Feb. 12, 2003
LOS ANGELES - In what is sure to be ranked one of the top recruiting classes in America, head UCLA women's soccer coach Jillian Ellis announced the signing of seven players to national letters of intent Wednesday. Among the group are five players with U.S. Youth National Team experience and three NSCAA/adidas All-Americans.
Headlining the class are Under-19 U.S. National Team players Bristyn Davis (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Stephanie Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz). Davis, a forward, was recently named Student Sports Magazine's National Player of the Year after registering 32 goals and 26 assists during her senior season at St. Anthony's High School in Melville, N.Y. She led the state champion Friars to a 19-1-1 overall record and a ranking of No. 5 in the country. Her club team, the HBC Fury, has made back-to-back appearances in the Snickers National Championships. Davis' brother Chadd was a senior on the UCLA men's soccer team, which won the NCAA title in 2002. Kron, a midfielder, who only played one season of soccer at Xavier College Prep due to national team and club commitments, is widely considered the top player to come out of Arizona this year. She was recently named an NSCAA/adidas Youth All-American, playing club soccer for the Sereno Golden Eagles.
Two other Bruin recruits with U.S. Youth National Team experience are Mary Castelanelli (Lodi, Calif.) and Caitlin Ursini (San Pedro, Calif.). Castelanelli, a defender, is an ODP Region-IV team member and has been a pool player with the Under-16 U.S. Team. She is a two-time NSCAA/adidas Youth All-American, playing club soccer for the Under-18 defending national champion Pleasanton Rage. Ursini, a midfielder, was a member of the Under-16 U.S. Team and is also an ODP Region-IV team member. She plays club soccer for the Southern California Blues.
Rounding out this talented class are local Southern California standouts Jessica Harris (Woodland Hills, Calif.), Michelle Gleason (El Toro, Calif.) and Arianna Criscione (Walnut, Calif.). Harris, a first-team All-CIF defender at El Camino Real High School, was a member of the Cal South State Team in 2002. That same year, she helped lead her club team, the West Valley Samba, to the Under-17 National Championship. Both Gleason and Criscione are teammates, along with Ursini, on the Southern California Blues. Gleason is a first-team All-CIF selection at Lake Forest High School and is a pool player with the ODP State and Regional teams. Criscione was in the Under-16 U.S. player pool and has also been on the ODP Region-IV squad. In 2001 and 2002, she was a member of the Cal South State Team. Criscione attends St. Lucy's Priory High School.
"This is one of our most balanced classes ever, and collectively, I think it is one of the best in the country," says Ellis. "We only lose one starter from a year ago, however these players are talented enough to make an immediate impact on our program."
The Bruins have landed top-10 recruiting classes in each of the last three years, including the nation's No. 1 class in 2000. UCLA's 2001 class was rated No. 8 and last year's group was No. 2 in the country.
|2003 UCLA SIGNEES|
|Mary Castelanelli||D||Lodi, Calif.||Tokay|
|Arianna Criscione||GK||Walnut, Calif.||St. Lucy's Priory|
|Bristyn Davis||F||Locust Valley N.Y.||St. Anthony's|
|Michelle Gleason||D||El Toro, Calif.||Lake Forest|
|Jessica Harris||D||Woodland Hills, Calif.||El Camino Real|
|Stephanie Kron||MF||Paradise Valley, Ariz.||Xavier College Prep|
|Caitlin Ursini||MF||San Pedro, Calif.||San Pedro|