Soccer Inks Eight on 2018 National Signing Day

by Hunter Lemoine
Soccer Inks Eight on 2018 National Signing Day

BATON ROUGE – Around the country, high school soccer players sent their National Letters of Intent to their respective schools of choice on Wednesday.

The LSU soccer program was no exception as they signed eight talented student-athletes to continue their athletic and academic journeys with the 2018 season.

The list includes forwards Meghan Johnson (Baton Rouge, La.), Makenzie Maher (Denham Springs, La.) and Molly Thompson (Houma, La.); midfielders Abbey Newton (Fleming Island, Fla.) and Maddison Martin (Chelsea, Ala.); defenders Reese Moffatt (Langley, British Columbia, Canada) and Gabbie Angelle (Mandeville, La.); and goalkeeper Sydney Lau (Melbourne, Fla.).

“Our entire staff has worked hard over the last several years to vet this class on and off the field and we are excited to officially add them to the program and the LSU community as a whole,” said LSU soccer head coach Brian Lee. “Special credit should go to the staff. Carl (Goody), Laura (Lamberth), Megan (Kinneman) Lance Barilow (S&C), Hannah Faldetta (trainer), Lauren Marucci (nutrition), Carole Walker (Academics) and retired former assistant coach Debbie Hensley all played a major role in each one of these student-athletes matriculating at LSU. I have known some of the signees since middle school and we are very confident these are the type of athletes and people we want representing our state and LSU.”

Lee and the rest of the coaching staff put an emphasis on getting home-grown talent. Four of the Tiger’s eight signees are from the state of Louisiana.

Thompson brings a proven scoring ability as a forward to the LSU roster. She has 119 career goals in her high school career, as well as being a two-time state champion for Vandebilt Catholic High School.

Maher and Johnson will have some familiarity with each other, as they have both played soccer for the Louisiana Olympic Development Program as regional pool players in 2016 and 2017. They have also attended the Adidas International Training Program in Madrid, Spain.

Angelle has found major success as a defender in her high school and club playing career. She was awarded the 2017 District Most Valuable Player for Defense and is a four-time district champion. She has also been a member of the Mandeville Soccer Club Elite Team since 2010, winning three state championships.

“In modern college athletics, every flagship state school is dependent on their in-state talent base and we are fortunate to be in a window for 2018 and 2019 where we have multiple Louisiana prospects athletically capable of competing in the SEC,” said Coach Lee. “All four of our in-state signees are fast, hard-working kids that have a chance to contribute early on. The present and past history in our program has shown that our very best teams always have a key in-state player.”

The Tigers are set to lose some leadership from last year’s squad with the departure of Jordane Carvery, Zoe Higgins, Debbie Hahn, and Nicole Howard. However, they will be adding good out-of-state prospects to help fill that void.

Martin was named Chelsea High School soccer team’s captain for two years and won the 6A state Player of the Year in 2017. LSU will also be adding stellar goalkeeper Sydney Lau. Lau was named a Florida Gatorade Player of the Year finalist in 2016, and was selected as a USA Today’s Second Team All-American.

The last two high school standouts are Canadian defender Reese Moffatt and midfielder Abbey Newton.

Moffatt rostered on Team British Columbia for the 50th Canada Games in 2017. She also was a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX Program.

Newton plays midfield for St. John’s Country Day High School, which is rated as the number one high school soccer program in the nation according to and USA Today. In 151 career games, she has scored 129 goals and has 117 assists.

“We love the graduating kids on and off the field and each of these newcomers has a chance, along with our returnees, to fill the void created by graduation,” said Coach Lee. “We think this group addressed some athleticism depth issues in the program, and with the addition of January transfer, Adrienne Richardson will make training more competitive on a daily basis. To be able to sign the #1 recruit in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida plus the top rated goalkeeper in Florida, speaks volumes of the environment provided here at LSU to help these young women become their best on the field, in the classroom and in life.”