Women's Soccer Adds Nine Student-Athletes For Class of 2014

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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK -- After graduating the winningest senior class in program history this spring, the Columbia University women's soccer team will be looking to reload next season. And nine talented newcomers comprise a deep recruiting class that will help head coach Kevin McCarthy and the Lions remain in the hunt for an Ivy League Championship in 2010.

The class represents a wide variety of geographical segments of the United State and the entire world. A pair of incoming student-athletes call the state of Massachusetts home, while one player will be coming to Morningside Heights all the way from Hong Kong. The states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia and Washington are also represented in the class. 

"On the field, in the classroom and in the community, these young women embody the core values of Columbia University women's soccer and Columbia University," McCarthy says of the group. "They are bold in seeking excellence in all areas of their lives. I am very eager to partner with them in our mission to continue to be the model women's soccer program in the Ivies and beyond."

The Lions return nine starters and 16 letterwinners from the 2009 squad and will begin the season on Friday, Sept. 3 against Central Connecticut State. Columbia will open its home schedule on Friday, Sept. 10 against local rival Fordham at 7 p.m.

Incoming Columbia Women's Soccer Class of 2014
Name Pos. Ht. College Hometown/High School
Kimmy Bettinger F 5-3 CC Belvedere, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep
Shannon FitzPatrick D 5-9 CC Johns Creek, Ga./Marist School
Jun Lau MF 5-6 CC Hong Kong/Chinese International School
Beverly Leon MF 5-8 CC Wrentham, Mass./Milton Academy
Maya Marder MF/D 5-3 CC Kirkland, Wash./The Overlake School
Natalie Melo MF 5-1 CC Kissimmee, Fla./Celebration
Lainey Prioleau MF 5-8 CC Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei
Coleen Rizzo F/MF 5-10 CC Needham, Mass./Needham
Chelsea Ryan D 5-9 CC Avon, Conn./Loomis Chaffee


Player Biographies - Incoming Class of 2014

Kimmy Bettinger
Forward - 5-3 - Belvedere, Calif. (St. Ignatius Prep)

Three-year letterwinner at St. Ignatius Prep ... led team in assists and second in goals as a senior ... named to All-Western Coast Athletic League team ... member of the nationally-ranked Marin FC soccer club ... captained team to top 25 ranking in 2008-09 ... won Golden State Soccer League championship in 2008-09 ... selected for U.S. Soccer Region IV pool in 2008-09 ... member of the California Olympic Development Program state team from 2007-10 ... also played lacrosse for three seasons ... member of Soccer Without Borders, which trains and sponsors women's soccer team in Central America ... mother, Linda, swam at Vanderbilt University from 1980-83 ... father, Mike, played football at St. Joseph's College (Ind.) from 1976-80, was an Academic All-American and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship ... plans to major in creative writing ... b. July 14, 1992 in San Francisco.

McCarthy on Bettinger: "Kimmy is a dynamic player. Her combination of assertiveness and creativity make her a great fit for CUWS."

Shannon FitzPatrick
Defender - 5-9 - Johns Creek, Ga. (Marist)

Four-year letterwinner at The Marist School ... named team captain as a senior ... helped the Blue & Gold to back-to-back Georgia 4A State Titles in 2008 and 2009 ... three-time all-county selection ... Named North Dekalb Female Athlete of the Week as a senior ... member of the Atlanta Fire United soccer club ... served as captain of the team for two seasons ... helped team to Georgia State Cup championship in 2008 ... five-year member of the Georgia Olympic Development Program, serving as captain from 2007-09 ... also a two-year member of the varsity cross country squad ... won every cross country race she entered in her two seasons ... is the oldest of five children ... sisters Hailey and Mary, are members of the Marist varsity soccer team ... daughter of Patricia and William ... b. Feb. 11, 1992 in the City of New York.

McCarthy on FitzPatrick: "Shannon is powerful in play and in presence. She is a strong addition to our defensive corps."

Jun Lau
Midfielder - 5-6 - Hong Kong (Chinese International School)

Team captain of CIS soccer team ... member of the Hong Kong National U-18 team ... also ran track and played basketball at CIS ... brother, Yat-Tung, played tennis at Indiana for four years ... other brother, Kevin, played tennis at Bentley College ... plans to major in economics ... interned for Merrill Lynch in 2008 and Santander in 2009 ... daughter of Philip and Jenny ... b. Oct. 11, 1991 in Hong Kong.

McCarthy on Lau: "Jun is technically outstanding and has a great deal of international experience that will help her adjust to the collegiate level."

Beverly Leon
Midfielder - 5-8 - Wrentham, Mass. (Milton Academy)

Four-year letterwinner in both soccer and basketball ... captain of soccer and basketball teams as a senior ... named first team All-Independent School League four straight seasons ... named ISL Offensive MVP as a senior ... named to National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region Team as a senior ... ESPN Rise All-Massachusetts team as a senior ... advanced her high school squad to semifinals of the New England Private School Athletic Conference tournament as a senior ... helped team to runner-up in the event as a sophomore ... member of the Stars of Massachusetts club team, which won the U-15, U-16 and U-17 state cup ... one of six siblings ... has three older and two younger brothers ... brother, Stuart, played soccer at Swarthmore College ... liberal arts student ... daughter of Lenny Leon and Julie Forrest ... both parents attended University of Manchester in England ... b. Apr. 23, 1992 in Wrentham, Mass.

