Women's soccer inks eight to NLI's for 2013 season

Head coach Sue Ryan

March 28, 2013

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Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook women’s soccer team and head coach Sue Ryan have announced the signings of eight student-athletes to NLI’s. Kimberly Comstock, Christina Fluman, Hannah Groth, Lindsay Hutchinson, Lauren Kovalchuk, Maxie New, Elise Pratt and Leah Yurko will be eligible to play for the Seawolves in the fall.

Hailing from five different states, the incoming class will be a welcome addition to the program on the heels of its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.

“We are very excited about this group of student-athletes and we feel very fortunate to have brought in another talented class with tons of potential,” Ryan explained. “This class places a premium on speed, dynamic technical ability, goal-scoring prowess and strong defensive tendencies. We feel confident that this class not only brings us players who can immediately impact our team but also adds depth across the field at all positions.”

A local product from Port Jefferson, N.Y., Comstock joins the team after winning four varsity letters at Comsewogue High School. A 5’8 goalkeeper, Comstock was named All-County and started all four years in net, earning All-State accolades as a junior in 2011. Comstock also played club soccer for the ISA Sting ’94 team and head coach Ron Alber and has one year of Olympic Development Program (ODP) experience at the regional level.

“Kim is a courageous goalkeeper who is not afraid to control her six box,” Ryan said. “She combines great quickness off her line with very good reactions. We are excited that Kim will help continue our strong tradition in goal.”

Fluman joins the Seawolves after earning four varsity letters at Pittsford Mendon High School in Pittsford, N.Y.  A 5’8 defender, Fluman was named All-League from 2010-12 and was tabbed first-team All-State, All-Region II, All-Greater Rochester and Division II Player of the Year in 2012. During Fluman’s high school career, Pittsford Mendon posted a 53-17-5 record and finished as a state semifinalist in 2010. Fluman also played club ball for the Black Watch and head coach Nick DeMarsh and won a State Cup championship in 2012 and Club Regional titles in 2011 and ’12. Fluman also participated in ODP from 2009-12 and helped the squad to the 2012 Region I Final Four Tournament.

“Christina is another player who brings us size and strength,” Ryan said. “She combines athleticism and versatility and is a player capable of playing on the back line or in the midfield.”

Groth comes to Stony Brook from Cedarburg High School in Cedarburg, Wis. A four-year varsity captain as a defender, the 5’6 Groth led the Bulldogs to two state championships and a regional final, while garnering first-team All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior. Groth also earned All-State: Best of the Rest laurels in 2011 and ’12, and played club ball for the North Shore United and head coach Sinisa Angelovski.

“As a left-sided player, Hannah brings balance on the field as well as strength and power,” Ryan explained. “She has both a physical element and a technical element in her game which will be welcomed on our back line.”

A native of Lancaster, Pa., Hutchinson joins the Seawolves after winning four varsity letters at Penn Manor High School. A two-year captain as a forward/midfielder, Hutchinson was named a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section I First Team All-Star in 2012 and was a leading scorer in the league in both 2011 and ’12. The 5’6 Hutchinson helped the Comets to Section One and Lancaster-Lebanon League titles in 2011 en route to the PIAA state final and a No. 2 state ranking. Hutchinson also played club ball for the Pennsylvania Classics Girls Academy ’94 and head coach Mike Henning.

“Lindsay is a tough, physical and technical player with a nose for the goal,” Ryan said. “She can score in the air and using either foot on the ground. Lindsay brings us a grit factor not always seen in technically-gifted players.”

Another Keystone State native, Kovalchuk comes to Stony Brook from Belle Vernon Area High School in Belle Vernon, Pa. The 5’7 Kovalchuk earned four varsity letters and played all over the field for head coach Paul Sasko. A two-year captain, Kovalchuk was named All-Section from 2010-12 and earned All-WPIAL and All-State accolades as a senior in 2012. During her career, Kovalchuk helped the Lady Leps to a 60-16-5 record, while compiling 56 goals and 35 assists. Kovalchuk also played club soccer for the North United Fire and has five years of state ODP experience and one year of regional ODP play. This March, Kovalchuk’s Region I squad traveled to Sochi, Russia and won the 2013 Kuban Spring Tournament.

“Lauren has a knack for winning balls in the air,” Ryan explained. “She is a very strong tackler and a tenacious defender as well. Lauren has the ability to play in several positions on the field and we look forward to her arrival in the summer.”

A native of Clayton, N.J., New joins the Seawolves after a storied career at Clayton High School. A four-year letterwinner as a 5’4 forward, New scored 105 goals and added 59 assists and was named first-team All-Conference all four years. New was also named first-team Courier Post and Times Paper in 2010 and ’12 and garnered Times Female Soccer Player of the Year and All-South Jersey honors in 2011. During her career, New helped the Clippers to a 57-29 record and a Group I South Jersey championship in 2010. New also played for the FC Bucks club team and head coach Christie Welsh and participated in ODP at the state level. This March, New was selected to the prestigious Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Player Development Program (PDP), which selects the top ECNL players in the country from the Northeast Region.

“As a legitimate two-footed goal scorer, Maxie instantly becomes a threat from anywhere on the field,” Ryan said. “We feel she is someone who can impact our team immediately.”

A fellow New Jersey native, Pratt comes to Stony Brook from Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville, N.J. A 5’2 midfielder/forward, Pratt earned four varsity letters and was named captain as a senior in 2012. Pratt netted 33 goals in her final three seasons and was named first-team All-Conference from 2009-12 and All-State from 2011-12. An ODP participant at the state level from 2008-09, Pratt also played club ball for the Highland Wildcats coached by Ellis Badillo.

“Elise is a very dynamic and skillful attacking player,” Ryan said. “She combines a high technical speed of play with vision and goal scoring ability. We look forward to all of her contributions this fall and beyond.”

Yurko joins the Seawolves family from Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Md. A four-year letterwinner as a midfielder/forward, Yurko bagged 81 goals and chipped in 26 assists in her career en route to first-team All-City, All-County and All-League honors from 2009-12. Yurko was also named All-State and Player of the Year in 2011 and ’12 and helped the team to 34 wins during her career. Yurko also played club ball for FC Frederick and head coach Brad Roos and was an ODP participant at the regional and state levels, traveling to Spain in 2012 with the Region I ODP squad.

“Leah will bring a blue-collar, hard-working presence to our team,” Ryan explained. “She’s a very quick athletic player with sound technical ability at multiple positions. She is another player who can impact our squad early in her career.”

Under the guidance of Ryan, Stony Brook won 12 games last season and took home the America East championship for the first time in program history. The Seawolves were regionally ranked in the NSCAA Northeast Region Top 10 for four straight weeks and had marquee wins over St. John’s, Yale, and Army, before nearly upending No. 9 Maryland in the NCAA Tournament. Stony Brook returns nine starters from last season in addition to the talented incoming class.

“This class will significantly help us on our journey to defend our conference championship and make waves on the national scene next year,” added Steve Welham, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. “We are looking forward to the challenge ahead of us and we will meet it head-on together.”