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Florida Soccer Announces 2011 Recruiting Class

By: UF Sports Communications
By: UF Sports Communications

Gainesville, FL - University of Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
announced Monday the 13 players who will join the Gator soccer program
for the 2011 fall season.

“Our class is a big class, but we’re really excited about it,” Burleigh said. “I think it is one of the best we’ve ever signed.“

This class brings extensive playing experience from state, regional,
national and international age-group levels. Two members of the U.S.
National U-17 player pool who hail from the north Florida area – Annie
Bobbitt (Orange Park, Fla.) and Gainesville’s Havana Solaun - will
join Florida next fall. Both play for the Ponte Vedra Storm U-18 club
team. Tessa Andujar of San Clemente, Calif., a member of the 2008 U-17
Puerto Rico National Team, was part of Slammers FC which claimed 2007 Gothia Youth Cup World Championship in Sweden. Another member of the Slammers FC, defender Savannah Berry of Encinitas, Calif., also signed with the Gators.

Four of the newest Gators appear among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 100 players – including Andujar, Bobbitt, forward Annie Speese of Augusta, Ga., and forward Jillian Graff of Medina, Ohio. Speese has been a part of the ODP Region III team since 2008 and the Georgia ODP team since the 2004-05 season. As a junior at Westminster Schools of Augusta, she led the state with 46 goals and 13 assists. Among ESPN RISE’s Ohio Top Players as a junior and senior, Graff led Medina High School in goals each of the last three seasons of her career.

Another member of Medina H.S.’s 2009 Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches
Association Division I state championship team will join two Gator teams
next season. Goalkeeper Taylor Burke (Medina, Ohio) signed a national
letter of intent with Florida’s track & field program. She is the defending Nike Indoor national high jump champion (5-10 ¾) and has won state indoor and outdoor high jump titles the last two years. Burke is also a 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) High
School All-American and the NSCAA Ohio Player of the Year. The 2010 ESPN RISE All-America first team soccer selection set Ohio state record and was the 2010 national leader with 15 consecutive shut-outs.

Players from the Sunshine State with ODP experience and who came from teams which advanced deep into the state high school tournaments are also among the Gators’ 2011 class. Karina Gutsche of Valrico has been a part of the Florida ODP team for the last four years. She led Newsome High School in scoring the last three years and the Wolves were runner-up in the 2011 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 5A state final. Kim Sapienza of Gainesville’s Buchholz H.S. is a
four-time Region III ODP selection. She turned in 28 goals and 10
assists for Buchholz’s team which reached the 2011 FHSSA 5A region
semifinal. Lauren Silver of Delray Beach was a center midfielder on
American Heritage-Delray H.S. teams which claimed the 2010 and 2011
FHSAA 2A state championships. She has been a part of the Florida ODP
team since 2008 and part of the Region III player pool in 2010.

Jennifer Larrick of Westford, Mass., is the first to join the Gator
soccer program from the Bay State. She’s been a part of the
Massachusetts’s ODP program since 2004 and the Region I ODP since
2006-08. She led Westford Academy to the 2010 and 2008 Division I North final.

Two incoming Gators have older siblings who were or are currently
members of UF teams. Lindsey Cooper of Seminole is the younger sister of former Gator wide receiver Riley Cooper, who now plays for the
Philadelphia Eagles. She was part of the Florida ODP team in 2009-10. As a senior, Cooper turned in 22 goals and 15 assists for the Clearwater
Central Catholic H.S. team which advanced to the 2010 FHSAA 3A region semifinal. Taylor Thigpen of Jacksonville will join older sister,
Brooke, on next fall’s team. The sisters both played for The Bolles
School’s 2008 FHSAA 3A state championship team. They will be the third pair of sisters who played for Gator soccer and the second to play on the same team.

During the 2010 season, Florida claimed the Southeastern Conference
regular-season and tournament titles. It held top 10 national rankings
in 10 of the 12 NSCAA polls of the season.