McCarthy on Leon: "Beverly is strong, skilled and willful in attacking play. She also adds great leadership qualities to our team."

Maya Marder
Midfielder/Defender - 5-3 - Kirkland, Wash. (The Overlake School)

Four-year letterwinner at midfield for Overlake ... named captain as a senior ... first team All-Emerald City League three consecutive seasons ... helped team to second place in the Washington State Tournament ... runner-up for Redmond Reporter Female Athlete of the Year as a junior ... member of the Washington State '92 Olympic Development Program pool ... USL Far West Region '92 Select Team ... member of the Crossfire Premier '91 club team ... helped squad to six Washington State Cup championships ... lettered in basketball four years, and was named Rookie of the Year of the Emerald City League in 2006 ... named MVP of ECL and first team All-State in basketball as a senior ... liberal arts student ... daughter of Carla Bradshaw and Mitch Marder ... mother played tennis at Northwestern from 1974-77 ... uncle, Vincent Bradshaw, was a fencer at Harvard and Stanford ... b. March 3, 1992 in Seattle.

McCarthy on Marder: "Maya has a wonderful combination of intelligence and energy that will translate well at the college level."

Natalie Melo
Midfielder - 5-1 - Kissimmee, Fla. (Celebration)

Four-year letterwinner and captain as a senior ... Osceola County Player of the Year and member of Florida All-State "A" Team in 2008 ... attended U-14 U.S. National Camp in 2006 and U-18 National Team Camp in 2009 ... member of Region III Olympic Development Program from 2006-10 ... member of Florida ODP "A" Team from 2005-10 ... played for Florida Rush club team ... won Florida State Championship in 2009 ... liberal arts student ... coaches youth soccer teams over the summer ... member of National Honor Society ... volunteer at Relay for Life and Red Cross blood drives ... ranked No. 1 in her high school graduating class with a  4.0 GPA ... daughter of Fabio and Ana Melo ... father played professional soccer in Colombia for Millonarios FC and Santa Fe ... brother, Nicholas, is part of the U-17 U.S. Men's National Team residency program in Bradenton, Fla. ... b. Apr. 21, 1992 in Flushing, N.Y.

McCarthy on Melo: "Natalie is an exciting playmaker. She can both create and finish with flair and efficiency."

Lainey Prioleau
Midfielder - 5-8 - Newport Beach, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Four-year letterwinner and captain as a senior at Mater Dei ... named team MVP as a senior ... All-Trinity League as a senior ... helped squad to CIF Division I Souther Section championship in 2007 ... scholar athlete all four years in high school ... member of Slammers FC club team ... helped Slammers FC to Surf Cup championship in 2009 ... daughter of Paul and Karen ... father was a member of the UC Berkeley crew from 1975-79 and was a member of the United State Olympic Rowing Team in 1980 ... brother, Will, is currently rowing for the Bears ... member of National Honors Society ... b. Dec. 23, 1991 in Newport Beach, Calif.

McCarthy on Prioleau: "Lainey is an inspiring player and leader. She is brave and strong in central positions on the pitch."

Coleen Rizzo
Forward/Midfielder - 5-10 - Needham, Mass. (Needham)

Two-year letterwinner in soccer at Needham ... selected captain as a senior ... also earned two letters at Dover Sherborn High School ... named Bay State League first team all star as a junior and senior ... Eastern Massachusetts All-Star ... team offensive MVP ... All-State League all star ... led team in goals and assists as a senior ... member of the Crusaders United soccer club in 2009 ... Massachusetts ODP pool player ... also played for the FC Greater Boston Bolts ... earned three letters in basketball ... team MVP and first team All-Tri Valley League at Dover Sherborn as a sophomore ... plans to major in biology ... member of National Honor Society ... daughter of Robert and Livia ... father played football at Yale from 1974-78 ... sister, Livia, plays soccer and basketball at Amherst College ... b. Apr. 13, 1992 in Boston.

McCarthy on Rizzo: "Coleen is an athletic, attacking presence. She is especially effective and bold in the air."

Chelsea Ryan
Defender - 5-9 - Avon, Conn. (Loomis Chaffee)

Four-year letterwinner and two-time captain at Loomis Chaffee ... named Junior Athlete of the Year at school ... helped Pelicans to New England championship as a freshman ... finished as runner-up in New England in each of the next three seasons ... named to ESPN Rise All-Connecticut Team as a senior ... earned Coaches' Award as a senior ... all-state selection as a junior and senior ... New England Prep West all-star as a junior ... member of Connecticut Football Club United team ... led CFCU to Connecticut State Championship and to regional finals ... liberal arts student ... daughter of James and Lori ... father played football at UMass from 1978-81 ... b. Sept. 29, 1992 in Hartford, Conn.

McCarthy on Ryan: "Chelsea has an uncompromising presence on the field. She is a stalwart in defending and igniting the attack."

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