Women's Soccer Announces Ten Player Signing Class

Aug. 1, 2013

CINCINNATI – Head Coach Neil Stafford and the University of Cincinnati women’s soccer team have announced a 10-player signing class that will join the Bearcats this fall. Seven freshmen and three sophomores will suit up for UC beginning in August.

Katy Couperus (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins), Alana McShane (Dunamanagh, Northern Ireland/Holy Cross College Strabane), Madison Melnick (Mason, Ohio/William Mason), Taylor Nelson (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge), Alli Thul (New Richmond, Ohio/Archbishop McNicholas), Kayla Utley (Castro Valley, Calif./Castro Valley) and Bailey Wilson (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) will all begin their freshman year with the Bearcats while Haleigh Hoff (Winfield, W.Va./Kentucky), Mackenzie Reynolds (Newburgh, Ind./Tennessee) and Danielle Rotheram (Toronto, Ontario/Central Michigan) have all transferred to Cincinnati as sophomores.

“This is a unique and talented group of student athletes that we have coming to UC this pre-season” said Stafford. “There’s great optimism because we think the new faces will give the program a much different look than in the past. The personalities of the incoming freshman and transfers will help create a new culture and set standards both in the classroom and on the field. It will take a strong mentality and much character to make the University and the city of Cincinnati proud of this soccer program. We as a staff believe the new players, along with the returners, are committed in seeing that through.”

Katy Couperus
MF | 5-8 | Fort Collins, Colo. | Fort Collins

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Fort Collins High School … named First Team All-State her senior year … National Soccer Coaches of America All-Region selection (2013) … Coloradoan Newspaper Spring Athlete of the Year (2013) … recipient of the Eleanor Troxell Award for the Fort Collins High School outstanding female student athlete (2013) … Front Range League Athlete of the Year (2013) … four-year All-Conference honoree … four-year Academic All-State first team selection … also a three-year letterwinner in basketball.

Club: Played for three years on the Colorado State Olympic Development Program (ODP) team (2009-12) … named to the Regional ODP team in 2009 and 2012 … named the MVP of the State Cup in 2012 for the U-16 team.

Personal: Full name is Kaitlyn Elizabeth Couperus … daughter of Jean and Paul Couperus … has one brother, Chris, who played soccer at Southern Connecticut University and Regis Jesuit … majoring in sports medicine.


Alana McShane
D | 5-9.5 | Dunamanagh,  Northern Ireland | Holy Cross College Strabane

High School: Helped lead team to win the Northern Ireland Cup in 2011 and 2013 … qualified to the elite stages of the U-19 European Championships in 2012 and topped the group to qualify for the elite stages in 2013 … was a member of the division 4 NIWFA league and cup winners in 2010, division 3 NIWFA league and cup winners in 2011, and division 2 NIWFA cup winners in 2012 … played for Northern Ireland at the U-17, U-19, and Senior levels … played Gaelic football at county level from U-14 through the Senior level … was a member of the U-18 Ulster champions and All-Star Ireland finalists in 2012 with County Tyrone … named on the U-20 Ulster Schools All-Star team 2011 and 2012.

 Personal: Full name is Alana Marie McShane … daughter of Michael and Carmel McShane … has five sisters, Emma, Susan, Angeline, Brenda and Joanna, and two brothers, Liam and James … majoring in Sports Administration.

Madison Melnick
MF | 5-7 | Mason, Ohio | William Mason

High School: Three-year letterwinner at William Mason High School … state runner-up and Greater Miami Conference (GMC) champion in 2012 … named First Team All-State and First Team All-GMC her senior year … Second Team All-State and First Team All-GMC in 2011 … regional semifinalist in 2011 … named First Team All-GMC in 2010 when her team won the GMC Championship and was a regional semifinalist … part of an undefeated team that went 17-0 her freshman season … also a three-year letterwinner in basketball … finished her career with a 69-5-8 record in soccer and a 71-25 record in basketball.

Personal: Full name is Madison Hope Melnick … daughter of Paul and Tammy Melnick … has one sister, Hilliary … majoring in pre-physical therapy.

Taylor Nelson
D | 5-6 | Fort Collins, Colo. | Fossil Ridge

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Fossil Ridge High School … four-year All-Front Range Conference selection … named a team captain her junior and senior years … two-time State Quarterfinalist (2011 and 2012) … two-time State Semifinalist (2010 and 2013) … also lettered, and earned All-Conference honors, in track and field.

Personal: Full name is Taylor Ashley Nelson … daughter of Dennis and Cheryl Nelson … has one sister, Hailey … majoring in Interior Design.

Alli Thul
GK | 5-6.5 | New Richmond, Ohio | Archbishop McNicholas

High School: Three-year varsity letterwinner at Archbishop McNicholas High School … advanced to the regional finals in 2012 … was named First Team All-GGCL (Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League), All-Southwest and Team MVP her senior year while also being chosen for the Senior All-Star game … Regional Semifinalist, First Team All-GGCL, All-Southwest and Team MVP her junior year … Regional Finalist and the GGCL leader in shutouts her sophomore year … advanced to the Sectional Finals her freshman season … finished her career with 32 varsity shutouts and 49 goals against in 63 games played … was a member of the Dean’s List for four years.

Personal: Full name is Alexandra Paige Thul … daughter of Barb and Andy Thul … has one sister, Karli … majoring in Physics.

