Catching up with women’s soccer’s recruiting class

Out of the 11 new signees to the women’s soccer team, 10 of them are high school recruits. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

South Florida women’s soccer team will play its season opener on Aug. 17 against LSU, and so far have added 11 new transfers to their roster. 

10 of these new signees are fresh out of high school, while one of them is a college transfer.

Get to know the newest members of the roster.

Offensive Players

Linnea Nestor – Forward 

Coming from the Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa, USF announced their first new player on Nov. 9 – forward Linnea Nestor. 

Nestor played for both her varsity high school team and her club team Floria Premier FC. 

With her club team, Nestor went on to place as a semifinalist at the ENCL Florida Spring Showcase from March 3-5. 

Mia Fairchild – Forward/Midfielder

Offensive player Mia Fairchild was declared on Nov. 10. Like Nestor, She comes from the Academy of the Holy Names as well as Florida Premier FC. 

Both Fairchild and Nestor helped lead the Jaguars to an overall record of 10-7-2. They fell in the regional final to McKeel Academy, 1-0.

Micahela Hill – Forward/Defense 

Micahela Hill’s signing was announced on Nov. 10. She played on the East Lake High School varsity team and the Tampa Bay United Soccer Club.  

Hill is a versatile player that can play both offensive and defensive positions. She was the second lead goal scorer on her team with 13. 

East Lake’s (11-3-1) season ended in a playoff game against Land O’ Lakes High School 2-1. 

Jaide-Simone Prejean – Forward

Freshman forward Jaide-Simone Prejean’s declaration was made on Nov. 10. Prejean played for her school in Texas called St. Agnes Academy and her club team Albion Hurricanes FC. 

The Tigers finished their season with a 5-5-2 overall. For districts, they had a 3-1 record giving them the No. 1 slot. 

St. Agnes Academy is ranked No. 6 in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools organization which hosts sporting events for private institutions.

Amaris Hamilton-Grein – Midfielder

Midfielder Amaris Hamilton-Grein was announced on Nov. 10 as well. Like her other teammates, she played for the Florida Premier FC team.

Along with her club team, Hamilton-Grein played for her high school varsity team at Freedom High School. In her senior year there she had a total of six goals and 14 shots. 

Alexa De Barros – Midfielder

Coming in from Rutgers Preparatory School in New Jersey, midfielder Alexa De Barros was announced on Nov. 11. 

De Barros had six goals and eleven assists last season. Her team won the 2022 South Non-Public B title in a 5-1 win against Holy Cross Prep.

Elyse Thornton – Midfielder/Defender

The final offensive high school recruit announced was midfielder Elyse Thornton. Like Hill, Thornton can play multiple positions on the field.

During her senior season at Steinbrenner High School, her team went 18-2-3 overall and 2-0-2 in districts. Their season ended in the regional semifinals to a 5-1 loss against Lakewood Ranch.

Thornton was the solo captain for the Warriors her senior year and was selected as the Florida Lottery Student Player of the Week on Dec. 21. 

Peyton Felton –  Midfielder/Defender

Junior defender and midfielder Peyton Felton is the only signee who is not a high school recruit. Felton comes from Memphis University after playing two seasons with the Tigers (11-5-6, 3-2-3 AAC). She announced her commitment on June 12.

While at Memphis, Felton made 24 game appearances and accumulated 774 minutes of playing time. In the 2022 season, she had 16 shots with five of them being on goal, giving her a 31% shots on goal average.

Defensive Players

Reagan Miller – Goalie

To replace starting goalkeeper Sydney Martinez, USF announced on Nov. 9 the signing of their first goalie Reagan Miller. 

Miller, a Tampa native as well, comes from the IMG Academy. She played on the U-19 Girls Premier team there and won the program’s first national championship in a 1-0 shutout against Utah Arsenal FC in 2022.

IMG Academy is a boarding school that focuses on preparing student-athletes for their athletic career in college. In 2021, the school helped 30,000 students to get recruited. 

Sydney Schwarz – Goalie

Sydney Schwarz’s commitment was declared the day after Miller on Nov. 10 for the same position. 

Coming from Virginia, Schwarz played on the Richmond United FC team and her high school team, Smithfield. 

During her final season with Smithfield (4-2-2), she made it on the All-District Girls First Team on May 25. 

Regan Kelly- Defense

The last signee was announced on Nov. 17. Regan Kelly, who is a defensive player, will join South Florida’s backline after playing for Lakewood Ranch High School and Florida Premier FC. 

Kelly had a total of 1,295 minutes of playtime in her 17 game appearances. She totaled five goals and six assists during her senior year.

Lakewood Ranch (19-1-1, 3-0 District) dropped to Palm Harbor University in a close 5-4 match in their regional final. Lakewood Ranch was the No. 14 ranked in the state of Florida last season.

Women’s soccer coach Denise Schilte-Brown also serves as the Elite Girls Director at Florida Premier FC, meaning some of these signees have already seen the field with their future coach. This could lead to good chemistry within the team before the new season begins.