LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 11/21/11
From Press Release
Virginia women’s lacrosse head coach Julie Myers announced that Mary Alati, Brooke Boyd, Kelly Boyd, Ella Cooper, Sarah Gillespie, Taylor Rantfle and Kendall Speno have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Cavaliers beginning with the 2012-13 season.
“This is a complete class from top to bottom and we are proud of what they have already accomplished,” Myers said. “They will blend well with our program next year and we are excited to welcome them to Virginia lacrosse.”
Taylor Rantfle (Hauppauge, N.Y. / Hauppauge High School) was a 2011 US Lacrosse and Under Armour High School All-American. She received the Heather Leigh Albert (HLA) National Schoolgirl Award Winner. Rantfle was ranked as the No. 7 player in New York and the No. 49 player in the nation by MaxPreps.com. Recently she was also named the No. 4 attacker in ESPN High School’s Girls Top 25 list of top attackers in the country. Rantfle scored 64 goals and added 46 assists as a junior.
“Taylor is one of the top attackers in high school,” Myers said. “She runs the show and is a true playmaker around the 12. She is tough, gritty and athletic.”
Mary Alati (Glen Ridge, N.J. / Glen Ridge High School), is a three-time (2009-11) member of the Under Armour All-American Underclassman Team and a three-time (2009-11) first-team all-league selection. In 2011, Alati was named to the all-state second team and also has experience with the USL National Team School Girls Division NNJ Team 1 (2009-11). During her junior season, Alati scored 59 goals and added 48 assists.
“Mary is a fast and athletic left-handed midfield attacker,” Myers said. “She uses her speed and quickness to generate offense for herself and her teammates. She is one of the best players in high school.”
Brooke Boyd (Baltimore, Md. / St. Paul’s School for Girls) was an Under Armour Underclassman All-American in 2010 and 2011. She was also an IAAM A-Conference All-Star in 2011, in addition to being named to the Baltimore Metro first team for the Women’s Division National Tournament in 2010 and 2011. Boyd was ranked the No. 1 junior on the rise by ESPN Rise and later the No. 8 rising senior by Inside Lacrosse. Twin sister Kelly has also signed an NLI to play for Virginia.
“Brooke is a top talent among high school players,” Myers said. “She and her sister Kelly are winners and make a team better all over the field.”
Kelly Boyd (Baltimore, Md. / St. Paul’s School for Girls) was named an IAAM All-Star and Under Armour Underclassman All-American in 2011. Boyd played for the Baltimore Metro Team 1 (2011) and Team 2 (2010) for the Women’s Division National Tournament. In 2011, Boyd scored 71 goals for St. Paul’s and was named to Inside Lacrosse’s Young Guns Rising Juniors and Rising Senior Watch List. She was ranked No. 13 on the ESPN High School list of top 25 senior midfielders.
“Kelly is one of the best high school players in the country,” Myers said. “She is smart, can run, win possession and score.”
Ella Cooper (Cockeysville, Md. / Friends School) was a team captain in high school and finished the 2011 season with 64 goals and 17 assists. She was an FSAA Award winner (2010), a Carol J. Samuels Award recipient (2011) and an IAAM All-Star (2010-11). Cooper was a first team all-metro selection by the Towson Times and the Baltimore Messenger in 2010 and 2011.
“Ella is smart and quick,” Myers said. “She will help our attack with her ability to dodge and go to goal.”
Sarah Gillespie (Mendham, N.J. / Mendham High School) was named an Academic All-American in 2011 and honorable mention All-Morris County in 2011. Gillespie’s high school team, Mendham, was county champion in 2009 and 2011.
“Sarah is one of the fastest players in high school,” Myers said. “She is a true defender that uses her speed and strength in everything she does.”
Kendall Speno (Barrington, Ill. / Summit High School) was named first-team all-county in 2010-11 and was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2011. An Academic All-American in 2011, Speno was listed at No. 5 on ESPN Rise’s list of top 25 defenders in the country. During her 2011 season, Speno finished with 114 ground balls (second in the state of New Jersey), 21 goals and nine assists.
“Kendall is fast and can run all day,” Myers said. “She makes things happen with her hustle and determination.”