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Pitt women add transfer Leah Pais

Photo courtesy UAlbany women's soccer

Pitt women’s soccer has added transfer Leah Pais, head coach Randy Waldrum announced Thursday.

Earning the 2019 America East Rookie of the Year while at Albany, the forward will enroll after the spring semester and join the Panthers for the upcoming 2020 fall season.

“As a staff we are very excited about the addition of Leah,” said Pitt associate head coach Ben Waldrum. “She had tremendous success last season being named Rookie of the Year in the American East Conference and winning the Young Player of the Year Award in Ontario’s League 1. She’ll only continue to grow and improve in our environment here at Pitt. The qualities that Leah possess on the ball is first class. She can create on her own individually as an attacker but the special part of her game is her play making ability to create goal scoring chances for others. Leah has a high level soccer IQ that really fits our style of play, and she’ll have an immediate impact in our program.”

Pais tied for the team-lead in goals (five) and tallied 12 points with the Great Danes. In the last two games of the regular season, she scored two goals in a win over Maine and then assisted on both goals in a victory at Vermont. She record a goal against Hartford in the America East semifinals to garner a spot on the all-tournament team.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Pais played alongside current Panthers Amanda West and Anna Bout for the Ontario Provincial Under 14-16 Teams. She lettered once at St. Marcellinus, helping the school win the ROPSSAA Championship.

She was named the 2019 League1 Ontario Young Player of the Year after collecting nine goals in 10 appearances for Vaughan SC. League1 is the top amateur/semi-pro/summer league in Canada, with ages ranging from youth to ex-professionals in their 30’s.

The Panthers will have 10 new newcomers for next year’s roster.

Pais joins fellow transfer Hailey Davidson (Oklahoma) and an eight-member 2020 recruiting class: Nyla Allen, Ione Fetsko, Eva Frankovic, Hannah Kynch, Chloe Minas, Chantelle Parker, Emily Yaple and Zaria Stevenson.

Frankovic, Minas, Yaple and transfer Davidson are already on campus as spring semester enrollees.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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