CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina women's soccer team has finalized a 13-member recruiting class for the 2013 season which begins late next month with games against Santa Clara and VCU. The 13 newcomers, which include 12 freshman class members and a transfer from the University Georgia, join 23 returning letter winners on the Tar Heels' 36-woman roster for the upcoming campaign.
Coach Anson Dorrance's team returns a six-member senior class for 2013 as well as five underclass starters from the 2012 team that made a remarkable run through the NCAA Tournament to win the program's 22nd national collegiate championship since the 1981-82 school year.
This year's newcomers in alphabetical order include:
Maggie Bill is a forward/midfielder from Huntington, N.Y., where she was a multi-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, lacrosse and track. A 2013 alumna of St. Anthony's High School, she is the daughter of Robert and Katie Bill. A member of the Albertson Soccer Club, she was a Top Drawer Soccer four-rated player ranked as the #4 prospect in New York and the #84 talent in the U.S. A gifted talent in both soccer and lacrosse, she will play for two defending NCAA championship teams in her freshman year at Carolina. She also earned Under Armour All-America honors on the lacrosse field. As a senior on the pitch, she captained a state championship team.
Joanna Boyles is a much decorated club soccer player over the past five years as she has advanced to earn a spot on the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 Women's National Teams. A native of Raleigh, N.C., Boyles is a midfielder who graduated from Sanderson High School in 2013. The daughter of Scott and Wendy Boyles did not play high school soccer, concentrating on her play with her long-time club team, the '94 CASL Chelsea Ladies, where she has been the teams' leading scorer each of the past three years. She has earned NSCAA Youth All-America honors in multiple years. Boyles began earning caps with the U.S. Under-15 Girls National Team and was promoted to the U17 squad beginning in 2010. She was a member of the 2010 Nordic Cup championship team and the 2012 CONCACAF championship team and she also played for the Under-17s at the 2012 World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Emily Bruder of Sandy Utah, is another veteran of U.S. youth national teams, having been promoted to the U18 squad in 2013. A forward, she is the daughter of Kevin and Susan Bruder and she graduated from Juan Diego Catholic High School this past June. Playing her club soccer for the Utah Avalanche '94 Black, Bruder played in the 2012 U17 World Cup in Azerbaijan after it won the CONCACAF title earlier in the year. She copped NSCAA Youth All-America honors in 2012. Bruder played three sports in high school and was named first-team All-State all four years on the pitch, leading the state in scoring three times. She scored 100 career goals in high school and had game-winning goals in leading her high school team to state championships in both 2009 and 2010.
Cameron Castleberry is another stellar midfielder from Raleigh, N.C. and like Boyles, a member of the '94 CASL Chelsea Ladies club team. Graduating from Ravenscroft School this past spring, Castleberry was a recent call up to the U.S. U18 National Team. She is the daughter of Jeff and Suzanne Castleberry and a 2012 NSCAA Youth All-America as an attacking midfielder and forward. As a member of the Chelsea Ladies, she led her club team to multiple ECNL national championships on the youth level. Elevated to the U17 National Team player pool in 2011, Castleberry was a two-sport performer at Ravenscroft and the state's private school player of the year as a sophomore when she scored 25 goals and had 15 assists.
Jenny Chiu is another addition to Carolina's midfield corps from El Paso, Texas where she attended School for Educational Enrichment. The daughter of C.Y. and Lorena Chiu holds dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship and has played for youth national teams for both countries, limiting her to one year of high school play. She has earned U.S. national team spots at the U14, U15 and U17 level. In 2012, she was a member of the Mexican U17 Team and captain of the team which qualified in the CONCACAF Championships and then moved on to the World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Sarah Ashley Firstenberg is another Texas native who joins the Tar Heels in 2013. A native of Irving, she is the daughter of Barry and Elva Firstenberg and a 2013 alumna of the Episcopal School of Dallas where she played volleyball and golf in addition to soccer. She played both forward and midfield on the pitch both with her high school team and the FC Dallas ECNL U18 club team. She led her high school team in scoring all four years with 74 career goals, including 36 alone in her senior year.
