North Carolina Lacrosse Welcomes Top-Rated Freshman Class

CHAPEL HILL A talented group of 10 incoming freshmen is now on campus and enrolled in classes this fall for the defending NCAA champion University of North Carolina women's lacrosse team. Inside Lacrosse named the Tar Heel recruiting haul the best incoming class in the nation for the 2014 season, a strong addition to the nine returning starters and 25 returning letterwinners who will defend the school's first national title next spring.

The incoming class includes defensive midfielder Maggie Auslander (Cary, N.C.), midfielder Maggie Bill (Huntington, N.Y.), midfielder Kate Burbank (Bedford Corners, N.Y.), attacking midfielder Molly Hendrick (Lancaster, Pa.), attacker Sydney Holman (Chapel Hill, N.C.), defensive midfielder Katie Kinsey (Millersville, Md.), midfielder Sophie McCoy (Kennett Square, Pa.), midfielder Kayla Miles (Watertown, N.Y.), attacker Carly Reed (Alexandria, Va.) and goalie Caylee Waters (Darien, Conn.)

"We are very excited to welcome in our 2013 class to Carolina," says UNC head coach Jenny Levy, the 2013 National Coach of the Year. "Individually and collectively, they have received national recognition for their overall talent, which is deserved, as each of them have been standout players and leaders for their respective high school and club teams. Additionally, they are focused and dedicated students and willing servants in the community.

"In the recruiting process, we not only look for the exceptional talent, but also student-athletes who buy into our overall philosophy of excellence in all arenas (academic, athletic and service)," Levy continues. "This class fits all of our criteria. Their overall competitive mentality, work ethic and passion for the game will help them transition into the college game and be a key to blending in with our returning players."

Inside Lacrosse named the Tar Heel signing class the best in the nation in its September 2013 recruiting issue, listing three UNC signees among the nation's top five incoming freshmen (and four of the top eight). Four of the top 25 incoming freshmen in the nation will play for Carolina in 2014, tied for most of any school in the nation. Describing the Tar Heel recruiting haul, the magazine writes, "the Heels nabbed three top-five prospects that will immediately contribute for the defending [NCAA] champs."

IL ranked Bill the No. 2 overall recruit in the nation in its top 25, a group that also included Reed at No. 4 and Holman at No. 5. Auslander was the No. 8-rated recruit.

"The 2013 class has been committed for a long time, many since the middle of their sophomore year in high school," says Levy. "Despite early commitments, they continued to work hard to improve their game to make sure they were at their best coming in to Carolina. During the last few years, our staff has enjoyed watching them compete against and with each other, and on every occasion dominating the field.

The Tar Heels won their first NCAA championship last season and return four of their top five scorers from the title-winning squad, as well as all four starting defenders and sophomore goalie Megan Ward, who earned All-NCAA Tournament honors for her strong play in the NCAA semifinal and final against Northwestern and Maryland, respectively.

"We believe each recruiting class we bring into UNC is talented and has great potential," Levy explains. "The four-year journey through Carolina and the legacy a specific class leaves is up to them, dependent on how committed are they to demonstrate a consistent standard of excellence, are they willing work extra, do they spend time cultivating meaningful relationships with teammates, and do they show up every day and exhaust their potential and inspire their teammates.

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