When Randy Waldrum was introduced as the new head coach of Pitt women’s soccer program in December, he knew he would have a lot of work to do to get the program going in the right direction.
In three months time, Waldrum has announced his first recruiting class that includes eight players, from two countries and five states — and includes one local player — Madison Clayton, who helped lead Waynesburg Central to its first WPIAL title scoring 142 career goals, with 57 in 2017.
In addition to Clayton, Waldrum has brought Mikayla Alcorn, Madeline Gravante, Kailee O’Connor, Bethany Rasile, Anna Rico, Katherine Robinson and Mariona Ylla to the program.
“I’m extremely excited about this incoming class of freshman,” noted Waldrum, who won a pair of National Championships during his tenure at Notre Dame.
“With this class we were able to fill some positional needs as well as add some depth in some areas. We also added some versatility to our team, which is important as we build this program into a national power. Our current players have been great in adapting to the coaching change, and they are starting to create the environment that we want moving forward. This incoming class will be very important in helping our veterans in continuing this process. I look forward to working with the new class, and I have high expectations for them. Congratulations to all of you, and I can’t wait to get started! Hail to Pitt “
Clayton was initially recruited by Pitt’s previous coach Greg Miller, and when Waldrum was brought on board, she didn’t hesitate on her commitment of being a Panther.
“Pitt has great academics for the major that I want to pursue,” she said to Observer-Reporter last year about following a potential career in sports medicine. “It was also important to me that they play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). It’s one of the best conferences in the nation for soccer. I want to compete against the best in the entire country.”
Below are short bios of each student-athlete.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played four years of varsity soccer for The Beacon School in New York City, N.Y. … Helped her team to PSAL finals her freshman, junior and senior year … As a senior, played in Mayor’s Cup match and won 2017 All-New York City Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
PERSONAL: Born Mikayla Alcorn on May, 5, 2000 … Daughter of Kathleen Alcorn … Has one younger sister; Allana … Plans to major in political science.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Jefferson Morgan High School but played four years of varsity soccer for Waynesburg Central High School under Coaches Joe Kijowski and Colby Love … As a freshman, lead Section 2-AA in goals … As a sophomore, was awarded Greene Sports Athlete of the Week, Observer Reporter Athlete of the Week, and top fall athlete … As a junior, broke the record for most goals in a season at Waynesburg Central (41) and most goals in a career (85), was awarded again Greene Sports Athlete of the Week … As a senior, captained and finished career continuing to break the records for most goals in a season (57) and career (142), was awarded Post-Gazette Athlete of the Week and included in the Post-Gazette Top 11 in the WPIAL … Awarded All-Section all four years and All-WPIAL her sophomore, junior, and senior years … Played club soccer for PA West 2000 (2014-2016) … Helped team to earn WV State Champions (2016/2017).
PERSONAL: Born Madison Elizabeth Clayton on Feb. 12, 2000 … daughter of Jason and Julie Clayton… Has one brother; Kyle.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Notre Dame Academy in Staten Island, N.Y. … Played club soccer for Staten Island United Boys Gunners (2010-2014), Albertson Fury ECNL (2014-2016), and FC Fury Academy (2017-2018) … Captained for ENY ODP and member of Region 1 ODP … Awarded 2016 ECNL Player of the Year for Albertson Fury.
PERSONAL: Born Madeline Kate Gravante on Sept. 13, 1999 … Daughter of Richard Gravante and Mary Looby … Has two older brothers; Nick and Blaine, and two older sisters; Brooke and Claire … Uncle played football at the University of Michigan … Plans to major within business.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played one year varsity soccer at Downers Grove South High School in Darien, Ill. as a sophomore … Was awarded All-Conference with high school team … Played club soccer with Chicago International SC (2013-2018) under the direction of Sena Halilovic.
PERSONAL: Born Kailee O’Connor on Sept. 22, 1999 … Daughter of Walter and Susan O’Connor … Has two older brothers; Kevin and Patrick … Used to Irish dance for 10 years … Plans to major in nursing.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played three years of varsity soccer for Niles McKinley High School in Niles, Ohio … Earned All-District Team her freshman, sophomore, and senior years … Was unable to play as a junior due to injury … As a senior, was awarded All State Team, broke the record for most goals within a game (7) and was the recipient of AAC Conference Player of the Year … Played club soccer for Soccer Vision Academy (2010-2018) … Won US Club Soccer Regional and State Championships (2017).
PERSONAL: Born Bethany Rasile on Dec. 4, 1999 … Daughter of Jeff and Jackie Rasile … Has one younger brother; Zach, and one younger sister; Maria … Loves rollercoasters and the beach … Plans to major in nursing.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio … Played club soccer for Ambassadors FC (2008-18) … Helped her team to become MRL Champions 2017, Disney Showcase Champions 2017 and National Semi-Finalists 2016 … Was MRL Champion Leading Scorer (2017) and Disney Showcase Leading Scorer (2017) … Won National Coast League State Champions D1 her freshman and sophomore years of high school.
PERSONAL: Born Anna Rico on Jan. 10, 2000 … daughter of Scott and Sue Rico … Has one older sister; Samantha, and one older brother; Nicholas … Attended mission trip to Peru to assist Ambassadors FC Peru team … Plans to study accounting.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played three years varsity soccer at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, N.M. … Achieved All-District all three years … As a junior, was named District Player of the Year … As a senior, helped her team to win the State Championship, named first team all-metro and state … Played club soccer for Rio Rancho Soccer Club (2006-2012), NM Rush 2K (2014-2016) and Rio Vista Reign 00G (2016-2018) … Helped NM Rush 2K team to earn State Championship (2015).
PERSONAL: Born Katherine Julia Robinson on July 24, 2000 … Daughter of Frank and Mary Robinson … Cousin played baseball at Notre Dame and later went to pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees … plans to major in exercise science.
HIGH SCHOOL: Hails from Folgueroles, Spain … Played club soccer for F.C. Barcelona (2013-2015), Vic (2015), C.F. Damm (2015-2016) and R.C.D. Español (2012-2013, 2016-2018) … Won Catalonia Championship with R.C.D. Español and F.C. Barcelona … Helped team to a first place win in the International Tournament Ibercup in 2017.
PERSONAL: Born Mariona Segalés Ylla on Jan. 16, 2000 … Daughter to Lluis Segalés Galbany and Eva Ylla Ullastre … Has one older brother; Martí.