Usually I have more of a run-up each year reminding you all that it’s also National Signing Day for Men’s and Women’s Soccer, as well. I didn’t do that this year, but we’ve got names nonetheless, especially on the Women’s side, where we see two long-committed standouts finally make it official. On the Men’s side, the coaching turnover has left everyone with bigger fish to fry, but we know a few from Ben Tsujimoto at BN Soccer.
We have been waiting since her verbal in May 2015 for Gianna Yurchak. At the time, I knew her ECNL club, the Penn Fusion, was reasonably well-regarded and not much else. Since then, Yurchak has only capped off a 70-goal high school career with Pennsylvania State Player of the Year and All-American recognition as a senior.
It’s not difficult to envision a world where Yurchak steps right into regular minutes, and perhaps a starting spot, at forward this fall.
Marcy Barberic, from Grand Island, is another name we’ve known about for some time, and like sophomore Kara Daly and onetime Buffalo commit Sydney Cerza, has joined Marissa Birzon as All-State caliber talent in Section VI the last few years. A two-time Second Team All-NYS pick, Barberic potted 32 assists as a senior as GI went 19-1-1. I could see her fitting into the midfield rotation a la Carly Zoccali in 2016.
Kaitlyn Walsh and Lena Lucas are the more unknowns, but they’re both NYS products — I can’t overstate how strong a recruiting base Coach Burke enjoys in New York, Pennsylvania, and Northeast Ohio — Lucas, alongside Gurjeena Jandu, could be the future of UB’s central defense, while Walsh is the reigning NYS Class B Player of the Year and brings a midfield presence into a UB group that will need to replace the hard-nosed Andrea Niper in 2017.
Davie Carmichael hasn’t announced anything yet, but Tsujimoto has four: Sebastian Diaz, from Southwestern, Cameron Law, from Clarence, Nemanja Simic, from Grand Island, and Hugo Guerra, of Brewster, NY.
Diaz, Law, and Simic have all spent time with the various club opportunities in New York, but I can’t find a lot on any, except Simic, who was named to the Buffalo News All-WNY Large Schools team, while Guerra piled up a ton of goals for Brewster
on Long Island downstate in 2016. Once we get a press release from UB, I’ll be able to dig for a little more on all four.
I’d also expect that both teams, especially the men, will add another two or three names each between now and mid-summer, ideally in time for spring ball. We’ll have more when we know more.