Following a class of incoming players that instantly provided help on the pitch last season, Northeastern head coach Ashely Phillips has once again brought in a bounty of talent over the offseason. While there are several large gaps left in the defense by the losses of graduates Julianne Ross and Mikenna McManus, players already on the team from last season look poised to step in. The majority of the 2022 freshman class come on the offensive half of the pitch where the Huskies look to expand their goal scoring that has been in the bottom half of the conference over the past two seasons. Northeastern will also get some insurance in net behind senior Angie Friel.
This season the Huskies are bringing in seven freshmen from all across the globe, with just two players coming from Massachusetts schools and three total from the Northeast, a usual recruiting hotspot for Phillips.
One of the strongest additions is the squad’s lone international player, Vivian Akyriem who is originally from Ghana, shined in high school for the Berkshire School in Massachusetts and for her club, Black Rock FC. Her 29 goals in a single season broke a Berkshire program record and her playmaking talents should slide her right into the starting 11 from day one.
Maggie Cochran, looking to add onto the offensive firepower alongside Akyriem, is a freshman from Maine where she was the Maine Class B Player of the Year three straight years and was all-state four times.
Additions to the midfield include a familiar name in Lauren Ahles, one of Minnesota’s best high school players and sister of former Husky defender Amanda Ahles who graduated last year. Other midfielders coming in include Lauren Dupont from Fairfax, VA and Ava Nace a Boston native who was a Prep All-State selection as a junior playing for The Winsor School.
The two rookies on the defensive side of the ball are back-liner Sabrina Araujo-Elorza and keeper Vanessa Linke. Araujo-Elorza was one of the top players in south Florida during her high school career, earning All-County first team twice and should find a spot as a key defensive substitute early on. Linke provides depth behind Friel and a potential replacement for the future as she will be the youngest keeper on the roster by two years.
The two transfers on the squad this year are keeper Holland Stam and midfielder Jessie Hunt. Stam is a grad transfer who still has two years of eligibility after playing for Syracuse and Duke over her four-year career. She will be the primary backup behind Friel following the graduation of Megan Adams last year.
Hunt is the second Wisconsin transfer that Phillips has gotten in the past two seasons , following junior defender Faith Rosenblatt who joined last season. Hunt, a junior, played in 19 games, mostly as a substitute, for the Badgers over her two seasons there. She may not immediately crack the starting 11 but has a chance to be a solid contributor off the bench for the Huskies this season.