NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by eight New Englanders, 30th-year head coach Gabe Mejail is pleased to announce that nine student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Merrimack women's soccer team this fall.
The class represents one of the most well-rounded group of athletes in Mejail's tenure, and should immediately contribute on and off the playing field as the Warriors look to return to the NCAA Tournament in the fall of 2013.
"I really could not be happier with how this class came together," Mejail noted of the Class of 2017. "Collectively, I think there is so much to be excited about. Each of these girls was marvelous student-athletes in high schools and earned plenty of distinction in their playing careers. I think that these nine student-athletes are going to represent the Merrimack Community and the Athletic Department well, and by the time their careers here are over I believe we can accomplish some special things."
Meet The Class of 2017
Cayla Bucci | Back | 5-1 | Peabody, Mass. / Peabody H.S. | Business Major
Four-year member of the Peabody girls' soccer team … Tabbed a Salem News and a Boston Herald All-Star all four seasons … Named an NEC All-Star three seasons … Recipient of the Coaches Award as a freshman … Team captain as a junior and senior … Helped lead team to state championship as a junior … Named the Defensive Player of the Year and an Eastern Massachusetts All-Star as a junior … Also competed in indoor and outdoor track & field for two seasons, earning Salem News and NEC All-Star honors as a freshman and sophomore … Earned a first-place finish in the 200 yard dash at the NEC Championship as a sophomore … Member of Aztec Club Soccer club team … Born March 3, 1995 … Daughter of Dominic and Linda Bucci … Has one brother, Andrew … Plans to major in Business at Merrimack.
Alyssa Eaton | Back/Midfield | 5-7 | Hanson, Mass. / Whitman-Hanson Regional H.S. | Pre-Physical Therapy Major
Four-year member of the Whitman-Hanson Regional girls' soccer team … Led team to league and sectional championship as a freshman … Tabbed a Patriot League All-Star and recipient of the league's Sportsmanship Award as a sophomore … Also named the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award while helping lead team to league championship as a sophomore … Patriot League All-Star and helped lead team to Patriot League Championship as a junior and senior … Named an Eastern Massachusetts All-Star, a Brockton Enterprise and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team member as a junior and senior … Named team Captain and Team MVP as a senior … Also earned varsity letter in girls' basketball … National Honors Society member … Member of the Crusaders United SC club team … Born Oct. 4, 1994 … Daughter of Richard and Joann Eaton … Has two siblings, Pamela and Audrey … Plans to major in Pre-Physical Therapy at Merrimack.
Megan Gada | Midfield | 5-9 | Bozrah, Conn. / Norwich Free Academy | Sports Medicine Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner for the girls' soccer team at Norwich Free Academy … All-ECC Honorable Mention as a freshman … Named All-ECC and New London Day All-Area Team as a sophomore and junior … As a senior, earned All-ECC and All-State honors, as well as earning a spot on the New London Day All-Area Team and was tabbed the Norwich Bulletin All-Area Player of the Year … Earned "Highest Honors" all four seasons … Four-year letterwinner on the girls' lacrosse team … National Honors society member … Northeast United club team member … Born Feb. 21, 1995 … Daughter of David and Kelly Gada … Has one sibling, Adam … Plans to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
Bianca Giacalone | Forward | 5-4 | Gloucester, Mass. / Gloucester H.S. | Business/Sports Management Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner on the Gloucester girls' soccer team … Team's leading scorer for three seasons … Three-time NEC All-Star … Led team to state tournament all four seasons, including a berth in the state semifinals her junior year … Soccer team captain as a senior … Also a four-year letterwinner on the girls' indoor and outdoor track & field teams … Set school record as a freshman in the distance medley relay and earned a spot on the Massachusetts Honor Roll … Four-year NEC All-Star in track, and twice named team MVP … Set 300m school record as a junior … Recipient of the Coach's Award as a junior in outdoor track … Team captain junior and senior year … Indoor team earned a spot at the Reebok Indoor National H.S. Championships her senior year … North Shore United club team member … Born June 8, 1994 … Daughter of Paul Giacalone and Melissa Tarr … Has one sibling, Adriana … Plans to major in business/sports management at Merrimack.
Julia Heffernan | Back/Midfield | 5-6 | Westborough, Mass. / Westborough H.S. | Undecided Major
Three-year varsity letterwinner for the Westborough girls' soccer team … Named a league all-star as a sophomore, junior and senior … Tabbed a team captain as a senior … Named League MVP as a senior … Earned Central Mass. All-Star and All-State honors as a senior … Also a four-year letterwinner on the indoor track & field team … Set school record in the 4x400m relay as a rookie, the 600m as a sophomore, and again in the 600m as a senior … Named league all-star in track three seasons, and was named the Team MVP as a senior … NEFC Elite Club Team member … Born May 17, 1995 … Daughter of Brian and Nancy Heffernan … Has three siblings, Michael, Bridget and Kate … Undecided major at Merrimack.
Rachel Steelman | Back/Midfield | 5-6 | Mays Landing, N.J. / Oakcrest H.S. | Sports Medicine Major
Four-year member of the Oakcrest girls' soccer team … Led team in assists as a sophomore and junior … Earned a spot on All-CAL Honorable Mention Team as a senior, when she also led team in assists … Unsung Hero Award recipient as a senior … Member of the varsity swimming team for four seasons … Qualified for the Meet of Champions in the 200m free as a sophomore … Qualified for league and state sections in swimming as a junior … Named Second-Team All-CAL honors as a senior … Varsity scholar and National Honor Society member … Cape Express Club Team member … Born July 14, 1995 … Daughter of Ralph and Liz Steelman … Has three siblings, Jenna, Ryan and Alexa … Plans to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
Alana Vecchiarello | Forward | 5-1 | Peabody, Mass. / Hamilton-Wenham Regional H.S. | Health Science/Sports Medicine Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner at Hamilton-Wenham Regional … Three-time Cape Ann League All-Star … As a junior and senior, earned a spot on the Salem Evening News and Eastern Massachusetts All-Star teams … Named Team MVP as a junior and senior … Team captain as a senior … CAL Division I Player of the Year while leading team to CAL Division I championship as a senior … Posted 44 points (19g, 6a) as a senior … North Shore United Club Team member … Born Oct. 28, 1994 … Daughter of Mario and Rita Vecchiarello … Has two siblings, Bianca and DeAnna … Plans to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
Caitlin Wall | Back/Midfield | 5-4 | Westerly, R.I. / Westerly H.S. | Business/Marketing Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner and starter for the Westerly girls' soccer team … As a junior and senior, named first-team all-division … Team captain as a senior … Honor Roll and member and earned high honors as a sophomore and junior … Southeast Soccer Club (Conn.) member … Born Nov. 14, 1995 … Daughter of Stephen and Lori Wall … Has one sibling, Zachary … Plans to major in Business/Marketing at Merrimack.
Lauren Webb | Back/Midfield | 5-8 | Stafford Springs, Conn. / Stafford H.S. | Elementary/Special Education Major
Four-year member of the Stafford girls' soccer team … First-Team All-Conference honors all four years … Named to the All-Area Team as a junior and senior … First-Team All-Academic Conference honors as a senior … Team captain as a senior … Also earned varsity letters on the indoor and outdoor track & field teams … Twice earned all-conference honors in track … Oakwood Soccer Club team member … Born Dec. 21, 1994 … Daughter of Jon and Dawn Webb … Plans to major in Elementary Education/Special Education.