2011 University of Florida Newcomers
Name Position High School Hometown (Club Team)
Tessa Andujar F San Clemente H.S. San Clemente, Calif.
(Slammers FC)
Savannah Berry D Carlsbad H.S. Encinitas, Calif. (Slammers FC)
Annie Bobbitt D St. Johns Country Day School Fleming Island,
Fla. (Ponte Vedra Storm)
Taylor Burke* GK Medina Senior H.S. Medina, Ohio (Cleveland
Futbol Club)
Lindsey Cooper MF Clearwater Central Catholic
H.S. Seminole, Fla. (Clearwater Chargers)
Jillian Graff F Medina Senior H.S. Medina, Ohio (Cleveland
Futbol Club)
Karina Gutsche MF Newsome H.S. Valrico, Fla. (RSL Elite)
Jennifer Larrick MF Westford Academy Westford, Mass.
(FC Blazers)
Kim Sapienza D Buchholz H.S. Gainesville, Fla. (Florida
Rush)
Lauren Silver D American Heritage Boca/Delray H.S. Delray
Beach, Fla. (Team Boca)
Havana Solaun MF Buchholz H.S. Gainesville, Fla. (Ponte Vedra
Storm)
Annie Speese MF Westminster School of Augusta Augusta, Ga.
(GSA Phoenix Red)
Taylor Thigpen D The Bolles School Jacksonville, Fla. (The
Creeks Clash)

*Signed national letter of intent with Florida track & field

Tessa Andujar
Among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s 2011 Top 100 National Players…Olympic
Development Program (ODP) selection since 2005…Part of 2005 Cal South
ODP ’92 team and Cal South ODP ’93 2006-10 teams…Four-year ODP
Region IV selection (2007-10)…Selected for Region IV ODP team which
played in San Jose, Costa Rica in April of 2008…Member of U-17 Puerto
Rico National team in 2008…Participated in US Youth National Camps in
2007 and 2008…Member of Slammers FC Girls Under 18 Premier team that is coached by George Larsen…Club team claimed Far West Regional League (FWRL) Spring and CalSouth State championships in 2009…Also won 2008 CalSouth State, Surf Cup Super Group and Surf College Classic Super Group championships…Slammers FC claimed 2007 Gothia Youth Cup World Championship in Sweden…Slammers FC participated in 2010 Elite Clubs National League Summer (held in Temecula, Calif.) and Winter (Sanford, Fla.) Showcases…One of five members of San Clemente High School team to sign national letters of intent in February…Coached by Stacey Finnerty at San Clemente H.S., which completed its second consecutive undefeated South Coast Conference schedule in February of 2011…San Clemente H.S.
was runner-up in 2010 Southern California Division I tournament…2011 Red Bull Nolan Showcase tournament champion…Will graduate from San Clemente H.S. in June 2011

Savannah Berry
Member of Slammers FC Girls Under 18 Premier team that is coached by
George Larsen…Club team claimed Far West Regional League (FWRL) Spring and CalSouth State championships in 2009…Also won 2008 CalSouth State, Surf Cup Super Group and Surf College Classic Super Group championships…Slammers FC claimed 2007 Gothia Youth Cup World Championship in Sweden…Slammers FC participated in 2010 Elite Clubs National League Summer (held in Temecula, Calif.) and Winter (Sanford, Fla.) Showcases…One of three members of Carlsbad High School’s team who signed national letters on intent in February…Coached by Carl Higham at Carlsbad H.S.…2010 team captain…2009-2010 Union Tribune All-Academic Team…Will graduate from Carlsbad H.S. in June 2011.

Annie Bobbitt
2010 U.S. Under 17 National team…Among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s 2011 Top 100 National Players…Part of U.S. U-17 Team which played four international matches in Argentina in December of 2009…Member of the Olympic Development Program (ODP) since 2006…Plays for Ponte Vedra Storm U18 club soccer team…Finalist at 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championships in U17 play…2009 Disney Showcase Championship…2008 Score at the Shore champions, Florida State semifinalist, Atlanta Cup semifinalist, WAGS Showcase Division champions, Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) Shootout champions…Five-year member St. Johns Country Day(SJCD) soccer team…SJCD won 2009 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 2A state championship, reached 2008 and 2010
state semifinals and 2011 regional final…2009 Florida Girls Soccer High
School Class 2A All-State Honorable Mention…2010 and 2011 SJCD team captain…has 31 goals and 30 assists…Also competed in track & field for SJCD…Member of FHSAA Class 2A state champion 4 x 400-meter team in 2006, 2007 and 2008…Will graduate from St. Johns Country Day in May 2011.

