ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University women's soccer family grew by eight new members Wednesday during National Signing Day as Bonnies head coach Steve Brdarski announced the additions of Carolyn Brussel, Alexandra Farrance, Kacie Filian, Emily Foltz, Claire Hensley, Ryan Kunkle, Mia Thatcher and Molly Williams to National Letters of Intent.
"Our focus for our 2018 class was to find student-athletes with great values, work ethic, and a passion for competing that fit within our current team," Brdarski said. "Their strengths complement and enhance our program, and that is important for the future of our program. They understand the challenges ahead, and that we need their impact to be an immediate contribution within their role. Each of these ladies are incredible people, students, and soccer players and we are extremely happy for our program and Bona Nation."
Brussel, a native of Baldwinsville, N.Y., recently finished a decorated soccer career at C.W. Baker High School. She was a member of the 2017 Class AA state championship team and also helped lead her squad to the 2015 state finals while posting a 53-5-3 overall record during her three varsity seasons. At C.W. Baker, she played outside midfield, center back and forward and started 60 of 61 games. She also tallied the game-winning goal in the state semifinal game against Monroe-Woodbury in 2015. Among many honors, she was named First Team All-Central New York, First Team All-League and Fifth Team All-State. Brussel, a High Honor Roll student in the classroom, also played for the Syracuse Development Academy 2000s summer league team that won the New York State Cup championship last year. She intends to major in Elementary Education at St. Bonaventure.
BRDARSKI ON BRUSSEL: "Carolyn is one of the most versatile student-athletes I have ever seen. She is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team be successful, and her character comes through in everything she does. Her club experience has challenged her, and she has been given great coaching by Lisa Deil, a St. Bonaventure '93 alum, at Baldwinsville. No matter where she is on the field, we know we are getting a player that will defend and help us attack in the best ways."
Farrance, a forward and midfielder from Penfield, N.Y., posted 15 goals and 30 assists over the past three seasons at Penfield High. Named team MVP her junior and senior seasons, she was also selected First Team All-County and picked to the All-Greater Rochester Honorable Mention squad. A team captain for her high school team, she was also a High Honor Roll student in the classroom. She netted 17 goals during the 2016-17 season for the Empire United Soccer Academy club team. A second generation Bonnie, following in the footsteps of her father who played baseball at St. Bonaventure while her mother played soccer at Penn State, Farrance intends to major in business.
BRDARSKI ON FARRANCE: "Alex is a warrior, she will fight and compete for every ball and opportunity. She is an attacking player that loves to hunt for the ball and is great at finding a way to score. She has Bona's in her DNA and we love that she will continue her family's legacy here at SBU."
A native of Palatine, Ill., Filian is a center midfielder and defender who played for Palatine High School outside Chicago. During her sophomore season, she led the Mid-Suburban League in goals and overall points with 13 goals and seven assists. She was selected Mid-Suburban League All-Conference twice and also picked to the IHSA Region 6 All-Sectional and Chicagoland Soccer All-State teams. Her club team, the FCX Black 1999s, was the State Cup runner-up this past season and went undefeated in the Midwestern Regional League in the past two seasons. A member of the 3v3 national championship team with fellow recruit Claire Hensley, she comes from an athletic family – her father played soccer at Northern Illinois University while her mother played softball at Triton College. Her sister played soccer at Miami of Ohio and her brother plays soccer at Loras College. She intends to major in Health Sciences.
BRDARSKI ON FILIAN: "Kacie is fearless in her determination on the field, and the stats can't measure how much heart she plays with. Everyone loves to score, but she is committed to winning every 50/50 ball. She will be dangerous on set pieces and will have a high pass efficiency every game. She can control the middle of field with her feet and her head, and we will rely on her to that day in and day out."
Another local product, Foltz is from Newfane, N.Y. where she scored 70 goals with 45 assists over her varsity career at Newfane High School. A two-time team MVP, she was a First Team All-League selection three times and also named First Team All-Western New York. During her time at Newfane, she also earned All-State honors twice and also was picked as the Niagara Orleans Player of the Year. Foltz also lit up the scoreboard in travel leagues, scoring 20 goals for Lockport and 40 goals for Kenmore. She currently plays for the WNY Flash ECNL team. Also a basketball, softball and track member at Newfane, she intends to major in Pre-Med.
BRDARSKI ON FOLTZ: "Emily loves to run straight at defenders. She loves to take players on and if she does not beat you with the dribble, it's because she has found an open teammate to pass to. She will run with and without the ball and she will find the way to open up defenses. She is very crafty and creative, she is also one of the most humble individuals I have met. We are excited to continue working with her and developing her game."
Hensley also joins St. Bonaventure from Illinois as she hails from St. Charles and plays high school at St. Francis College Prep. An All-Conference selection and team leader in assists, she led her squad to the state final four and was also a two-year team captain. Hensley also played in the Dana Cup, one of the world's largest soccer tournaments, in Denmark with a Hawaiian team. Her father played football at Northern Illinois during his college days. An Honor Roll student in the classroom, she plans to major in business.
