RICHMOND, Va. – In every sport, there is always an adjustment period for incoming freshman to the fast-paced college game.
To have a chance to add a very talented player that has already gone through that adjustment is always an added bonus. That bonus was exactly what the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer program got when transfers Carly Edgcomb (Princeton, N.J.) (below, left) and Leah Gallie (Palmerston North, New Zealand) (below, right) signed to join the Black & Gold next fall.
"We are thrilled to be adding these type of high-level players to our roster," Co-Head Coach Tim Sahaydak said. "Both of these players have proven to already be top-caliber players at the collegiate level and when you can that to an already very good recruiting class, it's exciting."
Former Ram, Hayley Moorwood, had a hand in
Gallie joining the Rams. Gallie has been in the pool for New
Zealand national teams since the age of 14 and looked up to
Moorwood (the current captain of the New Zealand National
"Hayley is someone I truly admire. Knowing that she came here to develop her skills and further her education, is something that says a lot and definitely made me interested in coming," Gallie said. "After seeing the type of program that the coaching staff runs, I knew this was where I belonged. In addition, the academics are top class and feel that I will truly be challenged both on and off the field."
She made her way to a premier Division II program in Bridgeport last year. Immediately, she was thrust into the lineup and saw most of her time at center back or defensive midfielder. Her defensive presence helped the Purple Knights to a 16-2-3 mark and a goals against average of less than one per game. She wasn't limited to the defensive side as she finished fourth on the team in points with eight goals and two assists on the year.
Before arriving at Bridgeport last fall, she had already accumulated quite a resume with being a top high school player at Freyburg High School as well as being a member of the New Zealand U-17 squad that played in the 2008 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"Leah has a very good understanding of the game and possesses the versatility to play multiple positions," Co-Head Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "She has made the most of her international appearances as a defensive force for New Zealand, but she also went on to score eight goals in her first collegiate season. We're looking forward to seeing how she will fit in best here at VCU, but we have no doubt that wherever she is on the field, she will help strengthen our program."
Edgcomb joins the Rams after spending one season at Big East power, Villanova. Her defensive presence helped the Wildcats post an 11-6-2 mark and earn a berth into the 2009 NCAA Tournament. After missing the first nine games with an injury, she appeared in the final 13 games for the Wildcats, starting the last 11. Only twice did she not play the full 90 minutes.
With Edgcomb in the lineup, Villanova held their opponents to just 21 goals in 22 contests on the year and allowed more than one goal just once in her 13 appearances.
"To be able to add a player with Carly's ability to our roster is tremendous," Sahaydak said. "She has proven herself already on the collegiate level in the Big East and in the NCAA Tournament. Carly comes with a background that includes hard work, good coaching and elite competition. When you combine that with the talent she's shown on the field, we're convinced she will make a big splash at VCU."
Prior to attending Villanova, she was a standout for the Montclair and FC Bucks club teams, along with Princeton High School. She was started on the FC Bucks club team that finished in the top five national in both 2008 and 2009.
Edgcomb and Gallie join seven others that signed national letter of intents to join the Rams next fall. Midfielders Shay Haddow (Bingham, Utah), Taryn Cressy (Boise, Idaho) and Sami Kuykendall (Vienna, Va.) join attackers Jordyn Rolling (Northridge, Utah), Brianne Moore (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Bex Kunz (Boise, Idaho). Rounding out the class is goalkeeper Megan Lynch (Lake Mary, Fla.).