BUIES CREEK – Looking to build on a 2011 season that saw the Camel women's soccer team tie a program record with 15 wins and advance to the Big South Conference tournament championship match, Campbell has signed seven players to join the team this fall.
Head coach Todd Clark and assistant coaches Laurie Franklin and Dee Nocero announce the signing of Alexis Connors (Johns Creek, Ga.), Emily Knortz (New Bern, N.C.), Samantha Lawson (Richboro, Pa.), Rachel Miller (Naperville, Ill.), Anna Naples (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Kaleigh Rowlands (Englewood, Ohio) and Cydney Smith (Apex, N.C.).
Alexis Connors joins the Fighting Camels as a goalkeeper from Johns Creek, Georgia. Connors plays her club soccer for United Football Academy (UFA). UFA was State Cup champion in 2010 and runner-up in 2008 and 2009. At St. Pius X High School, Connors only gave up seven goals in her 2011 junior season, racking up 17 shutouts as she helped lead her school to a second state title. During Connors' freshman year, her team had a perfect record of 22-0 as they won the state championship. She is undecided on her intended major but enjoys playing the guitar in her free time. Alexis, the daughter of Brian and Maria Connors, also has an older brother, Brian Jr., who played football for Catholic University.
Emily Marie Knortz, who plays her club soccer for OCSA Coastal Crew, is from New Bern, North Carolina. Looking forward to her senior season, Knortz attends New Bern High School. In her high school career thus far, Knortz has tallied more than 20 goals and just as many assists. Last season, Knortz was named Second Team Sun Journal, Honorable Mention First Team Sun Journal and Honorable Mention All-Conference. She has been a member of the North Carolina Olympic Development State team as a pool player for the past four years. Knortz has also excelled academically and is a member of the National Honor Society. While at Campbell, Knortz plans on majoring in pre-pharmacy from Campbell's top-rated pharmacy program. She is the daughter of Matthew and Barbara Knortz and has two siblings, Casey (21) and Matthew (13).
Samantha Lawson is a goal keeper from Richboro, Pennsylvania. Lawson plays club soccer for Match Fit Chelsea, where her team finished as Super-Y National Semi-Finalists last season. She attends Council Rock High School South where she finished her senior season with only five goals allowed. As a junior and senior, Lawson recorded 24 career shutouts. She was named to the SOL First Team All-League and First Team All-District for her junior and senior seasons and also received All-Academic honors for her junior year. Lawson is also a member of her high school basketball team. She plans on working towards a degree as a physician's assistant while at Campbell. Lawson is the daughter of Craig and Mary Beth Lawson and has two sisters, Alexis (18) and Nicole (16).
Rachel Ann Miller a defender from Naperville, Illinois, comes to Buies Creek from the successful club team NSA Premier Fury. As a member of the NSA Premier Fury squad, Miller's team won the Midwest Regional League (MRL) and won the U.S. Youth Soccer Midwest Region II Championships, ending their 2010 season with a third place finish at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. In 2011, the NSA Premier Fury repeated as the MRL Champs and went on to win the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships while only allowing one goal during the tournament. Miller has also been a member of the Illinois ODP State team for four years. She attends Waubonsie Valley High School where she helped her team to become conference champions her freshman year and take home the state title her sophomore year, ending that season ranked number two in the nation. Not only an athlete, Miller plays the French horn and in 2009, she went to Europe to perform with her high school. For the past two years, she has been named as one of the top horn players in Illinois. During her time at Campbell, Miller intends to major in international business with a minor in Spanish, before attending law school. Miller is the daughter of Michael and Lori Miller and has an older brother, Jason (21).
Anna Rebecca Naples, who plays for NC Fusion Soccer Club, is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The defensive back competes for Calvary Baptist High School, where she has garnered multiple accolades including being named to the All-Conference and All-State teams in 2011. On her team, she was named Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2010, and as a team captain in 2011, she received the Most Valuable Player award. Naples excels off the field as well and is an AP Scholar who is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and the National Forensic League. In 2012, Naples received the Andy Stone Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to those in region III soccer who exemplify academics, character and love of the game. Naples plans to major in pre-law with a minor in history before going on to law school. Frank and Helen Naples are her parents and Mia (14) is her sister.
Kaleigh Brianna Rowlands joins the Fighting Camels from Englewood, Ohio. Rowlands is a defensive player who plays club soccer for Ohio Galaxies. She also has been a member of the Ohio South ODP State team. Serving as team captain her junior and senior seasons, Rowlands attends Northmont High School where she was teammates with current Fighting Camel Jeannie Borda. At Northmont, Rowlands has garnered many awards over her career. She was named to the Greater Western Ohio Conference First Team All Central Division her junior year and Second Team her senior year. Over her career, she also was awarded her team's Most Valuable Player award twice and has been a two year recipient of the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association First Team All-Dayton Area North. Rowlands also is a three year varsity letter winner for basketball. She comes from a family of athletes, as her grandparents and parents both played collegiate sports. As a member of the National Honor Society, Rowlands plans to major in pre-med prior to attending medical school. Serving on mission trips to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, Rowlands is the daughter of David and Kristen Rowlands and has two younger siblings, David (15) and Hannah (13).
Cydney Marie Smith (pictured below) of Apex, North Carolina plays her club soccer for Pete Sadin's Triangle Football Club '94s. She played on current Fighting Camels' Ashley Clark's and Bailee Johnston's TFC '93 team when they won the Super Y Nationals in 2010. Smith has traveled abroad to Denmark where her team played in a tournament. The defensive minded Smith attends Green Hope High School and helped her team to become conference champions last season. Smith's team made it to the third round of the state tournament her sophomore season. Smith intends to major in business and hopes to one day own her own business after graduation. Smith is the eldest daughter of Sidney and Kim Smith, who played college soccer at Wilmington College in Ohio. Smith also has a younger sister named Jessica (14).