Women's Soccer Signs Four for 2012
"Across the board, this is a class that I am extremely proud of," Purcell said. "Each of them is a great student first--they all will receive academic scholarships as well as athletic scholarships at PC. Secondly, they have all played at the very highest levels of club soccer in the country, essentially being exposed to the Division I level already through their club experiences. Finally, they are just the type of young women we want in our program. They come from great families and will represent PC and our program extremely well both on and off the field."
Carter will join PC after a successful soccer career at midfield and forward at New Creation Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga. Carter earned Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama Most Valuable Player honors for two straight years after scoring 49 goals in 2011 and 27 in 2010, leading the squad to two consecutive league titles and an undefeated season in 2010.
She has also served as the team captain of the Concorde Fire South Elite club team since 2008 and led the team to two Georgia State Cup semifinal runs and an Athena A first place finish in 2010. In the classroom, Carter has made honor roll and participates in the Beta Club and Science Club.
"Chandler fills three very important roles that we needed in this class," Purcell said. "One, Chandler is a talented attacking player who can score goals. Two, Chandler is left-footed, and three, Chandler is a very athletic player with great speed and agility. Chandler came to our attention when she played for a former teammate of mine at PC, Dave Cousar, who was the assistant coach at New Creation Christian Academy. I knew almost immediately when I had the chance to see her play that she would be a great addition to our program."
Cobb will arrive at PC after a prolific career playing midfield and defense at Cardinal Newman High School in Columbia, S.C. At Cardinal Newman, Cobb led the team to three SCISA championships, two SCISA State finals appearances and a SCISA State Championship in 2011. She also served as team captain in 2012 and earned three consecutive All-Region honors, two straight All-State honors and was named a two-time SCISA All-Star. In addition, Cobb nabbed SCISA All-Area laurels in 2010 as well as a selection to the NSCAA High School Girls All-Region III Team.
In club play, Cobb helped South Carolina United in Mt. Pleasant to two State Cup semi-finals runs and a State Cup Finals appearance in 2011. She also received the Team Leadership Award for her approach to the game. Off the field, she earned the 2011 Converse College Junior Scholar award, the 2011 Coker College Scholar award and served as a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.
"Sophie is a very versatile player who combines skill and intelligence to allow her to be successful almost anywhere on the field," Purcell said. "Sophie came along a little late in the recruiting process. I feel very fortunate that a player with her ability was still out there when we started to recruit her. Her primary positions are defense and midfield, but as I stated before, she could play almost anywhere on the field."
Fontenot will join the Blue Hose after a versatile career leading to the goalkeeper position at James Bowie High School. Fontenot played volleyball and helped track to a district championship as a sophomore before playing varsity soccer in 2010 and guiding the team to a third-place state finish in 2011 and an undefeated district record. She earned Rookie of the Year honors for the 5-A District in 2011 and nabbed First Team All-District and First Team All-Academic laurels in 2011 as well.
In club action, Fontenot helped the Austin United Capitals to a state championship and a trip to regionals in Louisiana. In the classroom, she participated in National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Peer Assistant and Leadership Skills while accruing over 36 hours of volunteer work for NHS.
"I feel very fortunate to be able to bring in a goalkeeper with Sydney's skill set and her experience level playing with one of the best youth soccer clubs in the country," said Purcell. "Sydney is a technically very gifted keeper who has great positioning and great hands. She also plays some in the field, and although she will rarely play in the field at PC, it gives her a confidence with the ball at her feet, which is a very important trait for modern goalkeepers."
Gaither will arrive at PC after a well-rounded career as a defender at Statesville High School in Statesville, N.C. Gaither helped her squad to three straight playoff appearances that included a conference championship and a run to the third round of the state playoffs in 2010. The future Blue Hose also earned all-county, all-conference and all-region honors in 2010 and 2011 and serves as team captain.
In club play, Gaither guided 93 NC Fusion to a 2011 North Carolina YSA championship and a No. 1 ranking in North Carolina. She patrolled the back line and helped the squad qualify for the 2012 US Regional Championship as well as grab a slew of tournament championships including the 2011 Disney Showcase, 2010 Jefferson Cup, 2010 CASL Showcase and the 2011 Southern Soccer Showcase.
Off the field, Gaither volunteers at the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club, Fifth Street Ministries, Special Olympics and Greyhound Summer Sports camp. She also finished in the top 10 percent of her class and earned Renaissance Gold Scholar honors for placing on the "A" Honor Roll.
"Hannah is a very talented and experienced player," Purcell said. "Hannah is a smart, skillful, and athletic defender but is versatile enough to play in the midfield as well. Hannah will definitely add to our athleticism and I feel very fortunate to bring in a player of her ability level."