STORRS, Conn. (February 13, 2006) The University of Connecticut womens soccer program has signed three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2006-07 school year as announced by head coach Len Tsantiris on Monday, Feb. 13. Midfielder/forward Brianna Gray (Barrington, N.H.), midfielder Annie Yi (Indianapolis, Ind.) and defender Lauren Ebert (Hillsborough, N.J.) comprise the 2006 class. With the graduation of eight seniors, Coach Tsantiris believes that these three players will make an immediate impact and help fill the void left by the graduating seniors.
I am very happy with the players who are coming in this fall. We have evaluated the areas in which we need to improve and feel that these players will strengthen our team for the next four years. They have the potential to step in and raise the level of our program immediately says Tsantiris.
The following is a full signee roster along with biographies and comments:
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT WOMENS SOCCER 2006 LETTER-OF-INTENT SIGNEES
Player Brianna Gray Annie Yi Lauren Ebert
Position Midfield/Forward Midfielder Defender
Hometown Barrington, N.H. Indianapolis, Ind. Hillsborough, N.J.
High School St Thomas Aquinas HS Ben Davis HS Hillsborough HS
Club(s) Seacoast United; Carmel Cyclones; Parsippany Mischief;
ODP Region I ODP Region II; ODP Region I;
U-18 U.S. National Team U-17 U.S. National Team
Brianna Gray, a two-time NSCAA Regional All-American, will be joining the Huskies as an attacker in 2006. The Barrington, N.H. native attends St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Dover, N.H.), where she is the all-time leading scorer with 111 goals and 57 assists. This past fall, she led St. Thomas Aquinas to a first place finish in the regular season, a #4 ranking in New England and #22 ranking in the nation. A proven goal scorer, Gray will be looked upon to be an offensive threat in the midfield and up top. She is a member of the 1987 Region 1 ODP Team, the Super Y National Select Team and the Super Y Divisional ODP team. Gray was named Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005 by both the Portsmouth Herald and the Fosters Daily Democrat. The three-time New Hampshire All-State team honoree is also a candidate for the 2005 New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year award. Brie is a tremendous athlete and soccer player, an important combination that we look for at UConn. She is a tough, hard working player who brings a high technical proficiency to the field. More than that, she is a competitor every time she steps on the field. We are excited for her to join our young and talented offense this coming fall says Tsantiris.
Gray on why she chose UConn:
I chose UConn because I felt that it was the only place where I could be happy both academically and athletically. I wanted to put myself in an environment where it would be a constant challenge to improve. I want to work and continue to thrive at the next level. I felt it was a place where I could feel at home, and that was the biggest thing for me.
Annie Yi is a 2005 NSCAA/adidas Youth All-American out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Ind. The central midfielder will be looked upon to make an immediate impact for the Huskies in 2006. A skillful and smart player with the creativity and ability to dominate games, Yi will join current Husky standout and U-19 National team member in 2004, Meghan Schnur (sophomore), in the midfield. Yi is a member of the U-18 U.S. National team and the 1988 Region II ODP team. She has seen success at all levels a 2005 U.S. adidas Cup U-17 Champion with the U-17 National team as well as a five-time State Cup Champion and three-time Region II Semi-Finalist with the Carmel Cyclones premier team. She was named Indiana All-State First Team three times and a NSCAA Regional All-American the past two years. Most recently, Yi played at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles as a member of the U-17 and U-18 U.S. National teams and traveled to Europe with the Region II ODP team. Tsantiris says, Annie brings national team experience to our program, which will help her make an immediate impact at the college level. She has a strong defensive mentality and is a tremendous athlete. Yi has a strong tactical understanding of the game and a creative flair that will be exciting to watch. She will be a major threat to contend with in the middle of the field.
Yi on why she chose UConn:
UConn was one of those places that had what I wanted in every aspect, said Yi. Athletically, the program will challenge me to meet my goals. The diversity of the team and its chemistry was what I was looking for and UConn had it all. The education is also top-notch. I couldnt ask for a better place.
Lauren Ebert will join the Huskies for the 2006 season upon graduation from Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, N.J. Ebert is a central defender that has the potential to make an immediate impact. A National and Regional team member, she is an athletic and smart player whose experience at the higher levels should help strengthen the Husky defense. She is a member of the Under-17 U.S. National team, the USL Super Y-League U-17 National ODP Team and the Region I ODP team. Additionally, she has gained international playing experience with past trips to England and Ireland, and will gain additional experience with an upcoming trip to Brazil in April 2006. Tsantiris says, Lauren has the ability to improve our defensive line immediately. Her experience as a center back, athleticism, technical abilities and tactical understanding of the game make her a great addition to our program. As a member of the Parsippany Mischief she has learned how to build play from the back which fits perfectly with the possession style we play at UConn.
Ebert on why she chose UConn:
"I want to go to UCONN to win a National Championship".