Women's Soccer Signs Eight for 2005 Season

Feb. 3, 2005

ORLANDO, Fla. - UCF women's soccer head coach Amanda Cromwell announced Wednesday the eight newcomers will join the Golden Knights for the 2005 season. The list includes players with state, regional and national Olympic Developmental Program (ODP) team experience, one NSCAA High School All-American and three transfers.

"We are extremely excited about these student-athletes and their decision to come to UCF and to be a part of what we are building," said Cromwell. "We believe that this group has the ability to step in immediately and compete at the highest level, in C-USA and in the nation."

Jessica Jackson- Chino Hills, Calif.; DefenderJackson was a four-year letter winner and starter at St. Lucy Priory High School in Glendora, Calif. She was named rookie of the year as a freshman and was a four-time first team all-Sierra League, all-CIF and all-state member, while also being named Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Jackson was a three-year player on the State ODP, two-year player on the regional team and one-year national pool participant. The State ODP team that Jackson played on was national champions. Jackson was also the captain of her club team, Arsenal, who won the Slammer's Classic, Coast League Cup and was a Surf Thanksgiving Finalist. Jackson was also a four-year letter winner in track and field where she participated in the long jump, triple jump and 400-meters. The track team was league champs 2001-2003.

"Jessica is one of the top defenders in Southern California," said Cromwell. "She is athletic, strong and comfortable on the ball. Her ODP experience with the region and national teams and her experience while playing in the most competitive club league in the country will help her transition to the college game."

Hanna Wilde- Westlake, Ohio; MidfielderWilde was a four-year letter winner and starter at Westlake High School in Westlake, Ohio. She was a four-time member of the Southwestern All-Conference Team, while also being named the Southwestern MVP in 2004. Wilde was a three-time Most Valuable Offensive Player and team MVP 2004. She was a four-time Coaches all-Cleveland, Second Team all-Ohio in 2003, first team all-2004 and National Soccer Coaches of America Association (NSCAA)/adidas All-American 2004-05. Wilde's club team, Internationals, were the Ohio North State Champions in 2004. She was a five-year state ODP, and placed third in ODP National Championships in 2002. Wilde was also a five-year regional team member.

"Hanna is one of the most exciting attacking players to come out of this year's recruiting class as evidenced by her NSCAA/adidas High School All-American accolade," said Cromwell. "She will bring both production and creativity out of the central midfield position."

Lydia Jones- Melbourne, Fla.; Midfielder/ForwardJones was a two-year starter at Melbourne High School and a two-year starter at Melbourne Central Catholic High School. She was named player and coach's MVP in 2002 along with being named Gatorade State Player of the Year. She was the leading scorer and MVP member of MCC's 2004 State Championship team. Jones was named all-conference, all-region and all-state. During her four years of high school, Jones scored 70 goals and registered 46 assists. She was also a member of the State ODP team.

"Lydia is one of the best players coming out of Florida this year," said Cromwell. "She is a player with a tireless work rate and great versatility. We look for great things out of Lydia in the years to come."

Mandi Mawyer- San Antonio, Texas; GoalkeeperMawyer was a four-year letter winner and starter at Douglas MacArthur High School. She was a four-time member of the all-district team, all-city team. Mawyer was also a three-time TASCO all-region member and three-time all-tournament team member for the Northloop Tournament. She was also named the Victoria Texas Tournament MVP in 2004. Mawyer started for the South Texas State Champions, the Austin Warriors, and was a member of the South Texas State ODP.

"Mandi is an extremely athletic goalkeeper with tremendous potential," said Cromwell. "She has great size and quickness and her best soccer is still ahead of her."

Erin Hopkins- Lakeland, Fla.; Defender/MidfielderHopkins was a four-year letter winner and starter at Lake Region High School, who reached the state final four. She was a four-time all-conference member,team MVP and captain. In 2003, she named area Player of the Year. Throughout her four years, Hopkins scored 72 goals and had 44 assists. Hopkins was a member of the Lakeland Lasers club team who were the Norcross Champions in 2004. She was also a member of the Florida ODP in 2002.

"Erin is a technical, athletic defensive central-mid that is great in the air," said Cromwell. "She reads the game well and we look for her to provide some depth at that position."

Michelle De Cespedes - Boca Raton, Fla.; Forward/MidfielderDe Cespedes is a transfer from LSU who was a four-year letter winner and starter at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, who were two-time state finalists. She recorded 199 points in four years including 32 goals and 14 assists her senior year. De Cespedes was named 2003 Class 3A Player of the Year by the Florida High School Sports Writers Association, all-state first team by the Florida Athletics Coaches Association in 2003, first team Broward County by the Miami Herald in 2002 and 2003, first team Broward County by the Sun Sentinel in 2003 and second team Broward County in 2002 by the Sun Sentinel. She was a member of the ODP Florida State Team for five years, including being named team captain in 2001. De Cespedes was selected to the ODP Region III Team in 2000 and the Region Pool in 2002. She helped club teams win three straight Florida State Cup Championships as a member of the Team Boca Blaze Club in 2001-U16, 2002-U17 and the Hillsborough County United Club Team in 2003-U18s.

"Michelle is a very technical and savvy player with two years of SEC soccer under her belt," said Cromwell. "Her previous college experience plus the fact that she joined us this spring will help in her transition to UCF."

Jessica Newport- Forked River, N.J.; ForwardNewport transferred from Jacksonville University. She was a four-year letter winner and starter at Lacey Township High School. Newport was a four-time Class B South Champion, Shore Conference Tournament Champion and South Jersey Group III State Title. She broke the career assist record (45) and single-season assist record (24) at Lacey Township. Newport received all-conference, all-county, all-shore and all-state honors in high school while being named team MVP. She was a 10-year team captain for Lacey Independent Magic, who were five-time state champions and the 2001 Kellogg's National Champions. During the 2004 season, Newport led JU in points (15) and goals (6). For her efforts, she was named to the 2004 Atlantic-Sun All-Freshman Team.

"Jessica is a dynamic attacking player with tremendous quickness and an uncanny ability to find the back of the net," said Cromwell. "She comes from a terrific club team which won five state championships and a national championship and has a year of D1 college soccer experience. She will fit right into the attacking mix."

Jennifer Manis- Pensacola, Fla.; GoalkeeperManis transferred from Middle Tennessee State University. She was a four-year letter winner and starter at Washington High School in Pensacola. Manis was named to the first team all-area 2002-04 by the Pensacola News Journal and second team in 2001. She had 208 saves as a freshman and posted 14 shutouts as a junior, including saving five penalty kicks, while leading her team to the Florida Final Four. Manis played club for the Pensacola Samba (W-League) and Alabama Attack Soccer Club and is a member of the Florida ODP. At MTSU, she started all 19 games and produced a 13-4-2 record. Her 89 saves rank No. 5 on the Blue Raider single-season list, as well as No. 5 on the career saves list. Manis set a single-season mark for most wins by a keeper at MTSU and third on the career wins list by a keeper. 1.06 goals-against-average is the best single-season mark for a keeper at MTSU.

"Jenny had a terrific year at MTSU, leading them to their best defensive year ever," said Cromwell. "She has good size and quickness and technically is very solid."