Earlier today at Highmark Stadium, the Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA) signing class grew for the second consecutive year, as 24 players signed their National Letters of Intent during the third annual Signing Day celebration.
During this recruitment process, RDA coaches have worked to prepare players to compete at the college level.
Goalkeeper Samantha Wexell said the club takes players to high-level college showcases to be scouted by collegiate coaching staffs and is always teaching players how to get in contact with these coaches, as well as how to sign up for college identification recruitment camps.
“RDA coaches push us to be the best we can be and are always making sure we are doing the right things to be prepared for the next level,” midfielder Carly Pcholinsky said.
Many of these players have excelled outside of the RDA program. During their most recent high school soccer season, eight players on the girl’s side were named Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state champions playing for Norwin and Moon Area high schools. In addition, two select players were chosen to the United Soccer Coaches Girls All-America Team for the fall 2017 season.
For a number of these girls they have been lucky enough to create bonds on and off the field. Many of these girls have played together on the pitch in high school and RDA.
“It’s bittersweet going through signing day with them because we are closing all of our memories and going our own way,” 99/00 ECNL Girls captain Alexis Kendro said. “I know we all will stay friends till the end.”
A few select players are continuing their careers close to home in the Pittsburgh area. These individuals are playing locally at Robert Morris University (Bailey Farabaugh and Courtney Hurey), Duquesne University (Alexis Kendro, Hannah Nguyen and Alyssa Victor) and Slippery Rock University (Emily Arnold, Katy Ericson and Jordyn Minda).
The Class of 2018 has high expectations for its last season together, which is already underway. The goal is to make it to the ECNL playoffs in Seattle.
“We are a new team, but I think we are definitely going to compete in the league,” said Connor Rapp, member of the 99/00 RDA Boy’s team. “I hope to finish top of the table in the ECNL and make the playoffs.”
For more information on the RDA’s celebration of the Class of 2018, visit here.