Kayla Utley
D | 5-5 | Castro Valley, Calif. | Castro Valley

High School: Varsity soccer team captain at Castro Valley High School from 2011-2013 … helped lead team to be a semi finalist in the NCS for the 2012-2013 season … co-champions of conference in 2010-2011 season … named varsity soccer first team all league, 2nd team All East Bay, and was awarded Best Defensive and Most Inspirational player by teammates and coach her senior year … named varsity soccer First Team All-League, Third Team All-East Bay, and awarded Best Defensive Player by teammates and coach her junior year … also received awards and honorable mention playing basketball for Castro Valley High School.

Club: Was a member of Mustang conference club, which ranked 12th in the nation … team was the 2010 Surf Cup Champion, the 2011 CYSA State Cup Champion, and the 2011 CYSA Regional Champion … member of the 2012 region IV team … member of the ODP CA North State Team 2008-2009.

Personal: Full name is Kayla Anne Utley … daughter of Jon and Alicia Utley … has one sister, Kristina, who plays soccer at the University of Cincinnati … majoring in pre-physical therapy.

Bailey Wilson
MF | 5-9 | Dublin, Ohio | Dublin Coffman

High School: District champion all four years at Dublin Coffman High School … regional finalist for 2010 and 2011 seasons … Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) champ for both the 2011 and 2012 seasons … received Second Team All-State and Super 12 Team honors her senior year … received Super 12 Team, OCC Player of the Year, and Second Team All-State honors her junior year … named First Team All-OCC her sophomore year … was on the Honor Roll all four years … also played basketball for Dublin Coffman High School.

Club: Three-time Ohio State Cup Champion … was a USYSA Region II finalist in 2009 and 2011 … was ECNL National Champion in 2013.

Personal: Full name is Bailey Ann Wilson … daughter of Matt and Sharon Wilson … has one brother, Ethan … majoring in Allied Health Science.

Haleigh Hoff
F | 5-8 | Winfield, W.Va. | Winfield | University of Kentucky

2012 Season (Freshman at Kentucky): Saw first-career action at Ole Miss, logging three minutes.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Winfield High School ... Four-time West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association (WVHSSCA) All-State selection ... named the 2011 WVHSSCA Player of the Year ... named the 2010 WVHSSCA Forward of the Year ... named the 2011 National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) All-America Scholar Athlete of the Year ...was the West Virginia High School Girls Soccer 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year … a 2010 & 2011 NSCAA All-America Team selection ... advanced to the 2010 state Final Four and was the 2011 state Runner-up … member of the first AAA Division team to go undefeated during the regular season her freshman year … led Winfield HS in goals and assists all four seasons.

Personal:  Full name is Haleigh Elizabeth Hoff … daughter of Marshall and Stacy Hoff … has two sisters, Erika and Savannah, and one brother, Bryson … sister Erika played soccer at Concord University … majoring in Political Science.

Mackenzie Reynolds
F | 5-9 | Newburgh, Ind. | Reitz Memorial | University of Tennessee

2011 Season (Freshman at Tennessee): Saw action in three games, playing a total of 22 minutes.

High School: Four-year letterwinner at Reitz Memorial High School … earned All-City, All-Southern Indiana Athletic Conference (SIAC), All-District and All-State accolades during her senior year … named the MVP of the North/South All-Star game with three goals and two assists … led the team to Top-10 showings in the NSCAA Adidas National rankings in each year, and earned the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA Adidas Regional rankings … team also was ranked in the Top-10 of the ESPN/Rise National rankings each season … won the ESPN/Rise Zionsville National Championship in 2010 and was the runner-up in 2011 … four-time winner of both the Evansville City Championship and the SIAC Championship … finished her career with 47 goals and 56 assists … ranks among the top-10 for career assists in the Indiana High School Athletic Association record book … member of the honor roll all four years and named Academic All-State her junior and senior years.

Club: Played for the SWISA Rush club team and the Olympic Development team … winner of the 2011 Indiana State Cup … played in the Premiere Midwest Regional League (MRL) in 2010 and 2011 with a third place showing in 2011 … made the Indiana State ODP team in 2010 and 2011 … Region II semifinalist with the ODP team and scored three of the team’s five goals … SWISA record holder with 78 career assists and second with 131 goals.

Personal: Full name is Mackenzie Nicole Reynolds … daughter of Troy and Mindy Reynolds … has one sister, Megan … cousin Drew Overman played baseball at IPFW … majoring in pre-medicine.

Danielle Rotheram
F | 5-3 | Toronto, Ontraio | Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School | Central Michigan University

 MAC All-Freshman Team ... College Sports Madness MAC Player of the Week (9/4) ... made first career start at forward against Detroit (8/17) ... started in a 2-0 win over West Virginia (8/24) ... recorded her first career goal off the bench in the 85th minute along with one assist at Dayton (8/31) ... took two shots, one on goal, adding a goal in a 2-0 win over Toledo (10/5) ... recorded one shot on goal and one goal in a 3-0 win over Buffalo (10/14) ... scored the team's only goal in the 2-1 loss to Miami in the MAC Tourney Final (11/4).

High School:  Helped lead team to 2011 Provincial League Championships and Ontario/Quebec Challenge Cup ... team won the 2010 Canadian National Championship ... won first Ontario Cup and Provincial League Championships in 2010 ... was honored by the City of Pickering and Durham Region in 2011 ... qualified for the Ontario Cup finals in three straight seasons from 2008-10 ... averaged 20 goals per season for club team ... played club soccer for Pickering Soccer Club for seven years. 

Personal: Full name is Danielle Tamara Laurie Rotheram … daughter of Tammy Rotheram and Jamie Cormier … undecided on a major.