NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's soccer head coach Heather Henson has announced the addition of five high school recruits with the signing four players from the state of Florida and one from the Nashville area.
The Belmont signing class of 2019 includes local product and Ravenwood High forward Claire Fallon (Brentwood, Tenn.), defender Emily Abdoney (Tampa, Fla.), midfielder Taylor Dorenkott (Lake Mary, Fla.), goaltender Sarah Doyle (Maitland, Fla.) and midfielder Avery Nowak (Oviedo, Fla.). Dorenkott, Doyle and Nowak all play together in the Florida Kraze Krush club system.
"We are excited to welcome these ladies to our Bruin family," Henson said. "The 2019 signing class will continue the growth that Belmont soccer has seen in recent years. I'm grateful to our staff and the University for working hard to secure this class.
"This group of hardworking, disciplined and faithful young women will also sustain and enhance our culture of integrity and commitment both on and off the field. I have high expectations for them to contribute to the future success of this program on the field but also contribute to the Belmont University community and use their talents to help the world around them.
The Florida crew's senior seasons are just beginning with the high school girls' soccer season running November through February in the Sunshine State. Fallon and Ravenwood just wrapped their season in October with a deep run at the Tennessee state tournament.
The five signees will help fill the gaps for a Belmont team that graduates six senior this year.
Defense • Academy of the Holy Names • Tampa, Fla.
Abdoney has been a key member of the defensive corps of head coach Kareem Escayg's Academy of the Holy Names varsity teams since she was a freshman. A team captain who was voted team defensive player of the year and team MVP as a junior, Abdoney has twice led the Jaguars to the Florida 2A state tournament's semifinals.
The daughter of Michael and Debbie Abdoney, she plans to study pre-med at Belmont with hopes of one day being an orthodontist.
Coach Henson says: "Emily is a hard tackler with good vision and a determination to attack and defend for 90 minutes. Her composed and calculated approach to defending will help anchor our back line."
Midfield • Lake Mary HS • Lake Mary, Fla.
Dorenkott played under head coach Bill Eissele at Lake Mary High where she is a four-year letter winner and three-year starter. She helped lead the Rams to the regional semifinals of the Florida 5A state tournament all three years so far before running into the Oviedo High team of fellow Belmont signee Nowak each season. She has 17 career assists, nine as a junior while scoring five goals.
The daughter of Mark and Gretchen Dorenkott, she plans to begin pursing a law degree at Belmont with hopes of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.
Coach Henson says: "Taylor is a well-balanced midfielder with good vision and comfort on the ball. When we were trying to balance out this recruiting class, we wanted a player who makes everyone around her better. She brings an awareness on the field and an ability to find the pass for her teammates."
Goalkeeper • Bishop Moore Catholic HS • Maitland, Fla.
Doyle has tended net for head coach Amy Geltz's Bishop Moore Catholic High team for the past three years as the team's main goalkeeper. Doyle is a two-year team captain who has led the team in saves in each of her seasons so far at Bishop Moore. An all-conference selection as a junior, she's helped the Hornets reach the Florida 2A state tournament all three years, including advancing to the title game her freshman year.
The daughter of Morey and Bethanne Doyle, she plans to study music marketing at Belmont.
Coach Henson says: "Sarah will strengthen our goalkeeping unit through her competitive mentality. She plays aggressive off her line with quick hands and footwork, and we believe Sarah can become a key contributor in our goalkeeper unit throughout her career at Belmont."
Forward • Ravenwood, HS • Brentwood, Tenn.
The lone local among this signing class, Fallon played for head coach Jose Londono just down the road at Brentwood's Ravenwood High where she was teammates with current Bruins MacKenzie Firek and Grace Parsons. A four-year varsity player, she helped lead the Raptors to the Tennessee 3A state semifinals just last month. She also participated in the U.S. Soccer Training Center's program in Atlanta in 2016.
The daughter of Martin and Tracey Fallon, she wants to study nursing at Belmont.
Coach Henson says: "Claire's quickness and attacking ability allow her to solve defensive pressure. She has continued to grow in her game in the years we have recruited her and could have an impact in building our attack over the next four years."
Midfield • Oviedo HS • Oviedo, Fla.
Nowak comes to the Bruins from a powerhouse program at Oviedo High where she played under head coach Scott Waisanen. She helped the Lions to a 65-3-1 combined record so far in three seasons, which included a pair of Florida 5A state championships and a runner-up finish. Nowak led the team with 22 goals as a junior and was named First Team All-Conference and All-Region.
The daughter of Jeff and Karyn Nowak, she aspires to be a teacher after her time at Belmont is finished.
Coach Henson says: "Avery has a great sense of responsibility and dedication that is critical to the midfield role. Avery's ability on the ball can solve pressure, create chances and make others around her better with accurate service and deceptive passing. She has the ability to impact our attack immediately."