Taylor Burke
Soccer: 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
High School All-American and NSCAA Ohio’s State Player of the
Year…2010 ESPN RISE All-America first team…Named to 2010 and 2009 ESPN RISE Fall Ohio All-Star team...As a senior, named Ms. Soccer and Division 1 Ohio Player of the Year by Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA)…Set Ohio state record and 2010 national leader for consecutive shut-outs with 15 in 2010 and set state record for season shut-outs (18)…Medina won 2009 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I state title and reached 2010 Division I, Region II district semifinal…MVP of 2009 state championship team…2010 and 2009 All-Greater Akron District team selection… Northeastern Ohio Conference Player of the Year as a senior…Coached by Doug Coreno at Medina H.S…Member of Cleveland Futbol Club the last two years and coached by Pete Demonte…Cleveland FC claimed 2010 state cup and Midwest Regional League championships…Older sister, Lauren, will be a senior on Ohio University’s soccer team in 2011…Named to Medina High School honor roll every quarter and National Honor Society member…Will graduate with honors from Medina H.S. this spring. Track: 2010 Nike Indoor national high jump champion, clearing 5-10 ¾…2010 All-Team USA selection by USA Today…National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF) All-American in
2010…in 2011 ESPN RISE national high school jumps preview, ranked No. 1 indoors and No. 2 outdoors…2009 and 2010 Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) Indoor state high jump champion…Ohio Division I state high jump champion as a sophomore and junior, setting Jesse Owens Stadium record with 2010’s winning leap of 5-11…All-Ohio selection for freshman, sophomore and junior seasons…Runner-up in 2008 Nike Outdoor national championships… Received recruiting inquiries for three sports, as also an all-conference and all-district basketball player.

Lindsey Cooper
Member of Clearwater Chargers U18 team coached by Garth Pollonais…Club team won 2010 Disney Labor Day Showcase Qualifier, reached 2010 US Youth Soccer (USYS) Florida state quarterfinals and advanced to 2008 USYS regional…Member of Florida Olympic Development Program (ODP) in 2009-10 season…Varsity starter for Clearwater Central Catholic High School since 2008…Contributed 59 points as a senior off of 22 goals and 15
assists…CCC HS reached 2008 Florida High School Athletic Association
(FHSAA) 3A semifinal and 2010 regional semifinal...Also competes in
track and field for Clearwater Central Catholic High School…State track
qualifier since 2006…Third in 2010 FHSAA 2A state championships’ 400
meters…Sister of former Gator wide receiver Riley Cooper, who plays for
the Philadelphia Eagles…Will graduate from Clearwater Central Catholic
High School in May 2011.

Jillian Graff
Five-star prospect on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s 2011 Top 100 National
Players list…Team captain of Cleveland FC where she is coached by Pete
Demonte…Cleveland FC won 2009 U-16 regional, six state championships and
2010 Midwest League spring championships…Varsity soccer player all four
years at Medina High School and coached by Doug Coreno…2010 Ohio
Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA) Division I All-State
second team…Medina High School claimed 2009 OHSAA Division I State
title...As a junior, named to ESPN RISE All-America third team and ESPN
RISE Ohio Top Player as a junior and senior…All-Northeast Ohio
Conference first team, All-Northeast Ohio Conference Scholar Athlete,
all district team…Led Medina H.S. in goals in each of final three
seasons…Received the 2007 Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award…Also
competed in track in high school and received All-Ohio honors in 400
meters and 4x800m relay…Will graduate from Medina High School in June of
2011.

