Lexington, Ky. – In his inaugural voyage with the Transylvania women's soccer program, first-year Pioneers head coach Luis Reis will welcome five new recruits to the Transylvania roster this fall.
Joining the Pioneers women's soccer program in 2017 are Keeley Chaffin (Lexington, Ky. / Henry Clay HS), Samantha Wilson (Lexington, Ky. / Bryan Station HS), Emilie Yates (Lexington, Ky. / Bryan Station HS), Megan Gray (Danville, Ky. / Danville HS), and Casey Hite (Hebron, Ky. / Conner HS).
"We are excited with our new incoming freshman class," said Reis. "I want to thank our former assistant Odie Guzman for identifying these players last fall before I became the new coach. I arrived in mid-January and then had the opportunity to meet with all five of our recruits on campus and ultimately get their commitment. This will be an exciting time as Keeley, Emilie, Megan, Samantha, Casey, and I come in together to join the Transy women's soccer family for our first official season in the fall of 2017."
Chaffin, a right back who can play defense and midfield, comes to the Pioneers from a winning Henry Clay program which went 17-3-1 her senior season and finished as a runner-up in its region.
"As a small liberal arts school, I feel Transy will give me the opportunity to explore different fields of studies and develop lifelong relationships with my professors and my classmates," said Chaffin. "I believe Transylvania University is the perfect fit for what I'm looking for in a college experience, and it just happens to be in a really cool town that I love. Upon meeting Coach Reis, I knew he could develop me into a stronger soccer player and his 'we are all family' attitude as a team sealed the deal. I am proud to become a TU Pioneer!"
Wilson is a midfielder who aims to provide another piece of the winning formula to the Pioneers in 2017. The Bryan Station alum served as a two-time team captain as her team advanced to the regional round two years consecutively. The local product figures to add playmaking as well, as she led Bryan Station in assists in 2016.
"Even though this decision wasn't easy for me, there were a few things that set Transylvania apart from the other schools," said Wilson of her choice to join the Pioneers. "The staff at Transylvania went way out of their way to help with my decision, and supported me even when I was leaning towards other schools. Joining the soccer team with a brand new coach sounds like a fresh new start, and I believe that's what they need. I'm ecstatic to be a part of that. I felt the most comfortable here on their campus with the staff they have here, and that is why I chose Transylvania to be my home for the next four years."
Linking up with the Pioneers is another Bryan Station product in Yates, whose offensive prowess yields promise for Transylvania this upcoming season. The multi-faceted midfielder tallied 16 goals and 12 assists in her final campaign for Bryan Station, and was a two-time team MVP.
"I chose to attend Transylvania University because it's a great balance for me in academics and athletics," said Yates of her choice. "It's a school that will challenge me academically and it provides many opportunities in the field of study I want to major in. Also, the soccer program is very strong and so is the coaching staff. I love the community that the students and staff have built at Transylvania and can't wait to be a part of it!"
Gray comes to Transylvania from Danville, Kentucky, where the defender was part of a Danville High School squad that went 13-7-1, advancing to the second round of regionals. Displaying versatility as both a defender and a goalkeeper, Gray boasted 12 shutouts as part of her senior-year run with Danville, and was named to the 12th region second team.
"I have chosen to attend Transylvania University because it has been my dream school for about three years," described Gray. "I wanted to go to a school where I could play soccer but also get a great education. Transy offers the academic challenge that I want. I love all the resources they have for my intended major of exercise science. I came from a small school so that's the kind of environment I wanted to stay in during college. Of all the people on the team I've talked to, including the coaches, I feel like they are a very welcoming family which made me drawn to the school even more. I'm very excited to be a future Pioneer!"
Hite, a striker and midfielder from Hebron, Kentucky, is another consistent scorer that Reis adds to his 2017 squad. Hite was a third team selection out of the 9th region after posting 13 goals and 15 assists in her senior season. The highlight of her senior year was a hat-trick and two assists versus Carroll County. Hite is another versatile addition who played three sports all through middle school and high school.
"I chose Transylvania University because of its amazing academic reputation & small campus size," said Hite. "The campus life and location in downtown Lexington was also a factor in making my decision. Transylvania's women's soccer program seemed like a perfect fit for me to continue my athletic career. The more I researched about Coach Reis & his success at his previous school, the closer I came to making my final decision to attend Transylvania University."
Along with the group of five, the Pioneers women's soccer team also unveiled its schedule for the upcoming 2017 season. Transylvania will kick off its opening weekend with a trek to Cincinnati, Ohio where it will take on Wilmington (OH) and Blackburn at Mt. St. Joseph on Friday, September 1, and Sunday, September 3, respectively.
The latter half of the opening month will be highlighted by a four-game homestand at Pat Deacon Stadium; the Pioneers will host Ohio Athletic Conference rival John Carroll on September 16, followed by a quick turnaround to host Maryville (TN) the next day. The Pioneers will reprise their back-to-back tempo the following weekend when they host Webster on Saturday, September 23 and Ohio Northern on Sunday, September 24.
The Pioneers open up regular season play on Saturday, September 30 when they face Rose-Hulman at 1:00 p.m. at Pat Deacon Stadium. That match commences a string of three out of four games played at home before the Pios take off for four straight contests away from Lexington, beginning with an October 14 match at Manchester.
Transylvania will wrap up its season on Saturday, October 28 with Senior Day as it aims to extend its journey with conference postseason play beginning the following week.
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