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WSOC Announces 13 Player Incoming Class

Head Coach Len Tsantiris adds 13 players to 2017 roster.
June 23, 2017

STORRS, Conn. – UConn head coach Len Tsantiris announced Friday the addition of 13 newcomers to the roster for the upcoming 2017 season. The Huskies welcome two forwards, four midfielders, six defenders and one goalkeeper.  

"We are excited to bring in such a deep a talented class,” Tsantiris said. “We graduated a very strong group of player that included two All-Americans but we fell that this group, combined with the strong group of returning players, can be the foundation for the program as it continues to move forward."

See below for the full bios of each new Husky along with Tsantiris’ thoughts on each new addition.



Vivien Beil | Jena, Germany | Sportsgymnasium Jena | Midfield

Before UConn: Transfer from the University of Maine...played two seasons with the Black Bears under Scott Athlerley.

2016 (University of Maine)America East All-Conference First Teamteam captain…2016 All-Academic Team…Dean’s List both semesters…started 14 games...led the team with three goals...scored against Albany, UNH and CCSU... two assists on the season...second on the team with 26 shots.

2015 (University of Maine): Named America East Rookie of the Year...America East All-Conference First Team...started all 19 games for the Black Bears, three goals scored ranked third-best on the team...led the team with five assists while finishing second on the team in shots on goal and total shots...Registered her first career goal, a game-winner, against Fordham...added a pair of assists in a win at Marist...had a career-high seven shots against Binghamton...a Maine Scholar-Athlete rising star...America East Commissioner's Honor Roll…Dean’s List both semesters.

High School: Played four years (45 games) at FF USV Jena Bundesliga (2011-15)...member of the German U16, U17 and U19 youth National Teams…started all five matches at the 2012 FIFA U17 World Cup for Germany...In 2012, helped lead Germany to a European Championship and fourth place finish at the FIFA U17 World Cup...was named the best young player of Jena in 2011 & 2012...played high school soccer for Sportgymnasium Jena and head coach Daniel Kraus.

Personal: Vivien Beil…daughter of Danilo Prinz and Manuela Beil-Peter…has one younger sister, Zarina, and one younger brother, Jannik…plans to major in psychology at UConn.       

Tsantiris on Beil: "A regular with the youth National Teams of Germany and former America East Rookie of the Year and two-year All-Conference Player, Vivien Beil joins us with successful experience both at the international and at the collegiate level. She is a versatile player that can influence the game from a number of positions. Vivi has the potential to be an impact player both on our team and in the conference"

Melina Couzis | Baldwin Place, N.Y. | Somers HS | Midfield

Before UConn: Earned four varsity letters at Somers high school in Lincolndale, N.Y. under head coach Paul Saia…scored 60 goals and collected 63 assists in high school career…won 2014 NY State Class A Championship…two-year captain…three-year NSCAA All-American East Region…2016 NSCAA All-American…selected to play in 2016 All-American game in Raleigh, N.C...three-time NYS All-Section 1 performer…2016 NYS Section 1 Player of the Year…2016 Journal News Player of the Year…three-time Journal News All-Star team member…three-time NYSSWA All-State…National Honor Society member.

Personal: Melina Sophia Couzis…daughter of Alexander and Mary Couzis…has one brother; Jason…Plans to major in exercise science/pre-med at UConn.

Tsantiris on Couzis: "Melina is a very gifted central midfielder that has the ability to be both a ball winner and a great distributor of the ball. She is a special combination of competitive fight and smooth technique that should be a great addition to our program."

Sara da Silva | Danbury, Conn. | Danbury HS | Defense

Before UConn: A four-year varsity letter-winner at Danbury High School for head coach Jess Halas…2016 team captain…three-time FCIAC All-Conference performer…member of 2013 Region 1 ODP team…earned two varsity letters in track & field…two-time National Junior Olympic Games Track & Field 800M competitor in 2012 & 2013…Danbury HS Scholar Athlete Award recipient in 2016 & 2017.

Personal: Sara Gessford da Silva…daughter of Reginaldo da Silva and Jean Gessford…has two brothers, Alessandro and Cristiano and one younger sister, Francesca…will be an exploratory major at UConn.

Tsantiris on da Silva: "Sara is a very good player that was an elite track athlete as well. She has a very solid technical base that has great potential to continue to develop as a collegiate player. Her speed and stamina along with attacking instincts could allow her to become an impact attacking outside back”

Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky | Chappaqua, N.Y. | Horace Greeley HS | Midfield

Before UConn: A four-year varsity letter-winner at Horace Greeley High School under head coach Erin Tracey…In 2016 was senior captain, All-Region, All-State Second Team, All-Section and All-League team member…Conference 1/League D Co-Player of the Year…led team to league championship in 2016…Section 1 Elite 12 member…most combined goals and assists in Greeley girls soccer history

Personal: Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky…daughter of Stephen Danyko and Sonia Kulchycky…has one older sister, Ali…undecided on major at UConn.

