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Rutgers Women's Soccer: New kids on the pitch

Mike O'Neill has brought in a good group of recruits to build on last year's success. Is the next Carli Lloyd or Jonelle Filigno in the group?

Just as basketball players tend to get most of their attention through their AAU teams, high level soccer players tend to gain recognition and polish their skills through the Player Development Academy (PDA) or the Olympic Development Program.  The players brought in by Mike O'Neill - his first recruiting class as head coach - represent those programs.

In the Class of 2015, New Jersey was tied for the fourth most D1 players (64) in the country, behind California, Texas, and Florida.  As with football, mining the wealth of talent in the Garden State can prove invaluable to a program that finished the 2014 season in the Top 25.

The Transfers

Christy Monroy

Defender/Midfielder -- Scotch Plains, N.J. -- University of Louisville/ Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School  Club: PDA Slammers

Prior to Rutgers: played club soccer for PDA, regarded as one of the top youth girls clubs in the country ... helped the PDA Slammers to the 2013 ECNL U-17 National Champions, 2011 US Youth Soccer Region I Champions and the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Champions ... played four years of soccer at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, captaining the squad as a senior ...member of the 2012 second team all-state and the 2012 first team all-Group 4 ... named a 2012 NSCAA Region 2 All-American ... chosen as a NJGSCA Top 20 player in 2012 ... earned Star-Ledger Third Team All-State and First Team All-Group 3 laurels in 2011... the Star-Ledger also tabbed her First Team All-Union County in 2011 and 2012 ... selected as the 2011 and 2012 Union County Player of the Year

Colby Ciarocca

Forward -- Montgomery, N.J. -- Vanderbilt University/ Montgomery HS  Club: PDA Slammers

Prior to Rutgers: as a freshman at Vanderbilt was second on the team in scoring and game-winning goals ... prior to Vanderbilt, played club soccer with PDA, regarded as one of the top youth girls clubs in the country ... won an ECNL U-17 and U-18 National Championship with the PDA Slammers ... two-time all-state selection and the girls soccer state player of the year by the Star-Ledger in 2012 ... named player of the year by the Times of Trenton and the Courier News.

Of interest: Colby is the daughter of Kirk Ciarocca, the Offensive Coordinator at Western Michigan University.  He was Rutgers' Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach from 2008-10 under Greg Schiano.

The Freshmen

Adora Moneme

Defender -- Union, N.J. -- Union HS --  Club: PDA Shock

Prior to Rutgers: Played club soccer for the PDA Shock ... an all-Watchung Division and all-conference team selection on defense ... a New Jersey Girls Soccer Association (NJGSCA) Top 20 North II Region selection ... named a 2014 AP Scholar ... also a four-year basketball starter and two-year member of the track and field team ... won the high jump at the 2014 Union County Championships.

Cassandra Taniguchi

Midfielder -- San Diego, Calif. -- Westview HS -- Club: San Diego Surf

Prior to Rutgers: Played club soccer for the San Diego Surf, widely regarded as a top soccer club nationally... her club team won the state cup and captured the US Youth Soccer Regional Championship in 2010 ...a two-year participant in the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program ... four-year varsity letterwinner at Westview HS ... led the squad to the San Diego Section CIF finals from 2012-14, winning the title in 2013.

Nicole Wagner

Midfielder/Defender -- Chester, N.Y. -- Monroe Woodbury HS -- Club: World Class ECNL

Prior to Rutgers: Played club soccer for World Class ECNL ... an ODP Region 1 participant ... named first team all-section and second team all-state in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons ... took home Section 9 Player of the Year honors as a senior.

Katelyn Walters

Midfielder -- Mount Laurel, N.J. -- Lenape HS -- Club: PDA, PDA Slammers, PDA Crush

Prior to Rutgers: Played club soccer for PDA, regarded as one of the top youth girls clubs in the country ... won an ECNL U-17 and U-18 National Championship with the PDA Slammers ... attended the US Id2 National Training Camp (2011) and Nike ID National Camp (2013)  ... also played for the PDA Crush, which  were state finalists three times during her tenure with the team and won the State Cup in 2013 ... involved with ODP, playing on the state team and attending the Region I camp in 2008 and 2010... named first team all-south Jersey, first team all-county and The Burlington Times Player of the Year

Kenie Wright

Defender/Midfielder -- Mount Laurel, N.J. -- Lenape HS -- Club: PDA Arsenal

Prior to Rutgers: Played club ball for PDA Arsenal, a top national program ... helped guide the Arsenal to an ECNL Northeast Conference Championship in 2015 and 2014, and a fifth place finish at the ECNL National Championships ... the Arsenal took third-place finish at the 2012 ECNL National Championships ... an ODP player from 2009-11 ... named the 2013 midfielder of the year ... helped guide the team to four South Jersey sectional championships and four coaches tournament championships ... a three-time first team all-county selection ... named first team top 150 in NJ