JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Looking to build momentum after reaching the ASUN Conference Tournament Semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons, Jacksonville University women's soccer Head Coach Brian Copham has added an experienced incoming class. The ten-year leader of the Dolphins announced the signing of six in the Class of 2022 Thursday, as part of 2018's National Signing Day activities.
"We are excited to add this squad to our roster," Copham said. "We have addressed needs in every spot on the field, adding a diverse class who can play many different positions."
The 'Phins incoming class features two forwards and midfielders each, a defender, and a goalkeeper, each with the expendability to move around the field if needed. Copham will bring in a pair of players from Illinois, two from New Jersey, one from Georgia, and one from the Sunshine State. The Class of 2022 combined for seven high school or club state or national tournament appearances, three high school or club state or national championships, and nine conference, regional, or sectional honors.
"Not only are we excited to add this talented group of players to our roster, but we are thrilled to add this quality group with outstanding character to our JU women's soccer family," Copham added.
Sarah Alexander | MF | Kennesaw, Ga. | Harrison High School
A standout player in northern Georgia, Alexander was a key contributor on the Harrison High School squad, leading the team to three regional championships and the 2017 Georgia AAAAAA state title. A four-year varsity starter, she played club ball for the Tophat Soccer Club, serving as a team captain in 2018. He helped the team win the Elite Clubs National League Southeast League Championship in 2016 and 2017, and advance to the 2017 ECNL National Championship Quarterfinals.
Sarah has been one of the best and most complete players to come through Harrison HS. A four- year varsity starter and the quintessential playmaker combined with an unmatched work rate, technical ability and speed make Sarah poised to contribute right away at Jacksonville University. Sarah's approach to games and her one-on-one ability present significant issues for opponents to deal with. JU is getting the real deal in Sarah!"- Harrison High School Head Coach Steve Riccard
"Sarah is a very skilled player that can play any of the attacking positions. She can create from the middle of the field by playing dangerous final passes, as well as be a productive forward on the dribble and in front of net." – Coach Copham
Dani Anderson | D | St. Augustine, Fla. | Nease High School
A local product, Anderson was a two-year captain for St. John's County's Nease High School. A three-time All-St. John's County Team Selection, she was named First-Team All-Conference her junior and senior year. As a member of the Jacksonville Armada Youth Football Club ECNL, she helped the squad advance to the ECNL National Championship Semifinals in 2017.
"Dani has been an integral part of rebuilding the Nease girl's soccer program. She has been the leader of the revitalization of this team, and has left a lasting mark on the program that will be there long after she leaves." – Nease High School Head Coach Jay Sheppard
"Dani is a technically sound player that is incredibly consistent. Her confidence and competitive nature makes her an overall complete player." - Jacksonville Armada Youth Football Club ECNL Director Mike Walker
"Dani is a very technical player that can play multiple positions. Her distribution and vision allow her to create attack from a defensive midfield position, and her physicality and competitive nature also allow her to be an excellent defender."- Coach Copham
Julia Giaccone | D | Toms River, N.J. | Manchester Township High School
Giaccone comes to the River City with an array of honors and experience to her name. The Garden State native was a four-time All-Division selection and a four-time Defensive Player of the Year honoree while at Manchester Township HS. A two-time Team MVP, she also honed her skills as a member of the Players Development Academy Shore Club team.
"Julia Giaccone is the total package on the soccer field! She has a great soccer IQ, is tough, skillful, and always dependable. Julia has been a natural leader here at Manchester Township." – Manchester Township High School Head Coach Wes Moore
"Julia is a complete central defender that is excellent in one-on-one defensive situations, and has the ability to organize her teammates around her. Her competitive drive and physical abilities will allow her to compete in our defensive unit when she arrives on campus." – Coach Copham
Julianne Hutchison | F | Aurora, Ill. | Rosary High School
An experienced attacking player with a laundry list of accomplishments, Hutchison brings valuable club soccer experience to Jacksonville. The Illinois native has played for the Sockers FC ECNL team since 2010. A U.S. Soccer Regional Champions and National Finalist in 2013, she participated in the Illinois State Olympic Development Program team and a national ID camp the following year. Hutchison guided her club team to ECNL playoff appearances from 2014-16, qualifying for the ECNL North American Cup in 2015, and winning the tournament championship the next season. She played one season of high school soccer, earning First Team All-Conference and Conference Scholar Athlete accolades. A multi-sport athlete, she was a state qualifier in four track events in 2016 and 2017. Hutchison has most recently played for a development academy from 2017-18.
"Julianne has the ability to play both as a midfielder and forward. She is a fantastic teammate, and her work rate is contagious within our group. Julianne also has the ability to finish plays or set up her teammates to score if the moment presents itself in the game" – Sockers FC Chicago President David Richardson
"Julianne is an excellent forward that uses a combination of strength and athleticism to create and score goals. Her commitment and work rate are going to allow her to compete and produce this fall." – Coach Copham
Michelle Jerantowski | GK | Lermont, Ill. | Lermont High School
Jerantowski joins Hutchison as a Sockers FC alumni, and was also part of the 2016 ECNL North American Cup Championship team. She helped Lermont High School place fourth in the state of Illinois in 2015 and 2017. A 2017 All-Sectional selection, she posted 15 shutouts and a .36 goals-against-average her senior year.
"Michelle has been a solid contributor for us in-net. She brings a sense of stability to our back line and commands her goal box really well. Michelle has played in a lot of big games for us and has helped us to two state finals appearances. She will be looked to throughout her senior year for leadership and stability" – Lermont High School Head Coach Mark Tomczak
"Michelle is a dynamic goalkeeper that can make the full range of saves in net. She has good explosive movement to make difficult saves, as well as a fearless mentality to come off her line and make tough saves and challenges." – Coach Copham
Madison Taylor | F | Jackson, N.J. | Jackson Memorial High School
Another Mid-Atlantic product, Taylor was a U.S. Youth League Soccer National League Qualifier with the PDA Shore club team. She was a N.J. High School All-State selection for Jackson Memorial HS, serving as a team captain her senior year.
"Madi is an impact player who has an act of finding the back of the net. One of her greatest strengths is that she makes other players around her better." - PDA Shore 99's Head Coach Carl Leschinski
"Madison is a physical forward that will combine her aggressive nature and competitive mentality to create goals and assists from day one. We look forward to her competing and producing when she gets on campus." – Coach Copham