BRDARSKI ON HENSLEY: "Claire is technically efficient and will attack any seam or space you give her. She has a great pace, energy, and work ethic. We look forward to working with the tools she has, and think she will continue to develop in our environment. She will sacrifice for her teammates and will work hard throughout her journey."
Kunkle, a product of Lorain, Ohio, scored 77 goals and delivered 39 assists during her time at Elyria Catholic High School. She earned First Team All-Lorain County and First Team All-District honors and was also picked All-Greater Cleveland and First Team All-Ohio. She was also honored as the Morning Journal and Chronicle Player of the Year. During the spring, she is a member of her school's track and field team.
BRDARSKI ON KUNKLE: "Throughout the recruiting process, one common theme about Ryan came through, that being she is a leader. She leads through her actions on and off the field and we are lucky to have her in the Bona's family. Ryan has done well to develop into a marquee forward in the past year, but she comes to SBU with a wide array attacking and defending skills. She is a high integrity person that will be an amazing teammate, we are happy that Ryan is a Bonnie."
Thatcher comes to St. Bonaventure from New Albany, Ohio where she was a four-year varsity letterwinner for New Albany High School. She helped her team to the 2016 Ohio OCC Division I championship and was named First Team All-Ohio OCC as a forward and outside midfielder. Thatcher notched the second highest goal total on her team with 10 last season as a senior and was named to the Puerto Rico U20 Women's National Team selection pool. Her club team, Classics Eagles, was ranked second in Ohio and No. 104 in the nation. Also an Honor Roll student, she intends to major in marketing and finance.
BRDARSKI ON THATCHER: "Mia never stops running and working on the flank. We were impressed with her knowledge for the game and her high soccer IQ. I think Mia has developed so much in the past 15 months and has a laser focus to do whatever it takes to be successful. We love her passion for the game, and think she will not only represent Bon'as, but also Puerto Rico, at the highest levels."
A product of Victor, N.Y., Williams was named Offensive MVP at Victor High School where she was selected All-County and Second Team All-Greater Rochester. After helping to lead her team to the Section V Class AA sectional final in 2017 after winning the sectional championship the previous season, she was picked Fourth Team All-State. Her travel team, the Rochester Junior Rhinos is ranked No. 1 in WNY and No. 62 in the nation. Another second generation Bonnie, her mother played field hockey at St. Bonaventure as an undergraduate. Williams also ran track as well as played basketball and lacrosse in high school. She plans to major in Sociology.
BRDARSKI ON WILLIAMS: "Molly is resilient and she will help fill gaps on the field due to graduation. She holds high standards, and wants to be better every day. We think Molly can play wide in the midfield or defense, and her 1v1 defending and attacking will be a great asset. Another legacy student, Molly was born to be a Bonnie."
.@miathatcher2018 from New Albany, Ohio is a #Bonnie! Mia was a First Team All-Ohio OCC pick at New Albany High School. We are so happy to have her join our family!— SBU Women's Soccer (@BonniesWSoccer) February 7, 2018
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Welcome to the #Bonnies ⚽️ family, Ryan Kunkle from Lorain, Ohio! She was named First Team All-Greater Cleveland after netting 77 goals during her high school career!— SBU Women's Soccer (@BonniesWSoccer) February 7, 2018
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We are ecstatic to welcome another of our newest #Bonnies, @hensleyy_7 from St. Charles, Illinois! She was an all-conference player and helped lead her team to the state final four in high school!— SBU Women's Soccer (@BonniesWSoccer) February 7, 2018
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We're thrilled to welcome @Emilyfoltz8 from Newfane, N.Y. to the #Bonnies family! She was a 3x. all-league selection and 1st Team All-WNY pick in high school! #NationalSigningDay || #Unfurl pic.twitter.com/J1abRswjVd
✍️ Kacie Filian of Palatine, Illinois is a Bonnie! She led her H.S. league in scoring and we are thrilled have her join the #Bonnies women's soccer family! ��#NationalSigningDay || #Unfurl pic.twitter.com/eKiiM3x8jt— SBU Women's Soccer (@BonniesWSoccer) February 7, 2018
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The next member of our signing class is @alexfarrance_! She is a second generation Bonnie from Penfield, N.Y.! Welcome to the #Bonnies family!#NationalSigningDay || #Unfurl pic.twitter.com/b2lbtxmtae
Proud to announce our first signing of the day - Carolyn Brussel from Baldwinsville, N.Y.! Carolyn was a member of the 2017 Class AA State Champs and she helped her team to a 53-5-3 record during her time on varsity!#NationalSigningDay || #Unfurl pic.twitter.com/iPp5UKqrOF— SBU Women's Soccer (@BonniesWSoccer) February 7, 2018
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