HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College women's soccer coach Dan Muns announced today that Laura Bexell, Tiffany Dayton-Hegedus, Autumn Fetterolf, Jade Hammond, Ashton Knopf, Batavia Mata, Alina Tashjian and Ariana Tashjian have all agreed to play for the Cobras.
"We are extremely happy with the 2014 recruiting class," said Muns. "All eight of these young women are gifted and talented both on the field and in the classroom. They bring terrific diversity to our squad, and we expect them all to make an immediate impact in the classroom, the training ground and certainly in competition in the South Atlantic Conference."
Bexell, a midfielder, comes from Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, N.C. She was a two-sport athlete for the Cardinals, lettering in tennis and soccer. Bexell was the starting midfielder since 2010 and led her team to four-straight conference championships.
"Laura is a dynamic and energetic force in the midfield," said Muns. "She brings a championship background with her. Her club team won the NC State Cup and is headed to the Region III championships later this summer."
Laura is the daughter of Kevin and Nona Bexell.
Dayton-Hegedus, a goalie, comes from Arundel Senior High School in Odenton, Md. She was a two-sport athlete in soccer and softball for the Wildcats and earned all-county honorable mention honors on the soccer field in 2013.
"Tiffany is a terrific shot stopper and has a strong presence in the air," said Muns. "She comes from the soccer-rich state of Maryland, and we are expecting intense competition at the goalkeeper position with Tiffany joining us."
Tiffany is the daughter of Kari Dayton, Steve Hegedus and Chris Suthard.
Fetterolf, a midfielder, comes from Bethlehem Central High School is Delmar, N.Y. A three-year starter for the Eagles, Fetterolf was a two-time sectional champion as well as the 2013 team captain and MVP.
"Autumn is a defender by trade but also has the ability to score goals," said Muns. "She was clutch this season as she helped her high school team advance through the New York state playoffs, and we expect her game to translate in a similar fashion at the collegiate level."
Autumn is the daughter of Brian and Sheila Fetterolf.
Hammond, a center midfielder and defender, comes from Newsome High School in Lithia, Fla. A member of the Florida Soccer Club, Hammond is a Region C champion as well a starter for the Premier all-star team.
"Jade is very athletic and has a great toolbox in terms of skill set," said Muns. "She is a lynchpin type player in the midfield, but also has the flexibility in her game to make an impact anywhere on the field."
Jade is the daughter of Bryan and Kim Hammond.
Knopf, a goalie, comes from Palmetto High School in Palmetto, Fla. She was a four year-member of the Tigers' soccer team and a three-year captain.
"Ashton is an extreme competitor," said Muns. "She is very technically sound between the posts and also has a very strong set of organizational skills. She is a natural leader and a big-time playmaker."
Ashton is the daughter of Timothy and Lindsey Knopf.
Mata, a center midfielder, comes from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, Calif. A two-sport athlete in track and field and soccer, she was a three-time player of the week as well as the team leader in offensive points in 2013.
"Tavi is exceptionally creative and sophisticated in the midfield," said Muns. "Her movement in support of the ball and her execution with the ball are definite strengths. Tavi plays at a very high level in talent-rich California, and is an absolute soccer junky."
Tavi is the daughter of John and Dee Malta.
Alina Tashjian, a defender, comes from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tashjian plays year-round for the Ohio Elite club soccer team. She also played two years of volleyball for Walnut Hills.
"Alina is a physically tough and dominating defender with terrific skills in the air and in distribution," said Muns. "She is accustomed to high-level competition playing her soccer in the tough Midwest Regional Premier League."
Ariana Tashjian, a forward, also comes from Walnut Hills High School and plays year-round for Ohio Elite.
"Ariana scores simple, artistic and spectacular goals," said Muns. "She is a finisher with a very high soccer IQ. She also has a blue collar work ethic that is uncommon in goal scorers. As with her twin sister, Alina, she is carrying on the family soccer tradition in South Carolina."
Alina and Ariana are the daughters of Travis and Kathleen Tashjian.
Release written by media relations intern Aaron Beebe '15.