DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off a historic 2017 season, the Duke women’s soccer program landed the nation’s eighth-ranked recruiting class for the upcoming year, head coach Robbie Church announced Wednesday.
This is the seventh-straight year that the Blue Devils have reeled in a top-10 recruiting class. The six-member squad showcases five players ranked in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 150 for the reigning ACC regular season champions, including three inside the top 75. The class features two of the nation’s top 25 midfielders (Mackenzie Pluck, No. 9 & Sydney Simmons, No. 25), the country’s No. 11 goalkeeper (Holly Stam), 21st-ranked defender (Emily Crocco) and No. 23 forward (Marykate McGuire).
“We’re very excited to have the class of 2022 joining the Duke women’s soccer family,” Church said. “It’s a great class of student-athletes that excel both on the field and in the classroom. These are wonderful young ladies that bring different talents to our program. They all fill major needs on our roster and they are all going to have an opportunity to come in and see some significant playing time early.”
Each of Duke’s six signees will be featured in-depth over the next six weeks on GoDuke.com, starting next Wednesday, Feb. 14 with Pluck.
For more information on Duke women’s soccer, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.
Mackenzie Pluck | Midfielder | North Wales, Pa. (Germantown Academy)
Leading the way for the Blue Devils’ class of 2022 is 21st-ranked Mackenzie Pluck, a midfielder from North Wales, Pa. A standout for Germantown Academy, the high school All-American helped her squad capture the 2015 Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association State Championship, while finishing as a finalist in 2014 and quarterfinalist in 2016-17. Over her high school career, she accumulated 80 goals and 41 assists (201 total points), earning INTER-AC All-League selections her final three years and culminating with a High School All-American East BEST XI selection in 2018.
On the club side, Pluck has been a member of Players Development Academy since June 2015, where she helped U16 PDA ECNL win the 2016 U-16 ECNL National Championship, assisting on the game-winning goal with 10 seconds left in overtime. Pluck was also a member of the 2017 Northeast ENCL Conference Championship squad, playing on a top 10 nationally ranked team while tallying 15 goals and 14 assists.
Pluck was a US Soccer Federation National Camp selection from 2014-15 and attended U.S. Soccer U-16 National Team training camps twice in 2014 and twice in 2015. She was also an ODP National, Regional and State selection from 2011-14.
Marykate McGuire | Forward | Portsmouth, R.I. (Portsmouth HS)
A native of Portsmouth, R.I., Marykate McGuire joins the Blue Devils as the 64th-ranked player in the nation. McGuire totaled 81 goals and 25 assists over three years with Portsmouth High School, capturing state championships her freshman and junior campaigns. The forward earned Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year honors three-straight seasons and was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American in 2016.
McGuire’s club career has seen her spend six years with the Boston Breakers Academy, capturing the 2014 and 2016 NPL National Championships, 2016 US Club National Championship and the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship. McGuire has also been a member of ODP for four years, highlighted by being named the 2013 ODP Rhode Island Player of the Year. She was also named a member of the Region 1 Girls 2000 ODP Team from 2014-16.
Sydney Simmons | Midfielder | Van Alstyne, Texas (Van Alstyne HS)
Duke’s third top 100 member, Sydney Simmons, comes to Durham via Van Alstyne, Texas. Simmons has had success across the board, highlighted by her participation in U-14, U-16 and U-18 U.S. Soccer National Team training camps. Simmons was also selected by Generation Adidas to train in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2016.
A member of Solar Chelsea DA U19G, Simmons is a three-time ECNL Conference Champion. She also led her side to U.S. Youth Soccer state and regional titles in 2013-14 and was a national qualifier while also making the top 10 scorers list at regionals and nationals. Simmons’ leadership was key in her club becoming a national qualifier in 2014-15 (third place) and 2015-16 (fourth place) as well.
Emily Crocco | Defender | Midlothian, Va. (James River HS)
Midlothian, Va., native Emily Crocco joins the Duke women’s soccer program after a standout career both on the high school and club circuits that sees her ranked 105th on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 150. Through her first three years at James River High School, Crocco was named First Team All-State and earned All-Conference honors each year as well. Her best year yet came in her junior season, as she landed Conference Player of the Year honors, along with First Team All-State, All-Region and All-Conference laurels.
Crocco’s club career has been spent with the Richmond Kickers and Richmond United. Crocco helped the Kickers capture four state tournaments and become State Cup Finalists from 2013-14, has been a member of Richmond United ECNL since 2014 and has been a part of the WPSL’s Richmond Strikers since the summer of 2016.
Her experience has also stretched to the U.S. Soccer National Team, as Crocco attended the U-16 Training Camp in 2015 and U-18 Training Camp in 2016. Crocco has also received invitations to the ENCL National Team Training Camps from 2015-17.
Holly Stam | Goalkeeper | Ipswich, Mass. (Pingree School)
Ipswich, Mass., native Holly Stam rounds out Duke’s list of Top 150 recruits, as the goalkeeper comes to Durham at No. 115 on the chart and the 11th-ranked goalie in the nation. The High School All-American recently wrapped up a 2017 season that saw the team captain lead Pingree School to its second-straight Eastern Independent League title. She has been named All-State, EIL All-League and a Salem News All-Star each of the last two years, while garnering MVP honors at the High School All-American game.
Stam is a member of the Boston Breakers Academy and has led her squad to State Cup titles in 2015-16 and NPL Nationals and National Cup victories in 2016. Stam was an invitee to the U-14 U.S. Soccer National Team Training Camp in 2014 and has been a member of the ODP Region 1 Team from 2014-17.
Delaney Graham | Defender | Atlanta, Ga. (The Westminster Schools)
Duke’s final signee is Atlanta, Ga., defender Delaney Graham, who has been dominant in all aspects of her game. For The Westminster Schools, Graham was a starter for all three season, leading her squad to Region and State Championships each year, while earning MVP honors her junior year.
On the club circuit, Graham is currently a member of NASA Tophat Development Academy U18/19, which is in second place in the Southeast Division after finishing as a National Championship semi-finalist with NTH ECNL U18/19 last year. Graham’s leadership helped her Tophat Soccer Club ECNL U17 side win the Southeast Division in 2015-16, while being crowned Georgia State Cup Champions the two years prior.