NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack women's soccer team has recently announced the signing of six student-athletes to the Class of 2016. The Warriors will welcome Meghan Gulbrandsen (Haverhill, MA), Heather Hastbacka (Weston, FL), Jessica Medeiros (Fall River, MA), Alyssa Otis (Torrington, CT), Deirdre Roberts (Braintree, MA) and Jenna Savi (Dedham, MA) in the fall.
Merrimack returns 24 players from last season's roster, including its top four scorers. Jenna Zechner (Billerica, MA) paced the Warriors with 19 points on eight goals and three assists. Danielle Dion (North Grosvenordale, CT) ranked second on the squad with eight goals and two assists, good for 18 points. Katie Bresciani (Hopedale, MA) netted four goals and added three helpers in her rookie season while Jenn Pino (North Andover, MA) tallied four markers and picked up one assist on the year.
Gabe Mejail's squad owned a 16-4-2 overall record on the year and finished with an 11-2-1 mark in the Northeast-10 Conference, good for second. The Warriors boasted a 9-0-0 record at home in 2011 and reached the finals of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Saint Rose.
Merrimack made its 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament this fall and downed Holy Family in penalty kicks before suffering a loss at Saint Rose in the second round.
The Warriors posted the 28th-consecutive winning record under Mejail and advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament for the 27th-straight year.
Merrimack climbed to as high as #14 in the NSCAA National Poll in 2011. The Warriors opened the season with a 10-match winning streak.
Meghan Gulbrandsen / Goalkeeper / Haverhill, MA
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born February 22, 1994 … Daughter of Lars and Pamela Gulbrandsen … Has two brothers, Erik and Nicholas … Four-year member of the varsity soccer team at Haverhill High School … Named to the Merrimack Valley All-Conference team as a sophomore and senior … Played club soccer for North Shore United and served as a team captain … Plans to major in athletic training at Merrimack.
Heather Hastbacka / Defender / Weston, FL
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born October 8, 1993 … Daughter of Mark and Kendra Hastbacka … Has a younger brother, Kyle … Four-year member of varsity soccer team at Cypress Bay High School … Earned Miami Herald and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel second team honors as a freshman and first team accolades as a sophomore, junior and senior … Named to the All-State first team by the Florida High School Athletic Association as a sophomore and ESPNRise as a junior … Led team to semifinals of the state tournament in her senior year … Served as team captain as a senior … Played club soccer for Weston FC and Lady Renegades … Member of the Super Y ODP and state ODP teams … Plans to major in sports medicine at Merrimack.
Jessica Medeiros / Midfielder / Fall River, MA
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born January 14, 1994 … Daughter of Joao and Norberta Medeiros … Has an older sister, Ashley … Four-year member of the varsity soccer team at BMC Durfee High School, leading the team in scoring all four years … A four-time Big Three League All-Star … Named a Herald News all-star as a junior and senior … Selected to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team as a junior … Voted Team Most Valuable Player as a senior … Played club soccer for Explosion FC … Plans to major in elementary education at Merrimack.
Alyssa Otis / Midfielder / Torrington, CT
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born March 18, 1994 … Daughter of Brad and Laurie Otis … Has an older brother, Brett … Four-year member of the varsity soccer, basketball and track & field teams at Torrington High School … An all-league selection as a sophomore and senior … Earned all-division honors as a junior … Named to the All-Tournament team and claimed MVP honors as a senior … Selected to the Senior Bowl as a senior … A two-time league track & field champion in the high jump and claimed the state title in the high jump as a junior … Two-time recipient of the Torrington High School Athletic Award … Played at the club level for the Northwest Rovers … Plans to major in marketing at Merrimack.
Deirdre Roberts / Midfielder / Braintree, MA
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born February 3, 1994 … Daughter of Neil and Susan Roberts … Has an older brother, Daniel … Four-year member of the varsity soccer team at Braintree High School … Two-year captain of the soccer team … Named a Bay State League All-Star as a junior and senior … A Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic selection as a senior … Played club soccer for the Black Hawks … Brother, Daniel, was a member of the soccer team at Bridgewater State University … Father, Neil, is the head men's soccer coach at Boston University.
Jenna Savi / Forward / Dedham, MA
Personal/Before Merrimack: Born December 3, 1993 … Daughter of Donald and Diane Savi … Has an older sister, Nicole, who plays soccer at Assumption … Four-year member of the varsity soccer team at Dedham High School … Served as team captain of soccer, basketball and track teams as a senior … An All-America selection as a senior … Named Team MVP as a junior and senior … Selected to the All-New England and All-State teams as a junior and senior … Named the 2011 Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 Player of the Year … A three-time Eastern Mass All-Star … Claimed South Section Player of the Game honors in the Eastern Mass All-Star game as a senior … Named the Bay State Conference MVP as a senior … A four-time Bay State Conference All-Star … Led team to two Bay State Conference Herget Division Championships … A Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection as a junior and senior … Named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic squad as a senior … Led the Bay State League in scoring as a sophomore, junior and senior … Tallied 138 career points and graduated as the all-time leading scorer in Dedham High School history … Played club soccer for the Scorpions Soccer Club and was named to the ECNL – PDA All-Tournament team in 2011 … Also competed in varsity basketball and track at Dedham High … A three-time Team MVP and Bay State League All-Star in basketball … Member of the National Honor Society and Superintendent's Advisory Council … Plans to major in communications at Merrimack.