Tsantiris on Danyko-Kulchycky: "Sophia is a wonderfully creative one-on-one player that loves taking players on and is able to create and finish her own chances. Comfortable in a variety of attacking positions, she has shown she is a constant threat to score from the flank."

Kess Elmore | Liverpool, England | Formby HS| Forward

Before UConn: Played for Liverpool Ladies FC…Liverpool Player of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015)…won the Youth FA Cup in 2014…Development League winners (Northwest Division) in 2015 & 2016…member of U20 England National Team

Personal: Kess Elizabeth Elmore…daughter of John and Patricia Elmore…undecided on major at UConn.

Tsantiris on Elmore: "Kess’s experience at playing a very high level, both with the Liverpool Ladies and with the English National Team, should help her transition quickly to the college game. She is a creative attacking player with great vision and very clean technical ability that is very dangerous one-on-one and can both score goals and create chances for her teammates"

Yamilee Eveillard | Valley Stream, N.Y. | Valley Stream North| Defense

Before UConn: Earned five varsity letters at Valley Stream North under head coach Geoffrey O’Connell…Conference Player of the Year in 2015 & 2016…three-time All-County team member (2014-16)…2015 Most Valuable Player…2015 All-State…2013 All-Conference performer…lettered in track & field for two seasons…All-County in track & field…2015 Defender of the Year with club team, Albertson Fury 98.

Personal: Yamilee Cassandre Eveillard…daughter of Joseph and Yanick Eveillard…has one older brother, Marvin…undecided on major at UConn.

Tsantiris on Eveillard: "Yamilee is a unique mixture of athletic ability and technique. She is able to influence the game from a number of positions on the field, has shown the ability to both create and finish chances as an attacking player and can play as an effective attacking outside back. We look forward to watching her continue to develop as a player because she has some very special abilities"  

Courtney Hofer | Farmington, Conn. | Farmington, HS | Goalkeeper

Before UConn: Transfer from TCU…spent three seasons in goal for the Horned Frogs.

2016 (TCU): Played in 12 matches, started 11 in junior season…4-1 record, sported a 0.64 goals against average and collected 18 saves…save percentage of .818…split time in net logging 564:29 minutes.

2015 (TCU): Made seven starts as part of 10 appearances on the season...ranked second on the squad with 37 saves…posted a .755 save percentage...started the season-opener at Missouri (Aug. 21)...made seven saves on nine shots in the loss...stopped two of the three shots that came her way at Arkansas (Aug. 23)...allowed five of her 12 goals on the season in one game at Illinois (Aug. 28)...came off the bench to finish off TCU's shutout of UTSA (Sept. 20)...made two saves in her half of the match against Iowa State (Sept. 25)...allowed a goal on two shots in 45 minutes at Texas (Oct. 11)...returned to the starting lineup on Oct. 25 against Oklahoma...made four saves in tallying her first career complete-game shutout...stopped four of five shots against Baylor (Oct. 27)...stopped five of six shots in a tie at Kansas (Oct. 30)...made a season-high nine saves against Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament (Nov. 4).

2014 (TCU): Started two matches...made 17 saves on 21 shots faced...posted a goals against average of .810...started TCU's season-opener at Washington State on Aug. 22...made a career high 10 saves on 13 shots against the Cougars...started TCU's regular season finale at Iowa State on Oct. 31...registered seven saves on eight shots against the Cyclones.

High School: A standout goalkeeper for the SoccerPlus Elite club for head coach Laura Duncan...was a PDP participant in 2012 and earned U15 ECNL PDA College Showcase all-event team honors in 2011...captain of her U16 squad...earned high honor roll 2010-12...tabbed the Scholar-Athlete leader in 2010...earned two high school varsity letters.

Personal: Parents are Jon and Wendy Hofer...has two siblings, Ross and Sydney.

Tsantiris on Hofer:
 "Courtney brings her high level experience as a Division I starter and it is great to bring a quality player from Connecticut home to UConn. With her experience and ability to read the game, along with her athletic ability, she has the chance to make an impact on the team this fall both on and off the field."

Paige Liebel | Saint Petersburg, Fla. | Canterbury School of Florida | Defense

Before UConn: Earned three varsity letters at Canterbury School of Florida under head coach Carlos Gomez…lettered in track & field for one season…National Honor Society member, AP Scholar and Salutatorian…competed with Tampa Bay United ECNL club team…USYS 2015 National Champion…USYS 2014 National Finalist…two-time Florida State Champion in 2015 and 2016…participated in 2016 Interregional ODP Camp in Boca Raton (Region 3)…competed in Germany for Turbine Potsdam in Junior Bundesliga…2012-2017 ODP Region 3 Pool and Florida State Team member.

Personal: Paige Anne Liebel…daughter of Hartmut Liebel and Laura Testwuide Liebel…has two older brothers, Tony and Robby…plans to major in electrical engineering and German at UConn.

Tsantiris on Liebel: "Calm and composed, Paige has the vision to see the field and the technical ability to find players. Having played quite a bit in Europe, she has an excellent soccer IQ and sees and reads the game well."

