Clayton State sophomore Jonny Evans was named to the preseason All-Peach Belt Conference team. He had a school-record three assist in a game last season. (Special Photo)
MORROW — Clayton State signed 11 new players to soccer scholarships for the upcoming season.
And the majority of the incoming talent is on the offensive side.
Headlining the list of incoming players is junior college standout Melissa Hetherington, who had a standout career at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. A former All-American, the England native became the only player in Hutchinson history to have back-to-back 30-goal seasons. She finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 66 career goals.
This past season, she led Hutchinson to a 16-2 record and No. 9 ranking in the nation.
“Melissa (Hetherington) is a talented center forward with a great eye for the goal,” Clayton State coach Gareth O’Sullivan said.
Another former JUCO player is junior Lois Edvardsson, who played at Brevard Community College in Melbourne, Fla. Last season she helped lead the team to a runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championships.
Edvardsson, a native of Sweden, was named a NJCAA All-American after finishing the season with 13 goals and five assists. Brevard finished the 2012 season with a 16-2 overall record, and Edvardsson closed her career with 24 goals and nine assists.
“Lois (Edvardsson) is talented and versatile,” O’Sullivan said. “She is an All-American junior college player from Sweden, who can play target center forward or play the central defender position.”
Forward Jahmela Williams of Nevada is a transfer from Tyler Junior College in Texas where she had an All-American career. She scored 23 goals and dished off 10 assists last year for a Tyler team that finished with a 19-3-2 record. The team placed third at the NJCAA National Championships last season.
“She is a pacey forward, who will keep defenders on their toes,” O’Sullivan said.
The final forward transferring into the program is sophomore Jameela Bryant from Evans, Ga.. She joins the Laker squad after playing at Peach Belt Conference opponent USC Aiken. She played in all 16 matches for the Pacers in 2011, scoring one goal on the season.
Other new players are Nina Boganes of Norway, Tamaki Unoma of Japan, Jessica Charman of England and Anna-Karin Engstrom of Sweden.
The men’s and women soccer teams will hold their final tune-up before the season begins next month. Both programs will host their alumni games on Saturday. The women kickoff at 2 p.m. with the men’s game scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
Admission is free for both contest.
The regular season starts on Sept. 5 with both teams hosting Tampa. The women’s match kicks off at 6 p.m., the men’s to follow.
Clayton State sophomore Jonny Evans was named to the upcoming season’s preseason All-Peach Belt Conference team.
Sophomore from Seaham, England, Evans started all 16 games last year from his midfield position. He finished with two goals and a team-leading seven assists on the year. Evans tied a school record with three assists in a game last year against Peach Belt Conference foe Francis Marion in the team’s 5-0 victory.
“I am very happy for Jonny,” said head coach Pete Petersen. “He made an impact his freshman year and he looks good in preseason. I love his craftiness and he doesn’t turn the ball over. He has some good fellas around him this year, so it should be a fun time going forward.”