really well on her current club, so we’re excited.” 

Keira McCarthy

Forward, 5-4
Melbourne HS (Melbourne, Fla.)
Pre-Med/Biology

Keira McCarthy

Keira McCarthy

The leading goal-scorer for Melbourne High School this season, and in three of four seasons overall, McCarthy arrives at Florida Tech with a high offensive skill set. During her storied career as a Bulldog, she set multiple school records and guided the program to back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014. In addition, McCarthy led her club team, Space Coast United, to the final four in its most recent appearance in the State Cup. She intends to major in biology with a pre-med track.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“We’re really excited about Kiera, being a local product from Melbourne High School. From a program like that, that has a pedigree and produces national team players says a lot. We’re excited for her to come in and have the opportunity to combine her with the likes of Aubri Williamson, who was the second-leading goal scorer in the conference her sophomore year,Ashley Vezina and couple others we have in the mix. It’s great to have another local kid that can be an impact player at this level.”

Brittany Storey

Goalkeeper, 5-8
Alton HS (Alton, Ill.)
Chemical Engineering

Brittany Storey

Brittany Storey

Storey was a fixture in net for Alton High School, lettering all four years for the Redbirds. At FIT, she plans on studying chemical engineering.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“We’re very fortunate for the opportunity to have her. She’s a big, able-bodied goalkeeper that can provide a presence in her cage, as we call it. We’re looking for her to come in, compete right away and challenge both of our current goalkeepers.” 

Lina Sundelin

Midfield/Forward, 5-7
Fredrika Bremergymnasiet (Sollefteå, Sweden)
Business Administration

Lina-Sundelin_180-2

Lina Sundelin

Sundelin was a key cog, primarily on the defense, for Tyresö FF in Swedish Division 2 each of the last two years. She intends to major in business administration.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“Similar to Agathe, Lina’s arriving a little bit older than most freshmen so hopefully she’ll bring more maturity. She’ll add some international experience as well and will most likely help us somewhere in the midfield. She’ll be a welcome addition.”

Jasmine Villaverde

Midfield, 5-4
University of Miami (Palm Bay, Fla.)
Operations Research

Jasmine Villaverde

Jasmine Villaverde

A local product by way of Bayside High School, Villaverde finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami while playing for the Hurricanes the past two seasons. Her experience at such a prominent program will likely provide the Panthers a leadership boost both on and off the field. As a member of Bayside in 2010-11, Villaverde was named team MVP and selected All-Cape Coast Conference. The graduate student plans to enroll in the operations research program at FIT.

What Coach Smith is saying:

“Jasmine’s hopefully going to provide us that utility-type ability where she can play on either the outside or up top. I’d compare her to Kelly Whittaker from a couple years ago. She has that kind of pace. She’ll probably be the fastest player we’ve recruited since Kelly, who was tremendous. We’re super excited to have her be a part of the mix.”

 


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free