Soccer Finalizes Exciting Signing Class

June 12, 2021
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DENTON — The 16-time conference champion North Texas soccer team has finalized its 2020-21 signing class. The Mean Green, who have won more Conference USA soccer championships (8) than any program in the league’s history, signed three last November and have now added five — Amaya Grace, Victoria Altieri, […]

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DENTON — The 16-time conference champion North Texas soccer team has finalized its 2020-21 signing class.

The Mean Green, who have won more Conference USA soccer championships (8) than any program in the league's history, signed three last November and have now added five — Amaya Grace, Victoria Altieri, Manami Okada and Madison Drenowats — this spring.

Complete Signing Class
Sarah Fuller (Transfer from Vanderbilt)
Jori Foote
Marina Vera
Amaya Grace (Transfer from Seminole State College)
Victoria Altieri (Transfer from Louisiana Monroe)
Manami Okada (Transfer from Navarro)
Madison Drenowatz (Transfer from Texas Tech)

In addition to the newcomers, seniors Brooke Lampe and Elle Marie DeFrain will be returning next season for a fifth year.

"I'm really excited about this class of seven that will be coming in this fall especially the late additions we just signed, said head coach John Hedlund. "This is a very well rounded class that gives us outstanding athletes all over the field that can compete at a high level. With the nucleus of the team coming back including seniors Brooke Lampe and Elle DeFrain, adding these seven newcomers to the mix should give us a very potent offense and a solid defense. It will be nice to get back to our normal fall season and our championship success."

The Texas Tech transfer will join the Mean Green as a junior and is expected to compete for a starting job. In last season's shortened COVID-19 season, Drenowatz played in 10 matches for the Lady Raiders averaging 40 minutes per match. She earned a start against Kansas.

She began her college career in 2019 at the University of Rochester where she made an instant impact. She started in 15 games and was named as Second Team All-Region by the United Soccer Coaches. She was honored as a Second-Team All-UAA and scored a team-high 13 goals, which was third-most in the UAA. She ranked top-75 in Division III in goals per game (0.81) and points per game (1.88) and finished with team-high in shots on goal (27) and game-winning goals (4).

Drenowatz is a graduate from Southlake Carroll High School. She lettered in soccer and track and field for Carroll High School. She was named MVP of the soccer state final and was Texas State MVP in classes 4A/5A/6A in 2019. She was named Second-Team All-State and District Offensive MVP as a junior, moving up to First-Team All-State her senior year. She scored a total of 51 goals and 14 assists with 16 game-winning goals. Her team won three straight District titles and won 2019 Texas state title. She was a two-time CMA Excellence Award recipient and member of the Math and Science National Honor Societies.

A Navarro College transfer, Manami Okada is a NJCAA Division I All-American.

In two years at Navarro, Okada totaled 24 points from seven goals and 10 assists during her 28-match career with the Bulldogs' head coach Alicia Wilson. In eight starts during the 2021 season, Okada finished second in scoring (5) and points (12). Okada scored twice in a shutout victory over Northeast Texas. She also netted goals in consecutive victories over Paris to end the regular season, and over Blinn in the Region XIV Tournament semifinals.

At the 2019 NJCAA Tournament in Melbourne, Florida, Okada had a goal and an assist in Navarro's 4-1 pod victory over Hill.

Okada will become the first UNT women's soccer student-athlete to have been born in Japan.

The transfer defender from Louisiana Monroe will be a junior when she joins the Mean Green.

The Frisco native who attended Wakeland High School started every match this past year for ULM and played the entirety of every match. She is just one of two Warhawks to play every minute of every match in a season.

She started all 35 matches in two years for ULM.

Altieri picked up two assists on the 2020-21 season, doing so in back-to-back matches against Grambling State and Southern. Altieri is a defender that had a significant offensive impact in the second half of the season. She picked up both of her assists, 11 of her 15 shots and three of her five shots on goal over the final six matches of the season.

She fired multiple shots four times, including a season-high four shots, with one on goal, versus Grambling. Altieri also had three shots with one on goal at Louisiana Tech, two shots with one on goal versus UT Tyler and two shots at Delta State.

Goal-scorer Amaya Grace joins the Mean Green after two years at Seminole State Junior College where she scored 21 goals and assisted on 29 over the 40 matches she played in.

As a freshman, Grace led the Trojans to their first NJCAA Division I National Tournament victory with a 1-0 upset win over Snow College. She was later named to the All-Region II Team and All-Region II Tournament Team.

Her 11 assists in 16 matches this past year led her squad and her 15 goals ranked third.

The sophomore is a native of Little Elm where she graduated from Little Elm High School and was the star of her soccer team. Grace was the district MVP her senior year after scoring 18 goals and assisting on 22.

The Vanderbilt grad transfer comes to UNT after signing in November and joins the team with a ton of national attention from her success both on the soccer and football field. Fuller started in net for Vandy this past year and led them to a national top 25 ranking, a SEC title and a NCAA Tournament appearance.

During the season she had a shutout streak of 314:34 during the regular season, stretching from Oct. 18 at Florida to Nov. 7 against Ole Miss. She shutout No. 15 Georgia in a 1-0 victory on Oct. 25, 2020.

In the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, Fuller assisted on a goal against No. 13 Tennessee.

Her 1.02 goals against average from the 2020-21 season is the 10th-best in a single season in Vanderbilt soccer history.

In the fall of 2020, Fuller became the football team's place kicker and made history as the first female to play and scored in a Power 5 college football game.

Fuller graduated in the spring from Vanderbilt with a degree in Medicine, Health and Society. She graduated from Wylie High School in 2017 and played club soccer with the D'Feeters ECNL for Hugh Bradford.

One of the most athletic center back recruits in all of Central Texas, incoming freshman Jori Foote helps the Mean Green firm up its stout backline. Hedlund, a former defender himself has always prided his championship teams on defense. Many of UNT's greatest soccer players have been defenders. Along with her athleticism, Foote has played for the highly competitive Lonstar Soccer Club. She's played in some of the biggest tournament's in the nation against some of the top competition.

Foote committed to the Mean Green early in the recruiting process. She chose UNT over UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma among several other programs.

Another Denton product to play for the Mean Green, Marina Vera is an attacking forward and a goal scoring machine. Vera, who was born in Elko, Nevada, has vast experience playing at the club level for FC Dallas who are constantly ranked in the top 10 in the nation for every age group. She's also learned under the guidance of Mean Green soccer alum Mandy Hall at Guyer High School. Vera will join a Mean Green squad that is already one of the best in the region at scoring and returns all its forwards next season.

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