Feb. 6, 2013
Signing Day Video
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head soccer coach Todd Bramble announced the 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday. The class is comprised of two early enrollees, one spring walk-on, and six freshmen that will join the Crimson Tide in the fall. With this class the Tide further strengthened its squad by adding impact players at every position.
The class features: Caroline Alexander, Hailey Brohaugh, Lauren Collins, Danielle Herubin, Jordan Meier, Auburn Mercer, Molly O’Keefe, Noelle Sanz and Kat Stratton.
“This is a real exciting day for our program,” Bramble said. “It is a big day for these young ladies who have worked so hard to get here and their families and for us to start generating excitement for next year’s team. We are really excited about the group that will be joining us next fall. We have a well-rounded group that we really believe will move our program forward.”
Alexander is a 5-5 defender from Charlotte, N.C., where she was a club teammate of fellow freshman Auburn Mercer on the Charlotte Soccer Academy under coach Adam Denton. Alexander attended the 2012 ECNL Regional Player Development Camp as well as being a regular attendee of the ODP Region Camp from 2007 through 2009.
“Caroline is a defensive player that can really play anywhere on the backline for us,” said Bramble. “She can play with both feet, play on the right side or the left side, and has all the qualities to make a good central defender as well. We expect her to come in and make a quick transition to our backline.”
She attended high school at Myers Park where she earned four letters. She was named all-conference and all-region in 2010-12. Alexander sustained a 4.03 GPA and is planning on entering into the communications program at Alabama. Alexander will wear number 24 for the Tide.
“I have known and coached Caroline since she was nine years old,” Coach Denton said. “It is amazing to see players like Caroline go all the way through our program and achieve their dreams. Caroline has always had an engine on the field. She can cover great distances, has very good speed, and had excellent 1v1 ability on both sides of the ball. I am very happy for Caroline and I know she will do very well at the next level.”
Brohaugh is a 5-5 midfielder/defender who comes to Tuscaloosa from Madison, Miss. She was a member of the Chicago Fire Juniors Club of Mississippi along with fellow Crimson Tide newcomer Kat Stratton and played under David Johnson. They were the 2012 US Club Soccer National Cup XII Finalists, as well as the 2011 Mississippi State Cup Champions. She attended the Mississippi ODP every year from 2007 through 2012 as well as attending the 2008 and 2009 U14 National ID Camp.
“I like the fact that the lineage of players from Mississippi is continuing,” Bramble said. “You look at our roster and see the success we have had with Molly Atherton and now Laura Lee Smith, to add Hailey Brohaugh from the same state is exciting. She can play in the back, she can play in the center of the midfield and can play a variety of different positions. She is super technical and comes to us with a lot of good youth experience.”
Brohaugh was selected to the 2010 and 2011 Region III ODP as well as the 2010 and 2011 ODP Thanksgiving Interregional. She was also invited to the 2011 and 2012 Region III Europe Trip. She is coming to the Capstone with an intended major of pre physical therapy from Madison Central High School. Brohaugh will wear number 15 for the Tide.
"Hailey is very dedicated to the game of soccer,” her high school coach Matt Woods said. “She is the smartest midfielder that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. She is able to see things on the field that most players don't recognize. Hailey is extremely eager to begin learning and playing at the next level for the University of Alabama."
Collins is a 5-8 defender joining the Tide from Homewood Ala., where she attended Homewood High School. Collins was a member of the BUSA ’95 ECNL team and was coached by Andrew Brower. They were back-to-back state champions in 2011 and 2012. Collins received the 2012 Defensive POY, 2011 Offensive POY and the MVP award in 2012.
“Lauren’s story is unique with how we discovered her late in the recruiting process,” Bramble said. “She has been a late-bloomer in the process and with that we think she has some untapped potential. We are really excited to sign Lauren and keep the Alabama connection going and have some homegrown talent on our team.”
She also competed in track and recently won the 5A Indoor State Championship in the 800m. Lauren maintained a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. Collins has been accepted to the Honors College and is a UA Scholar intended on pre-med as a major. She will wear number 14 for the Tide.