Rachel Marchini | Waterford, Conn. | Montville HS | Defense

Before UConn: Earned four varsity letters at Montville High School under April Parady-Walter…team captain…three-time All-Conference member…named to All-State team twice…two-time Most Valuable Player…twice recognized to All-Area team…lettered all four years in track…set school record in the 4X400 meter and 300 meter hurdles…Conference Champion in the 600m and 4X400m…team captain…twice named to All-Conference and All-Area teams…CIAC Scholar Athlete and National Honor Society member…Class President and Salutatorian

Personal: Rachel L. Marchini…daughter of Jill Marchini…has one brother, Nic, and an older sister, Hanna…plans to major in biomedical engineering at UConn.

Tsantiris on Marchini: "An intelligent player both on and off the field. Rachel reads the game well and is a constant physical presence while being comfortable with the ball at her feet. She has great upside and we are looking forward to seeing her develop over the course of her career"

Julia Petrillo | Tampa, Fla. | Academy of the Holy Names | Defense

Before UConn: Lettered two seasons at Academy of the Holy Names under head coach Kareem Escayg…three-time District Champions (2015-2017)…two-time Regional Champions (2016-2017)…2016 First Team All-County…2017 team captain…2017 Defensive MVP….2017 Hillsborough County All-Star…helped lead team to first-ever district and regional championships in school history…made back-to-back state final four appearances…lettered one year in cross country at St. Petersburg Catholic High School…was the first female runner in school history to win a meet…twice named to President’s Honor Roll.

Personal: Julia Claire Petrillo…daughter of Jim and Michelle…has a brother, Oliver, and two sisters, Emma and Ellie…undecided on major at UConn.

Tsantiris on Petrillo: "An outstanding athlete with a very solid technical base, Julia can play anywhere in the back four and is versatile enough to be used elsewhere as needed. Played club soccer with Paige [Liebel], where they formed a good partnership."

Visiliky Rizos | Westhampton, Mass. | Hampshire Regional HS | Midfield

Before UConn: Lettered four years at Hampshire Regional High School under head coach Kara Will…three-year captain…scored 16 goals and chipped in 12 assists…two-time All-Western Mass…twice named Team MVP…named to the All-State team…member of the National Honor Society and Hampshire High School Academic Society.

Personal: Visiliky A. Rizos…daughter of Tony and Vickie Rizos…has an older sister, Frederickie…plans to major in cognitive science at UConn.

Tsantiris on Rizos: "Visi is a very busy and technical player that can play a number of different positions. Her hard work and constant effort combined with her vision and passing really set her apart during the recruiting process."

Elena Santos | West Harford, Conn. | Conard HS| Defense

Before UConn: Played at Fairfield University for two seasons.

2016 (Fairfield University): Played in 17 matches, started 16 for the Stags…helped lead the defense to four shutouts on the season…registered 17 shots, including six shots on goal.

2015 (Fairfield University): One of the Stags most versatile players during the year, seeing action in almost every position on the field in her 14 appearances and 11 starts…finished tied with the team lead with four assists, the first time a Stag rookie at least shared the team lead in helpers since Nicole Cavallaro in 2007…recorded her first career assist against Manhattan (9/30)…set a career-high by picking up a pair of assists in the next game at Canisius (10/3).

High School: Santos comes to Fairfield after captaining her Conard High School squad and named to the All-CCC West team. Santos, who holds the school record for goals, was one of the top players in the division as a forward/midfielder…was also picked as one of the best players in the state, receiving a four-star ranking from Top Drawer Soccer and an IMG 150 national ranking...lettered in track & field for three seasons…All-Conference her freshman year.

Personal: Elena Gracinda Santos...daughter of Mario Santos and Lisa Audet...has two brothers, Luis and Mario...plans to major in communications at UConn.

Tsantiris on Santos: 
"An experienced player with outstanding speed, she is familiar with the physical demands of the college game and has a chance to impact the team right away. She can play a number of positions and we look forward to her joining us."

Zoe Steck | Nutley, N.J. | Nutley HS | Forward

Before UConn: Lettered four seasons at Nutley High School for head coach Mike DiPiano…totaled 107 career goals, 47 assists and 261 points…NHS all-time leading goal scorer (male/female)…only player to reach 100 goals in a career…NHS record for most points and set record for most goals in freshman season (27)…two-year captain…four-time First Team All-Conference performer in SEC…2016 All-State team…SEC 2016 Player of the Year…2016 NJ state leading goal scorer with 41 goals…lettered in track & field for two seasons…National Honor Society member.

Personal: Zoe A. Steck…daughter of Eric and Lynn Steck…has one older brother; Adam…plans be an exploratory major at UConn.

Tsantiris on Steck: "Zoe is a strong, physical presence that is very dangerous around the goal. She can both hold the ball with her back to goal and create chances for other players or she can turn and run at players. She is also someone that is very good in the air and will be someone that opponents will need to account for on set pieces"

The Huskies season opens on Friday, Aug. 11 in an exhibition match at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium against Boston College at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE to purchase season tickets or contact the UConn ticket office at 1-877-AT-UCONN.