National Signing Day once again was a major success for FC Alliance. Over 30 players made it official that they would continue their soccer careers at the next level. Schools of choice include programs in every division of both the NCAA and NAIA. For the players, it was the culmination of years of hard work and competing at the highest levels of club soccer. Some found the perfect school by reaching out to coaches of the schools they wanted to attend. Others were courted heavily by multiple programs and had to make difficult decisions.
One of the headliners of the class is Allie Dunn. The explosive forward was pursued by multiple programs in the SEC before accepting a scholarship from Arkansas. She made it official on Wednesday. Another is Grace Sommi. The Samford signee had a table of options before choosing the Alabama school. The Bulldogs won the Southern Conference championship this year before falling to Florida State in the NCAA tournament.
"We are really happy for all these kids," said Director of Coaching Josh Gray. "So much goes into finding the best fit. They all deserve a great education and the right school for soccer. "
Middle Tennessee State got a gem in FC Alliance's Tionna Thompson. She will continue her career with the Blue Raiders, a Division 1 school which has become somewhat of a pipeline with FC Alliance. Hear Coach Aston Rhoden's flattering comments about Tionna and the club here: MTSU signs Tionna Thompson.
Speaking of pipelines, an astonishing four FC Alliance players signed with East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers are fresh of an NCAA tournament appearance and a nationally-recognized upset win over #1 ranked North Carolina, a game which featured four different FC Alliance players and alum Fletcher Ekern's game winning goal. Josh Denton, Jordan Broadwater, Matt Hulihan and Austin Bihlmeyer join a roster already stocked with players from the club.
"The program at ETSU has really flourished," said Director Chad Stocton. "It is a Division 1 school that offers a great education. We love seeing our players sign with them."
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga also continues to draw FC Alliance players. Emily Szymanski, Chloe Arnold and Hailey Abston both inked with Mocs, making it the the third consecutive year at least one player from the club has done so. Among the leading scorers for UTC last year were FC Alliance alums Peyton McCollum (13 points), Ellie Myrick (12 points) and Hannah Torbett (8 points). Goalkeeper Katie Emig gave up less than a goal per game (0.81).
"Tennessee-Chattanooga is really getting three excellent players," Gray commented. "I am glad we have more kids going there. It is close to home and offers great opportunities both academically and athletically."
Among the more than 30 players to sign are (this listed will be continuously updated):
Lucas Lavinder--King College
Katie Curtin- Tusculum College
Lucas Lavender- King College
Sarah Slusher- Georgetown College
Megan Kent- Milligan College
Mya Patel- Bryan College
Makena Giles- Bryan College
Sykes Cargile- Haverford College
Tionna Thompson- MTSU
Bailey Sipos- Maryville College
Hailey Abston- UT Chattanooga
Kaitlin Ramsey- Berry College
Clarity Voy- Centre College
Scott Lich- University of Chicago
Maggie Wilson- Sewanee
Morgan Hutchison- Presbyterian College
Matt Zaczyk- Liberty University
Preston Robinette- Presbyterian
Devin Healy- Lee University
Chloe Arnold- UT Chattanooga
Allie Dunn- Arkansas
Grace Sommi- Samford
Paige Hewitt- Belmont
Anna Lanter- Lee University
Kelsey Jones- Lee University
Sara Corum- Lee University