September 20, 2019, Waltham, MA; With all three levels of NCAA soccer in full swing, GPS has alumni making strong contributions in women’s programs at the Division 1, 2 and 3 levels. Everyone at GPS is always proud and happy to see our former players find success at the level of collegiate play that is the best for them and the abilities they developed in their time with the Club.
Not far from the GPS headquarters in Waltham, Mass, the Anna Maria women’s program is well on its way to a revitalizing season at the Division 3 level. Helping to lead this program’s resurgence is Briana Riley from Bluffton, South Carolina and a former player for GPS Carolina. Briana is also on the comeback trail in her sophomore year, her freshman season ended after just two games in 2018 due to injury. She’s back to full health this season with six starts in the team’s first six games.
Briana’s first collegiate goal was the game winner in a tight, 4-3, victory for Anna Maria over Northern Vermont-Lyndon on September 11. That win was the program’s third win a row and has them entering this weekend of play with three wins, a tie and two losses. Those three wins mark a big turn around for the Anna Maria women’s team after failing to win any games in 2018 and 2017 and having only won two in 2016. Briana and Anna Maria will be looking for their fourth win on the young season Saturday against Dean College.
At the Division 2 level, Eckerd College has started the season off with four wins from four as they prepare to face Lynn University this Saturday. The Tritons have been tested twice in over time games already this season, coming out of both as 1-0 winners. Eckerd’s last game against Florida College saw them dominate with 24 shots taken to only 6 against. They still found themselves having to go to over time, however, where sophomore defender, Haley DeSanto delivered a game winning assist in the 102nd minute.
DeSanto is a former GPS Florida West player from Fort Myers who’s been a consistent starter in her two years with Eckerd. In 2018 she started all fifteen games she played and this season has already started three of four. DeSanto’s consistent presence in the back line this season has contributed to Eckerd College conceding just one goal in four contests. She was also on the field for four clean sheet victories in 2018.
Another former GPS Florida West player, and former teammate of DeSanto, Alyssa Abbondandolo is contributing for the Division 1 program at Florida Gulf Coast University. Abbondandolo made an immediate impact in her 2018 freshman season scoring five goals and chipping in with two assists across 16 appearances and five starts.
This season, Abbondandolo has continued to have an influence with two starts in six appearances and a game winning assist to open the season against Florida International University. FGCU has a non-conference game on Friday night at home against Creighton, were they are 3-1 on the year, in which Abbondandolo will be looking for her first goal of the 2019 season.
We love tracking our alumni in college and we would be delighted to hear from all of them and their families this season to let us know about the success you and your program are having! Anyone looking to reach out should contact our College Placement Program Director, Thomas Pinzone, at firstname.lastname@example.org.