“The University of Alabama gets an outstanding individual with Lauren Collins,” Coach Brower said. “Lauren is a fantastic athlete with great pace, outstanding fitness, and is one of the most improved players in our organization over the past two seasons. She is a very steady defender who is world class in the air with the ball. BUSA is very happy to see good kids like Lauren, who do things the right way have an opportunity to chase their dreams at the next level at premier destinations like the University of Alabama.”
Herubin joins the squad after being a member of the UA club team where she was selected All-Region Forward and invited to walk-on this spring. The Coppell, Texas native played for the D’Feeters ’93 under David Pfeil. The D’Feeters competed in nationals where they took third in 2009, the 2009 Southern Regional Champions, Premier League Champions in 2008, 2009 and 2010, state champions in 2008, and LHGCL-D1 Grand Champions in 2009 and 2010.
“She has been here at Alabama for two years,” Bramble explained. “We saw her play at the D’Feeter’s club, Hugh Bradford’s team in Dallas, Texas, back in the recruiting process. We knew she was a good player and we have kept tabs on her and continued to monitor her progress and the timing was right to invite her to our team in the spring. She is an attacking player with great physical presence around the goal and we are excited she stuck with it and decided to join our team. "
Herubin was a scholar athlete at Coppell High School where she received Academic All-State and was National Merit Commended. She maintained this academic prowess through college where she has made the Dean’s List every semester and is in the computer based honors program. She is a chemical engineering major. She will wear number 8 for the Tide.
"Dani is such a talented young lady who represented a huge part of the success for her D'feeters '93 youth team,” coach David Pfeil said. “We can only believe that by the time she is finished at Alabama she will have had the same impact. We wish her and the Alabama program the best of luck."
Enrolling early to Alabama is St. Peters, Mo., native Jordan Meier, a 5-9 defender. As a representative of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Club, Meier attended the February ID2 National Camp in 2010 as well as the May U-15 NT Camp. In 2011 she again attended the February ECNL/ID2 Camp and added the ECNL International Tour team to her resume. As a senior in 2012 Meier was part of the ECNL Sanford and the FL All-Event Teams.
“Jordan is a central defender who has a tremendous physical presence in there,” said Bramble. She is calm and composed on the ball and we anticipate her having a great spring for us and really busting through the learning curve and getting off to a great start.”
At Fort Zumwalt South High School, Meier was named first team all-conference, second team all-metro and second team all-state. She also played softball at Fort Zumwalt South. Meier has been accepted to the Honors College and is a UA Scholar majoring in Engineering. She will wear number 3 for the Tide.
“Jordan has been an amazing example for all the players in the SLSG community,” Coach Scott McDoniel said. “She not only possesses great physical presence on the field; strong tackler, improved ability in the air, and consistent distribution out of the back, but she is a person of value, character, and a born leader. Jordan embraces a challenge and invites pressure. Her talents on the field have improved each day as a result of her work ethic, passion, and dedication to her team, her club, and the game. We are extremely proud to have been able to know Jordan and we feel she will do amazing things for Alabama.”
Also coming to the Capstone as an early enrollee is Auburn Mercer, a 5-7 midfielder from Matthews, N.C., who was a teammate on the Charlotte Soccer Academy with fellow signee Caroline Alexander. Mercer was part of the Region III ODP in 2010 and again in 2011, she was showcased in the 2010 and in 2011 ODP Thanksgiving Interregional. Mercer was also on the 2011 ECNL October Phoenix All-Event Team. Mercer is on the Topdrawer Top 150 list at #58.
“Auburn is an extremely versatile player,” Bramble said. “I could literally picture Auburn playing on any line on the field from the front to the back. She has a good physical presence. She can head, tackle, she can distribute the ball, can score goals, defend, so she is a well-rounded player that a spring of college soccer is going to do her a world of good and really give her a head start going into next fall.”
Mercer prepped at Weddington High School where she upheld a 4.1 GPA and spent three years on the varsity team collecting all-state and all-conference accolades twice and was named the conference MVP. Mercer is entering Alabama pursuing an exercise science major. Mercer will wear number 19 for the Tide.
