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National Signing Day nets 17 new football players, six new additions to soccer

Towson University Football Head Coach Rob Ambrose and his assistants welcomed 17 new student-athletes to the team at their National Signing Day event at Charles Village Pub Wednesday night.

Football Head Coach Rob Ambrose at National Signing Day

Football Head Coach Rob Ambrose at National Signing Day

“Congratulations to the young men and their families who have seen first-hand this year the magic created by hard work, faith, sacrifice, commitment and love, coupled with a ‘team first’ attitude,” said Ambrose. “Their desire to join this effort, to continue to help us build and write the next chapter in our storied history, makes today a very special day, and, once again, a great day to be a Tiger.”

The signers included five Marylanders: Dontea Ayres (Salisbury/transfer from Rutgers University); Niquekko Cook (Odenton/Meade H.S.); Zach Heron (Hampstead/Manchester Valley H.S.); Tyron McDade (Bowie/Friendship Collegiate Academy); and Marquise Watts (LaPlata/North Point H.S.)

Twelve signers hail from out of state: Jesus Barrio (McKinney, Texas/McKinney Boyd H.S.); Reece Burnett (Springfield, Va./Lake Braddock H.S.); Monty Fenner (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar F. Smith H.S.); Sam Gallahan (Springfield, Va./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School); James Hall (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral H.S.); Will Hayes (Winston-Salem, N.C./North Forsyth H.S.); Matt Kauffman (York, Pa./York Suburban H.S.); Ellis Knudson (Alexandria, Va./Hayfields H.S.); Eddie Releford (Tacoma, Wash./Lakes H.S.); James Scott (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester H.S.); Danny Sutton (New Hope, Pa./New Hope Solebury H.S.); and Greg White (Philadelphia, Pa./West Catholic H.S.)

The men join a squad touting its best-ever conference finish after a berth in the FCS National Championship. Now Ambrose looks to build off the returning team and bolster it with the new members.

“I am so grateful to all of those team members who have worked so tirelessly for the betterment of the future of Towson University,” Ambrose said of the 2013 team. “The hours of behind-the-scenes work done by our coaches, support staff, professors, administrators and community teammates have culminated into an incredibly talented and diverse recruiting class whose presence will be felt for years to come.”

Women’s soccer signed six new student-athletes, according to Head Coach Greg Paynter.

“We are excited to welcome our 2014 class,” Paynter said. “They have a high level of playing experience in the most competitive leagues available to youth soccer players. These young ladies will come in and add immediate credibility to our program. They will be expected to compete immediately to help our growth.”

Midfielder Maddie Bove (West Chester, Pa./Unionville H.S.); defender Kristyn Hubbard (Downtingtown, Pa./Downingtown East H.S.); and midfielder Caitlin Oswald (West Chester, Pa./Baynard Rustin H.S.) all currently play for Penn Fusion ECNL.

Goalkeeper Emma Burnett (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River H.S.) and forward Gabrielle Scirica (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West H.S.) play club ball for FC Westchester Elite and East Meadow ENCL, respectively.

Defender Kelsey Ritter (Davidsonville, Md./The Severn School) plays for Maryland United ECNL.

“We lost a big part of our team with the departure of our seniors,” said junior forward Sofia Read. “But we’re excited for this class. They seem like quality players who will be a great addition to our team.”