Karina Gutsche
Part of the 11-member Florida’s Preseason Powerade Fab 50 named by
ESPN RISE in November of 2010…Member of the Olympic Development Program
(ODP) Florida 1993 team for the past four years...Participated in the
2010 Regional Championships in New Orleans…Member of Brandon FC Flames
club soccer team led by girl's Director of Coaching Randy Belli…2010
Florida Girls Soccer High School Class 5A All-State second team…2009
all-state honorable mention selection after turning in 22 goals in
sophomore season…Member of Newsome High School’s varsity team and
coached by Kelly Townsend for all four years…Newsome H.S. was runner-up
in the 2011 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 5A state
final…Newsome H.S. ranked as high as No. 2 on ESPN’s Fab 50 in
2011…Newsome H.S. reached 2010, 2009, and 2008 FHSAA 5A regional
final…Led the Wolves in scoring as a sophomore, junior and
senior...Selected as captain of the Wolves in junior and senior
season...Named MVP of the 2009 Wharton Invitational Tournament…Named to
2011, 2010 and 2009 St. Petersburg Times All-Hillsborough County first
team…2011, 2010 and 2009 Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County first
team selection…Selected to the 2011 Senior Challenge Hillsborough County
team...Nominated for the Jose E. Alavarez award (given annually to
Hillsborough County’s top high school player) and for Newsome H.S.
girl's athlete of the year...Has the Florida Youth Soccer Association F
and E Coaching License...Coached a U-11 girl's competitive team at
Brandon FC...Secretary of the Newsome H.S.’s Chemistry Club...Will
graduate from Newsome High School Honor Court in June 2011.

Jennifer Larrick
Massachusetts Olympic Development Program (ODP) selection since
2004…Part of Region I ODP from 2006-08 and attended 2008 US Youth
Soccer ODP U-15/U-16 Developmental Camp ….Captain of Westford Academy
varsity team coached by Tracy Capone…Named to 2010 Massachusetts
All-State Team…Two-time selection (2008, 2010) to Eastern Massachusetts
All-Star Team…2010 Lowell Sun Player of the Year and two-time selection
(2008, 2010) to Lowell Sun All-Star team…Contributed 21 points as a
senior off five goals and 11 assists…Turned in 25 goals and 30 assists
during Westford Academy career …Dual-County League Top-10 Player in 2008
and 2010…Four-time selection to Dual-County All-Star team (2007, 2008,
2009, 2010)… Westford Academy reached 2010 and 2008 Division I North
final …Member of FC Blazers Soccer Club since 2009, playing with the
boys team…Coached by Francis Okaroh at FC Blazers…Played with Scorpions
Soccer Club-Girls Elite in 2007 and 2008…Scorpions claimed 2008 U-15
Region I and Massachusetts State Cup titles… Owns a 4.05 grade point
average and will graduate from Westford Academy June 2011.

Kim Sapienza
Four-time Region III and Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) 93
Olympic Development Program (ODP) selection…Four year member of Florida
Rush club team and coached by Kate Begley…Florida Rush was runner-up in
2008, 2009 and 2010 US Youth Soccer Florida State final…Club team
competed in 2010 Disney Labor Day Showcase Qualifier…Member of Buchholz
High School team coached by Jim Peterson…Buchholz reached 2011 Florida
High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 5A region semifinal and
regional final in 2010…Turned in 28 goals and 10 assists as a
senior…Contributed 58 points through 26 goals and six assists in high
school career…2009 The Gainesville Sun All Area Girls Soccer Second
Team…2011 TV20 Scholar Athletes of the Week…National Honor Society
member and owns a 4.7 weighted grade point average…Will graduate from
Buchholz H.S. in June 2011

