Nov. 28, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia women's lacrosse coach Julie Myers announced that Brittany Brown, Sarah Crowley, Besser Dyson, Maggie Preas, Kelly Reese, Posey Valis and Wyatt Whitley have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Cavaliers beginning with the 2013-14 season.
"When I look at the seven kids who have just signed to join us next year, I am super excited," said head coach Julie Myers. "They are all great kids. They are great students and really incredible players. They have emerged as the best of the best in their high school graduating class and I am sure they are really going to add a lot of stability and strength to our team when they get here."
The recruiting class includes two pair of teammates, Preas and Valis from McDonogh School in Maryland, the No. 1-ranked team on the 2012 Max Preps Xcellent 25 Girls Lacrosse preseason rankings, and Dyson and Whitley from St. Stephens & St. Agnes in Alexandria, Va., the second-ranked school on that same list.
Preas (Rockville, Md.) and Valis (Baltimore, Md.) helped lead their McDonogh squad to two Powerade Fab 50 National Championships as well as three IAAM Championships. Both Preas, a defender, and Valis, a midfielder, have played in the Under Armour Underclassmen Elite Stars Tournament. Preas is also a two-year varsity goalie on McDonogh's nationally-ranked soccer team.
"Maggie is a true defender," Myers said. "Since the 10th grade, Maggie has been one of the best defenders in high school. She will be a great addition, helping to anchor and adding to our stability."
Valis, in addition to being a co-captain with Preas on McDonogh's lacrosse squad, is also the captain of her high school field hockey team.
"As a middie, Posey can really play anywhere," Myers said. "She has great speed and quickness as well as great moves and nice hands. There is nothing she can't do and she will be an asset on both ends of the field.
Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) and Whitley (Alexandria, Va.) helped lead St. Stephens & St. Agnes to back-to-back Independent School League titles in 2010 and 2011. Dyson, an attacker, earned All-ISL honors her sophomore and junior years and All-State accolades as a junior. She was named Second Team All-Met in 2011 and 2012 and was St. Stephens' offensive MVP in the 2012 season. Dyson was the 2012 recipient of the John Stanton Memorial Athletic Award, an honor given to the member of the SSSAS junior class for excellence in athletics achieved through dedication, leadership, and character.
"Besser is the kid who catches everything and scores when she shoots," Myers said. "She is a money shooter and a clutch player. She really helps elevate the level of play around her as well."
Dyson and Whitley were born two days apart in Georgetown Hospital and lived next door to each other for the first six years of their lives.
Whitley, a 2012 US Lacrosse All-American, was named First Team All-ISL in both 2011 and 2012 and earned First Team All-State honors in 2012. She was named to the Under Armour All-American Underclassman Team three times (2010-12) and earned All-Tournament honors in 2012. She is a triplet with two brothers. She also has a pair of twin sisters.
"Wyatt is a spunky, tough-nosed defender who really takes offensive players out of their comfort zone as she disrupts her opponent's attack," Myers said. "She is going to be great in transition, with energy and speed in that defensive unit as well."
Brown (New York, N.Y.) is a goalkeeper for The Berkshire School in The Bronx and was named s US Lacrosse All-American in 2012. She helped Riverdale Country School win their first NYSAISAA State Championship in 2011 before transferring to The Berkshire School where she helped that squad win its first New England Class B Championship in 2012. Off the field, she served as a Field Organizer for US Senator Claire McCaskill's reelection campaign this year.
"What Brittany brings to our team is great leadership," Myers said. "She is a vocal kid and a hard worker. She is a goalie that consistently makes huge saves. Brittany has had a great high school career at two different schools and we're excited to bring her here to Charlottesville next year."
Crowley (Greenlawn, N.Y.) is a midfielder from Harborfields High on Long Island who has twice been named Suffolk All-County and Suffolk County All-Tournament. She was the HHS team MVP as a sophomore and junior and a four-year varsity team member.
"Sarah is a true athlete," said Myers. "She is scrappy and a fighter. She gets a lot of things done in the air as well as on the ground. She is really going to shake things up and add a lot to our competiveness as well."
Reese (Severna Park, Md.) plays attack and midfield at Severn High School. She was named to the Washington, D.C. Under Armour Underclassman All-American Team in 2011 and 2012 and selected to play in the Women's Division National Tournament for DC Metro in 2011. As a captain her junior year, she made first team All-Anne Arundel County. She also played four years of varsity soccer at SHS and was captain during her senior year.
"Kelly is another true athlete," Myers said. "There is nothing Kelly can't do. She is a great playmaker and a great scorer. She is a great transition player and she can win draws. We are really excited to play off of her athleticism and game sense."
The incoming class will look to replace the six seniors who will graduate after the 2013 season: defenders Lelan Bailey and Megan Dunleavy; midfielders Anne Thomas and Caroline McTiernan; attacker Erin Laschinger; and goalkeeper Kim Kolarik.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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