Spartans Ink Six to NLI’s During Early Signing Period

Spartans Ink Six to NLI’s During Early Signing Period

Contact: David Beall,

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's soccer program and Head Coach Abby Minihan have announced the signing of six players during the NCAA's recent early signing period for the 2013 season.

Rachel Baylor, Ciara Murphy, Lindsay Wong, Mollie Water, Harley Simpson and Jade Hudson represent the first recruiting class for Minihan and assistant coach India Trotter who just completed their first season at Upstate after joining the program last summer.

"I am thrilled about our 2013 class," said Minihan. We have a very well rounded group that will contribute to helping our program make steps to becoming more competitive in our non-conference and conference play. They bring a wealth of talent that will make a difference in our training environment as well as our games."

Rachel Baylor | Southeast Guilford High School | Greensboro, N.C.

Baylor guided her high school squad to a conference title as a sophomore, and was an All-Metro 4A conference player as a sophomore and junior. She led the North Carolina Fusion; 94 Premier & 94 Elite to the State Cup title in 2012 and to the North Carolina ODP Pool for 2012.

"I chose Upstate because of the coaches," said Baylor. "I had a connection with them from the beginning and I was amazed when I found out they played both at the college and professional level. I think that there is no better way to grow as a player then being able to have coaches with experience who really know the game."

Ciara Murphy | Davidson Day School | Mooresville, N.C.

Murphy helped lead her team to the state championship in 2011 and 2012, earning all-conference and all-state honors and being named the most outstanding player in 2012. A member of the Lake Norman Soccer Club 94 Eclipse Girls, Murphy and her squad were named the Lions Cup Champions (Germany) and Dana Cup Champions (Denmark).

"I am so excited to be attending USC Upstate this fall," said Murphy. "I am ready to challenge myself and reach my full potential as a soccer player and person."

Lindsay Wong | Ursuline Academy | Wilmington, Del.

Wong is a five-year varsity player for the Ursuline Academy and a member of the 2011 Jamaican U20 women's team. She participated in the Caribbean nation's qualifying tournament in Havana, Cuba and helped her team capture the State Cup in 2012 as part of the Kirkwood Courage.

"Upstate is giving me the opportunity to pursue two of my passions," said Wong. "I will be able to continue to play the game I love and develop as an even better player, while pursuing an education in Special Education/Learning Disabilities."

Mollie Waters | Greenville High School | Greenville, S.C.

A recipient of the Young New Talent award in 2010, Waters has only gotten better from there, receiving All-Region and All-State honors each of the last three seasons and being ranked No. 29 in the region by Top Drawer Soccer. She led CESA 94 Girls Premier team to a region championship in 2012.

Harley Simpson | Oldbury College of Sport | Birmingham, England

A standout player for the Birmingham City Ladies and Oldbury College of Sport, Simpson was named the Player of the Year in 2011. She scored seven goals and added 14 assists last season.

"My ambitions are to be a valuable player for the team and help in any way possible so that we can all reach our own personal and team goals and be successful Upstate University," said Simpson.

Jade Hudson | Huntingtown High School | Huntingtown, Md.

Hudson prepped at Huntingtown High School and played club ball for the Maryland Nike Rush. "I'm looking forward to bonding with my team and working hard to strive for a great season," said Hudson.

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