Central, SC - Head Coach Corey Morrell and the SWU Women's Soccer program is welcoming in some additional signees to the 2019 class. Joining the class are Natalie Thompson, Heily Hernandez, Cayla Hughes, Giorgi Lamb, Bryanna Pickens and Maria Ramos.
"Super excited for these players to join our program! These are really good players, a diverse group of talents and positions, and are great additions to this class and our team. I love who these young ladies are as people and I cannot wait to see their impact on our program and university."
Natalie Thompson – Natalie is an attacking player from Aiken, SC where she attends South Aiken High School and plays for the Bulls Soccer Club. While playing for South Aiken High School, her team won the State Championship in 2017 and she was an All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2018. Her Bulls Soccer Club team has won the Aiken Cup, CASL Qualifiers, WAGS, CASL College Showcase and were the Challenge League Champions with an 18-1-3 record this past fall. She has been on the Honor Roll and earned Scholar Athlete honors for the past two years. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is involved in YoungLife. "Natalie is going to be a tremendous Warrior!" Coach Morrell said. "She is very well rounded, tough and hard-working both on the field and off. She is coachable, respectful and a great teammate. We are ready for her to be in SWU blue!"
Natalie's quote about SWU: "I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to play for SWU and continue my soccer career."
Heily Hernandez – Heily is from Beaufort, SC and plays midfield or forward. She attended Beaufort High School and played her club soccer for Tormenta FC Academy and Club Beaufort De Futbol. "Heily comes to us as a transfer with college experience which is really exciting!" commented Coach Morrell. "She is a tremendous player who also brings some experience which is going to be a big asset for us this fall. She is a smart and versatile player that can help us in many ways!"
Heily's quote about SWU: "I am beyond grateful and excited to be able to play soccer again, especially with such a great and loving group. I see so much potential in this team and can't wait to rise together this upcoming season!! "
Cayla Hughes – Cayla is from Hendersonville, NC where she attends West Henderson High School and plays club soccer for Carolina FC 01 Elite – Hendersonville, playing primarily as a defender. She played varsity soccer freshman through senior years at West Henderson High School. This past season she led the conference in goals and assists and was named to the All-Conference Team. Her club soccer team were the 2018 league champions this past fall and were the Adidas Clash Champions and WAGS Showcase Champions as well. As a U16 team, they won the State Championship in 2016 and played in the Region III Presidents Cup in 2017. She has earned A&B Honor Roll, is a FCCLA Member, has been a member of the band from 2012-2017 and volunteers and works at her church in child care. "Cayla is incredibly hard working!" said Coach Morrell. "She is a really good player that is tough, feisty and combines that with a great work-rate. Smart, understands the game and her roll within the game. She has all the qualities you would want in a defender and we are excited to see her in a SWU uniform!"
Cayla's quote about SWU: "Looking forward to making new friends with my new warrior teammates and learning to grow at SWU. I believe that SWU will prepare me for the future that God wants me to have."
Giorgi Lamb – Giorgi is a defender from Lexington, SC where she plays for Providence Athletic Club and GPS Lexington for her club soccer. This past fall for GPS Lexington she scored 7 goals while assisting 9 times. So far through her senior season with PAC, where she is the varsity captain and they received a team invite to the Viking Cup, she has 12 goals and 2 assists. She was also the captain of her GPS Lexington 00 Reds team, was named a NACA Division I All-American in 2018 while her team were the NACA Division 1 Champions, 2018 Nike Cup Champions, 2018 Cavalier Kickoff Finalist, the 2016 and 2017 Cavalier Kickoff Champions, she is also the HS Cheer Captain in 2018 and in 2016, she won 1st All-Around in age group in gymnastics at the Gamecock Invitational and 3rd All-Around in the State in age group. Outside of soccer, she enjoys coaching, gymnastics, cheer, drawing and calligraphy, surfing and paddle boarding and spending time with friends and family. "We are really excited and ready for Giorgi to be a Warrior!" Coach Morrell commented. "She is aggressive, powerful and really reads the game well. She is a high character individual that will give all she has on the field, in the classroom and around campus. She is a great fit for our team and university and we cannot wait to see what the next four years hold for her!
Giorgi's quote about SWU: "I am so excited that my soccer career is continuing into the next chapter of my life - playing in college for SWU!"
Bryanna Pickens – Bryanna is a midfielder and forward from Easley, SC where she attends Wren High School and plays club soccer for CESA Premier. While playing for Wren High School, she has been a four year varsity starter, named All-Region all four years, nominated as team captain her senior season, was the leading goal scorer in 2018 and 2019 and has been selected to the North/South Soccer Classic. With more games to play, in her career, she currently has 66 goals and 33 assists. This past season for her CESA Premier team, she scored 7 goals and assisted 3 times in 13 games. She has also been a four year varsity basketball player, won defensive MVP in the 2018 basketball season, and nominated All-Region this past season and best all-around player for her basketball team. She won the 2018 Wendy's High School Heisman, is a member of Beta Club, the National Honors Society, and Spanish National Honors Society and is a Wren Hurricane Scholar. She is involved with Junior Leadership Anderson, Chick-fil-a Leadership Academy, Marcus Lattimore Leadership Academy, is a YMCA Summer Camp Counselor, has been a player for SC ODP Regionals, spent two seasons on CESA's ECNL team along with her two seasons on CESA's Premier team. "Bryanna is a very talented player and we are really excited about her coming to SWU!" said Coach Morrell. "She is powerful and technical, has good field vision and an eye for goal, all of which help her versatility playing many different positions. She is a solid individual that excels in the classroom as well. We are ready for her to be in a SWU uniform!"
Bryanna's quote about SWU: "I am very excited and blessed to be able to fulfill my dream of playing soccer at the collegiate level and to continue my academics at a Christ-centered university. I can't wait to see where this journey as a SWU Warrior leads me!"
Maria Ramos – Maria is from Goshen, IN where she attended Goshen High School (freshman and sophomore) and Caldwell Academy (junior and senior). She is transferring to SWU after playing one season at Wiley College in Texas. Both as a freshman and sophomore in high school, she earned the Scholar Athlete Awards, and sophomore year her team won the NLC Championship, Sectional Championship and Regional Championship for the 1st time in school history. As a junior she had 6 goals and 7 assists. Her senior year she earned All-Conference Award and was nominated as Team Captain. Freshman and sophomore years she was on the Honor Roll and while at Wiley College she earned the President's List. "Maria is an excellent player with great field vision!" Coach Morrell commented. "She loves to set up her teammates and keep the ball moving. Really good technically, moves well off the ball, trusts her teammates and works well is tight spaces. She brings college experience to our team which is really exciting. A tremendous person who works really hard at everything she does. Super excited for Maria to be a Warrior."
Maria's quote about SWU: "I am beyond grateful for this opportunity. SWU has been great to me and my family. I'm stoked to continue my college career at SWU and to be a Warrior for the next few years."