Lauren Silver
Member of Olympic Development Program (ODP) state team since 2008 and
part of Region III player pool in 2010…US Youth Soccer Florida State Cup
semifinalist in 2010, regional semifinalist in 2009 and claimed 2008
state championship…2010 Disney Showcase champion…Member of Team Boca
coached by Brian Dooley…2009 Florida Girls Soccer High School 2A
All-State first team…Four-year starter at center midfielder for American
Heritage-Delray High School and coached by Steve Burgess…American
Heritage H.S. claimed 2011 and 2010 Florida High School Athletic
Association 2A championships…American Heritage H.S. was runner-up in
2008 and 2009 FHSAA 2A final…2010 and 2009 Sun-Sentinel first team
selection…Palm Beach Post All-County first team in 2010…2010 Palm Beach
Post Small Schools first-team selection in 2010 and honorable mention in
2009…America Heritage H.S.’s Most Valuable Player in 2009…Member of
Pre-Med Club and Spanish Honor Society at American Heritage H.S…Will
graduate from American Heritage H.S. in May 2011.

Havana Solaun
2010 U.S. U-17 Women’s National team…Represented U.S. at CONCACAF
U-17 Women’s Championship in Costa Rica in March of 2010 where the
U.S. tied for third…Turned in three goals versus Cayman Islands in 2010
CONCACAF Group A play…No. 7 on TopDrawerSoccer.com region
rankings…First-year member of Ponte Vedra Storm coached by Luis
Torres…Previously played with First Coast KYX club team coached by Mike
Walker…Member of 2010 Disney Showcase champion and Florida State Cup
semifinalist teams…First Coast KYX reached 2009 and 2010 US Youth Soccer
Florida State semifinals…2010 ESPN RISE All-State selection…Member of
Buchholz High School team coached by Jim Peterson…Buchholz H.S. reached
2011 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 5A region
semifinal and regional final in 2010…2011 TV20 Scholar Athletes of the
Week…Contributed 37 points in 2010-11 season with 13 goals and 11
assists…2008-2010 Gainesville Sun All-Area Girls Soccer first-team
selection…Also played tennis at Buchholz…Older sister, Sierra Solaun,
competes in cross country and track and field for UCF…Will graduate from
Buchholz H.S. in June of 2011.

Annie Speese
Ranked among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s National Top 100 players…Part of
Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region III ’92 team since 2008 and
state ODP team since 2004-05…Joined 92 Region III team on 2009 trip to
Portugal and 2010 trip to Costa Rica…Member of Gwinnett Soccer
Association (GSA) 93 Phoenix Red club team coached by Campbell
Chapman…GSA Phoenix Red team won the Georgia State Cup Championship
2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010…2009 U.S. Youth Soccer (USYS) Southern
Regional Championship finalist and 2010 semifinalist…2010 Atlanta Cup
finalist…Club team claimed titles at 2009 Disney Showcase and 2009 CASL
Raleigh Showcase…2007, 2009 Region III Premier League East champions…GSA
Phoenix Red team captain U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-18…Four-year varsity
player for Westminster Schools of Augusta and coached by Mike
Freace...Led state with 46 goals and 13 assists in 2010…Westminster won
2009 Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA title and
runner-up in 2010…With senior season to play, owns Westminster’s
career records with 136 goals and 75 assists…2008, 2009 and 2010 Georgia
Independent School Association (GISA) AAA All-State team selection…2009
& 2010 Augusta Chronicle All-Area Girls Player of the Year…2010 Greater
Augusta Sports Council Outstanding All-Around Female Athlete silver
medalist…2010 Team MVP award…Competed for Westminster basketball and
cross country teams…Honor Roll student at Westminster Schools…Will
graduate from Westminster Schools of Augusta in May 2011.

Taylor Thigpen Member of the Creeks Clash club soccer team coached by
Mike Pickett…2010 Florida State finalist and 2008 Florida State
semifinalist…Member of The Bolles School varsity team coached by Matt
Tracy…The Bolles School won the 2008 Florida High School Athletic
Association (FHSAA) 3A state title, was runner-up in 2009 and advanced
to semifinal in 2011…Member of The Bolles School’s volleyball team
which advanced to the 2010, 2009 and 2008 FHSAA 3A state semifinal…Also
competed for The Bolles School track and field team…Younger sister of
Florida’s current outside back/midfielder Brooke Thigpen…Second Honors
student at The Bolles School…Will graduate from The Bolles School this
spring.


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