The Vanguard

Soccer welcomes 10 newcomers and new coach

Shelby Guidry

Shelby Guidry

Marissa Mason, Managing Editor

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First-year University of South Alabama soccer coach Richard Moodie is taking over the team after last year’s head coach Graham Winkworth was named the head coach of Arizona State University. USA’s soccer team went 15-6-1 last year, made its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and earned the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles for the third consecutive season.

Newcomers for the fall are Julianna Abrams, Anita Ágústsdóttir, Selma Björgvinsdóttir, Georgia Bostic, Abigail Mills and Sonja Reichel.

“By the end of the day, I’d love to see girls knowing each other’s names, having a bit of fun, pushing each other, and trying to grow as a team,” Moody said.

Midfielder Abrams from Pace Fla. previously made the Puerto Rican U20 national team.

“… if that’s any indication of the level of player that she is, we feel like she’ll come in and fit into the culture we have at South Alabama,” Moody said.

Defender Ágústsdóttir capped at the U19 level in Iceland.

“She’s going to fill some holes that we have and can play a variety of positions – she’s not locked in at just one,” Moody said. “A player like that can bring a lot to a squad, especially when you consider that we play every Friday and Sunday.”

Also from Iceland, Midfielder Björgvinsdóttir spent five seasons at Valur before playing two seasons for club team FH Hafnarfjordur.

“All of the girls we’ve announced have been heavily recruited by other schools and Selma [Björgvinsdóttir] is one of those kids,” Moody said. “We’re very fortunate that she chose to come to South Alabama.”

Defender Bostic spent two seasons with AFC Light in Atlanta, Ga. before Armstrong State discontinued their soccer program after merging with Georgia Southern.

“We really feel like she could come in and contribute year one,” Moody said. “She’s athletic and educated in the game of soccer, and well coached by Gavin McLeod of AFC Lightning.”

Midfielder Mills of London, England represented England against the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

“The development she’s had thus far has been phenomenal,” Moody said. “She’s a natural athlete and by trade is a soccer player. She’s a fantastic young lady and a great talent. She understands the game tactically very well, but we feel like Abi could come in and start on a very veteran team.”

Defender Reichel from Unna, Germany spent two years as a member of Bayer 04 Leverkusen U17 team.

“She’s a center back and we have two returning veterans in Hannah Godfrey and Steffi Hardy but not much depth,” Moody said. “Her challenge is to come in and make them better and play them out of the position.

The University of South Alabama soccer team starts their new season with an exhibition match against LSU on Aug. 7 in Orange Beach, Ala. At 6 p.m.

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Soccer welcomes 10 newcomers and new coach