Five Set To Join Bulldogs In Class of 2016

Rudy Meredith. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Rudy Meredith. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

All Bring Strong Credentials To New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Head coach Rudy Meredith will welcome five freshmen to the Yale women's soccer team this fall.

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2016:

Rachel Ames
Huntsville, Ala.
Huntsville H.S.

Before Yale: Alabama Player of the Year as a junior at Huntsville High School… Posted 35 shutouts in a 12-month span, ranging from State League to ECNL and international play… TopDrawerSoccer Top 100 Player To Watch, No. 36 (No. 4 goalkeeper)… Helped Huntsville to three state championships… Two-year member of the Region III Olympic Development Program… Participated in the ODP Region III Germany and Argentina training tours.

Personal: U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award recipient… Volunteered at Manna House, a non-profit organization that distributes food and clothing to people in need… Father Marc was captain of the soccer team at Cumberland College.

Why Yale? "After visiting the campus and meeting with the team and coaches, I knew that Yale was the place for me. I am looking forward to the great academic and athletic opportunities that Yale has to offer."

Christina Bradley
Wayne, Pa.
Conestoga H.S.

Before Yale: All-Central League selection at Conestoga High School… Earned All-DELCO and All-Mainline recognition… Three-year starter… Two-time team captain… Named team's most valuable defender as senior and unsung hero as a junior… Played club soccer for FC DELCO ECNL Force, which was ranked fourth nationally by ESPN Rise in 2008… Team won state championship in 2008 and was a semifinalist in 2010… Participated in the Pennsylvania East Olympic Development Program for three years.

Personal: Recipient of the Parents Club of West Point Leadership Award… Lead female singer in Conestoga High School's musical production of Titanic… Interned at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in research lab for developmental neuropathology.

Why Yale? "From the first moment I stepped on campus, I knew Yale was where I wanted to be. I am excited to be surrounded by passionate, enthusiastic students who are striving for excellence. The team and school both offer welcoming communities that I know will both support me and push me every day."

Shannon Conneely
Weymouth, Mass.
Weymouth H.S.

Before Yale: Bay State League most valuable player at Weymouth High School… Eastern Massachusetts All Star… Earned all-state recognition… Two-time Bay State League All Star… All-Scholastic selection… Helped lead Weymouth to a pair of Bay State League titles and the 2008 South Sectional championship… Plays club soccer for the Scorpions, who compete in the ECNL.

Personal: Volunteered for the Weymouth Food Pantry… Played club soccer with current Yale teammate Melissa Gavin.

Why Yale? Selecting Yale required no second thought. Yale will provide me with so many unique academic opportunities and resources, not to mention all of the wonderful people I will be surrounded by."

Ally Grossman
Germantown, Md.
St. John's College H.S.

Before Yale: Two-time Defensive Player of the Year at St. John's College…  Four-time WCAC all-conference selection… Team captain as a junior and senior… Earned second team All-Met honors as a senior… Helped lead St. John's to WCAC titles in 2008 and 2011… Plays club soccer for the ECNL's Bethesda Freedom, which won three state championships and one Region I title… Participated in the Maryland and Region I Olympic Development Programs… 2011 U.S. Soccer Training Invite.

Personal: Named St. John's College High School's Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Why Yale? "Yale combines two major aspects of my life – high-level academics and competitive soccer. Stepping onto campus, I immediately knew it was the place for me, and I cannot wait to be a Bulldog."

Paula Hagopian
West Hartford, Conn.
Kingswood Oxford School

Before Yale: The Gatorade and NSCAA Connecticut Player of the Year as a senior at the Kingswood Oxford School… Finished her career with 56 goals and 35 assists… Two-time NSCAA All-America selection… Named All-New England, all-state and all-league in each of her four years… Helped lead Kingswood Oxford to the NEPSCA Class B championship as a junior… Played club soccer for CFC United… Earned all star recognition at the 2009 ECNL Final 4 Showcase.

Personal: Volunteered creating a library for a high school in Cambridge, Mass… Former teammates Alexa Yow (Columbia) and Charlotte Beach (Brown) both play soccer in the Ivy League.

Why Yale? I wanted a school with a competitive soccer team, a very high level of academics, coaches I love and a great atmosphere. Yale more than filled all of my criteria, and I can't wait to play as a Bulldog."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity