CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami women’s soccer interim head coach Jason Hamilton announced the program’s newest class of Hurricanes, set to join the program for the 2013 season.
The six-member class, comprised of Gianna Dal Pozzo, Ariel Kupritz, Gracie Lachowecki, Betsy Middleton, Cortney O’Connell, and Catalina Perez, is widely considered among the best classes in the ACC.
“We are very excited about the incoming class,” Hamilton said. “They are a great bunch of players that we think can have an immediate impact on our program. This should be one of the best incoming classes in our history.”
Dal Pozzo, a center midfielder from Naperville, Ill., was a four-year letterwinner at Neuqua Valley High School. She was selected all-conference for three straight years (2010-12), all-sectional as a sophomore (2010) and senior (2012), and was also an academic all-conference selection as a junior (2011). Dal Pozzo helped guide Neuqua Valley to a 59-9-4 record during her final three years, including a 15-goal, eight-assist campaign as a junior and 17-goal sophomore season.
Kupritz, who enrolled at Miami in January after graduating early from Maryville (Tenn.) High School, will add to the Hurricanes’ forward pool in the fall. Kupritz was named all-conference and all-state during her freshman and sophomore years, scoring 57 goals and notching 14 assists over those two seasons. She was also selected for two national team camps, and competed in the Olympic Development Program throughout high school. She helped guide her club side Brentwood Soccer Club (Nashville, Tenn.) to three state championships and two regional finals.
Lachowecki, an offensive standout from Evansville, Ind., ended her dominant four-year career at Reitz Memorial High School as Indiana Miss Soccer and the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year. Lachowecki guided Reitz to 75-8-6 record over her four years, collecting whopping totals of 113 goals, 47 assists and 273 points. A standout on the field and in the classroom, Lachowecki was named Evansville Metro Player of the Year for three consecutive years (2010-12), Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association (ICGSA), first-team all-state back-to-back years (2011-12), and NSCAA All-America in 2012.
Middleton, an attacking center midfielder from Elon, N.C., arrives in Coral Gables after a stellar four-year career at Western Alamance High School. Middleton was named first-team all-region for three consecutive seasons (2010-12), an academic all-conference selection four straight years (2010-13), and racked up 29 goals and 30 assists from her midfield position in 2011-12. She arrives with an impressive track record both on the field and in the classroom, where she was ranked among the top graduating students in her class.
O’Connell, a forward from Chantilly, Va., competed for Bethesda Freedom, which qualified the US Youth Soccer Regional I Championships. She played just two seasons at Freedom High School, where she earned all-district honors as both a freshman and sophomore. O’Connell was a member of the Virginia Olympic Development Program in 2006 and 2007, and was named to Washington Freedom Super Y Team from 2008-2010.
Perez, from nearby Boca Raton, Fla., joins the Hurricanes’ goalkeeper ranks after a dominant career at Saint Andrew’s School. Perez, who also competed in cross country, water polo and tennis at Saint Andrew’s, was named Palm Beach All-County as a sophomore and junior. Perhaps most impressive is Perez’ pedigree on the international level, where she has competed for the Colombia Youth National Teams since 2009, including a trip to the U-20 FIFA World Cup hosted by Germany in 2009 as well as the Pan American Games in 2011 with the Colombia Senior Women’s National Team.
“We have continued to watch them all develop since the time they committed to us, and we are confident that we are bringing in the right players to continue the success we've had over the past couple of years,” Hamilton said.
Coming off back-to-back postseason appearances, the Hurricanes will open fall camp in August. For more information on the Hurricanes' upcoming season, LIKE Miami soccer on Facebook.