Darcy McFarlane is an attacking center midfielder from Mill Valley, Calif., who joins her older sister, Kelly, a rising senior on the UNC team. The daughter of Craig and Marilou McFarlane, she graduated from the Branson School in 2013. She played club soccer for Marin FC '95 Blue for five years before switching to the Santa Rosa United U18 ECNL her final season. In ODP soccer, she earned multiple honors on state and regional teams while also being a gifted student-athlete at Branson where she played three sports. A two-time Marin County Athletic League player of the year selection, she earned multiple athletic honors at Branson and was president of the student body as a senior and a cum laude graduate of the school.
Amber Munerlyn is one of the most talented youth national team players coming out of the high school class of 2013. A native of Corona, Calif., she is the daughter of Cubby and Marian Munerlyn and a 2013 alumna of Santiago High School. Munerlyn played primarily forward in high school and has seen striker duty for much of her national team career where she played with the U17 National Team as early as 2010. In 2012, she scored the winning goal to lift the U.S. U17 team to a CONCACAF tournament win over Canada and then played for that team in the World Cup in Azerbaijan. She was elevated to the U20 Team beginning with a February 2013 call up. She was the Gatorade State High School Player of the Year for California in 2012-13 and ranked as the #6 recruit in the senior class by Top Drawer Soccer.
Alexa Newfield of Decatur, Ga., was a late addition to the class after transferring to UNC from the University of Georgia. She was a standout player at St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, graduating in 2010. Newfield missed most of the 2012 season at UGA with a nagging knee injury and retains two years of eligibility. As a sophomore, she led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 goals and eight assists, tallying seven game-winning goals and going a perfect 5-for-5 on penalty kicks. Her 40 points were a season school record for the Bulldogs and she was named All-SEC and first-team All-South Region. As a freshman in 2010, she tied for the team lead in goals scored with eight and was named first-team All-SEC and to the Southeastern Conference's All-Freshman Team. She was also a Soccer America All-Freshman second-team honoree. She is the daughter of Peter and Deidre Newfield.
Danae O'Halloran is the daughter of Patrick and Donna O'Halloran. She hails from Toms River, N.J. where she recently graduated from Toms River High School North. She played her club soccer for the N.J. Wildcats Lady Strikers where she was the team captain of a squad ranked fourth nationally. That team also won a U.S. club national title in 2008 and was a two-time state champion under coach Jim Gabarra (now with Sky Blue FC). In high school she played both midfield and forward and was a gifted track performer as well, competing in Nike Nationals and the Penn Relays. Her track prowess was in events ranging from the 55 meters through the 400 meters and she was her school's track MVP four years in a row.
Niki Romero is a multi-faceted player who joins the Tar Heels from Las Vegas, Nev., where she graduated from the West Career and Technical Academy. She played primarily at forward in high school but can play any position on the field. She is the daughter of Jose and Rachelle Romero. Romero saw her earliest youth national team exposure in 2011 as a member of the U15 National Team before making the jump the U18s in 2012 and continuing on that squad in 2013. She was the offensive MVP of her high school team which reached the state semifinals.
Amada Rooney is a midfielder from Hicksville, N.Y., where she attended Hicksville High School. She is the daughter of Laura Rooney. She played her club soccer for eight years for the Albertson Elite Fury on Long Island, making the state ODP team six years and the regional team five years and also serving as team captain. Rooney has been a youth national team pool player for two years and she was a member of the Long Island Fury WPSL team since age 15, including a 2009 national championship season.Maya Worth of Cary, N.C., closes out the recruiting class for the Tar Heels. The daughter of Leroy and Karen Worth, she graduated from Green Hope High School where she was one of the state's top tracker performers. She is the third member of the '94 CASL Chelsea Ladies in this year's recruiting class, having played on ECNL national championship teams for the club in 2011 and 2012. She holds six Green Hope High School track records while in her final two years on the pitch she tallied 16 goals and 16 assists for her prep team.