"I have had the opportunity to work with Auburn over the last three seasons after her family relocated from Florida,” Coach Denton explained. “It was clear Auburn had a lot of potential and over the last three seasons we have had the opportunity to work with her and seen her develop into a very accomplished player. Auburn is a very versatile player being able to play in possession. Auburn has a great passing range, 1v1 ability and has the vision in the final to create opportunities and also score goals from midfield. I am overjoyed that Auburn is pleased with her decision to attend Alabama and I know she is very much looking forward to competing in the SEC. I am sure Auburn will do very well at Alabama."
O’Keefe will join the team in the fall as a versatile 5-10 midfielder who can also play in the back line. She comes to Tuscaloosa from Anaheim Hills, Ca., where she was on the honor roll throughout her high school career with a 4.0 at Mater Dei High School. O’Keefe was on the Strikers FC ECNL club team where she played under Alex Camargo.
“Molly is a midfielder with a big physical presence,” Bramble said. “She plays on both sides of the ball and is a really good defensive midfielder. She can really contribute to the attack with how she can distribute the ball around. She can score goals from long range, so she can really come in and be a threat for us at the midfield. It has really been good for us to keep getting kids from California with some of the best competition in the country. Week-in and week-out the competition really helps them with the transition to college soccer. We are really excited that Molly has decided to join our team.”
She was an ID2 selection as well as leading the team in assists for four years. On her high school team, O’Keefe led the team in scoring in 2011. O’Keefe will be pursuing a political science major when she enrolls in the fall. She has been accepted to the Honors College and is a UA Scholar. She will wear number 18 for the Tide.
"Molly O'Keefe has excellent feet, makes good decisions, and is an excellent ball striker,” Coach West said. “During her Mater Dei career, Molly has made significant contributions on and off the field that has strengthened our program. Finally, Molly's hard work in the classroom is also impressive. I'm really proud of her accomplishments at look forward to following her collegiate career."
Sanz enters her freshman year having already played on the international level. The 5-7 defender was a member of the Costa Rican Women’s National Team where her first appearance was against the United States in September. The Temecula, Ca., native was also on the 2010 U-17 WC Team Costa Rica.
“We are really happy to get another player from California to add to our team out here,” said Bramble. “Noelle brings the unique quality of being a dual citizen, she also has Costa Rican heritage so because of that she has been with the Costa Rican U-17 National Team. She has also recently been called up to their full team. She played on the US Gold Medal Tour, she was able to play in the game in Rochester, Minn., game against the United States and she has another call-up ahead of her. She is an outside back that comes in from the west coast mixed in with some international experience that should really help with her transition to college soccer.”
In addition to soccer, Sanz participated in Track and Field as well as being an exceptional student at Charparral High School receiving the AP scholar with Honors, CSF, AP excellence Award, AP Human Geography and Academic Excellence award twice. On her prep team she was awarded the Defensive MVP two years and scholar-athlete all three years. Her intended major at Alabama is chemistry- pre-health. She has been accepted to the Honors College and is a UA Scholar. She will wear #13 for the Tide.
“Noelle is great attacking back for our team and for our club,” Legends FC Director, Josh Hodges said. “Noelle has been a great teammate and I believe will be very successful at the next level.”
Stratton rounds out the 2013 signing class as one of the top goalkeeping prospects in the country. The 5’11 Stratton teamed with Hailey Brohaugh on the Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi. In 2010, she made an impressive start to her resume putting together appearances in the U-15 National Team Player Pool, May U-15 National Team Camp, Region III ODP and the November U-15 National Team Camp. She excelled in 2011, making the Region III Europe Trip and the Region III ODP.
“Kat has had a great youth career, coming in and out of the youth national team pool,” Bramble said. “As a goalkeeper her potential is unlimited. Once she gets into our daily training environment and working with Jason [Lowe] on a daily basis we really think Kat is going to blossom into a great college goalkeeper.”
In 2012 she participated in the 2012 February ODP National Camp and the Region III ODP. In addition to soccer she played tennis at Tupelo High School, and maintained a GPA of 3.8, earning the recognition of the THS National Honor Society. Her brother Chris Stratton played baseball at Mississippi State and is now with the San Francisco Giants organization. She will wear number 1 for the Tide.