Coach Tony da Luz dipped into the Triad’s talent a little more than usual for his latest Wake Forest women’s soccer recruiting class.
Two of the nine players he signed are from the area: midfielder Sophie Faircloth of Reagan and goalie Madison Howard of Greensboro Day.
“This 2020 class has a great blend of talent, versatility, speed, athleticism and soccer instincts,” da Luz said. “They will improve our team on all lines and will keep our returning players honest. I expect that this quality group of young players will make their positive presence felt right away.”
This fall will be da Luz’s 24th season at Wake Forest, and he has compiled a 263-173-48 record with 19 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Faircloth, who had 45 goals and 16 assists at Reagan, has a rather large legacy to follow at Wake Forest. Her older sister, Spencer, is a rising sophomore on the cross-country and track teams, and her father, Barry, is a graduate and now a senior associate athletics director with the university. Also, her grandfather Bill is a former football player and former assistant football coach for the Deacons.
“She is a monster on free kicks, scoring often and putting the ball in really dangerous areas,” da Luz said of Faircloth, who was a three-time all-conference player and a two-time all-state player. “Sophie has grown up at Spry (Stadium) and is ready to compete for a starting position.”
Howard played three years on the varsity at Greensboro Day and was a two-time all-state player and a three-time all-conference player.
“Maddie will compete for time at the goalkeeper position right away,” da Luz said. “She trains like a maniac, has a commanding vocal presence and makes big saves in crunch time. She is always prepared, focused and ready to fight. Our goalkeeper situation will be incredibly competitive upon her arrival.”
Also signing were midfielders Faith Adams (Charlotte), Reese Kim (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Liv Stowell (Londonderry, N.H.); defenders Sasha Schwartz (New York City) and Brecklyn Monteith (Charlotte); and forwards Carrie McIntire (Haymarket, Va.) and Kristi Vierra (Norwell, Mass.).