DURHAM, N.C. – Another one of the nation’s top recruiting classes will be calling Durham home, as head coach Robbie Church announced Wednesday the addition of the nation’s fifth-ranked recruiting class for the 2019 season.
This is the eighth-straight year that the Blue Devils have reeled in a top-10 recruiting class. The seven-member squad showcases six players ranked in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 150, including five inside the top 75. The six Top 150 players are the most in Duke history since the class of 2014, which featured Duke standouts Schuyler DeBree, Imani Dorsey, Ashton Miller and Morgan Reid.
Duke’s class of 2023 is headlined by the nation’s second-ranked player in midfielder Sophie Jones. Joining Jones in the midfield is 28th-ranked Sarah Piper, 44th-ranked Julia Burnell, 67th-ranked Julia Hannon, No. 142 Natalie Maurer and Sarah Miller. Also highlighting Duke’s signing class is goalkeeper Ruthie Jones, who comes to Durham ranked 30th nationally.
“We’re very excited to have these young ladies join the Duke women’s soccer family,” Church said. “They represent what we feel is what’s great about our program. They are outstanding students, great soccer players and wonderful people.
“We’ve covered a number of needs that we have in our program as well, especially since we lost four really good student-athletes who had great careers here. We expect this group to challenge for starting positions when they arrive in August and to help provide depth in our program. We’re just delighted to have them joining our family and feel like they are going to represent Duke University and Duke women’s soccer with a lot of integrity.”
Each of Duke’s signees will be featured in-depth over the next seven weeks on GoDuke.com.
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Sophie Jones | Midfielder | Menlo Park, Calif. (Menlo School)
Leading the way for the Blue Devils’ class of 2023 is the nation’s No. 2 ranked player in Sophie Jones. Jones, who was recently named the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Girls National Player of the Year, attended the Menlo School in Menlo Park, Calif. On the club side, Jones has been a star with the San Jose Earthquakes since 2017 and played with De Anza Force from 2015-16. Jones participated in the inaugural season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy in 2017-18, leading the Quakes to the Academy Playoff Semifinals while earning West Conference Player of the Year honors at the U-16/U-17 level.
Jones has been a part of the U.S. National Team system throughout her career, starting with the U-15 squad. Her sophomore year of high school she moved to the U-17 National Team and was a member of the squad that captured the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship in 2018. The TopDrawerSoccer five-star player has racked up 19 caps with the U-17 squad and was a member of the team that competed in the 2018 Women’s U-17 World Cup.
Sarah Piper | Midfielder | The Woodlands, Texas (Ralston Valley HS)
A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Sarah Piper comes to Duke as the 28th-ranked player in the nation, the second-highest in the Blue Devils’ 2019 class. The TASCO All-State honoree last played in the high school ranks for The Woodlands HS her sophomore season after sitting out last year due to Development Academy rules. The midfielder helped lead her squad to the quarterfinals in her last season while earning All-State, All-Region and All-District honors.
Piper is set to play with the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club to round out her club career. Before heading to Colorado, Piper was a member of the Texas Rush/Houston Dash for 13 years (2005-17). Piper is another Blue Devil that has been a prominent figure in the U.S. Soccer system, starting in 2012. Piper has been invited to U.S. National Team Camps for the U-14, U-16 and U-18 squads. She also took part in international friendlies with the U-18 squad in February and July of 2017.
Ruthie Jones | Goalkeeper | Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Latin School)
One of the best players in the state, Ruthie Jones comes to Duke via Charlotte, N.C., as the No. 30 player in the nation and third-best goalkeeper in the country, according to TopDrawerSoccer. Jones helped lead Charlotte Latin School to three-straight NCISAA State Championships, starting with her first in May 2015. On the club side, Jones is a member of the Charlotte Soccer Academy, which captured the 2018 State Cup Championship. Prior to joining CSA, Jones played with the Charlotte United Soccer Futbol Club from 2011-14, reeling in the State Cup Championship in 2015 and shutting out every opponent.
Jones is no stranger to the U.S. National Team, as she has been in the system for a majority of her playing career. Jones was a frequent member of U.S. U-15 National Team Training Camps, eventually landing on the U-15 National Team for the U-15 Girls CONCACAF Tournament. There Jones led the U.S. to the championship, while also earning Golden Glove honors. Jones has also been a member of U-17 national teams. As a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Jones was tabbed East Conference U-18/19 Best XI in July 2018.
The in-state product is the second in her family to join Duke athletics, as her brother, Daniel Jones, recently wrapped up a standout career with Duke football. Her sister, Rebecca, played field hockey at Davidson, while her other brother, Bates, currently plays basketball at Davidson.
Julia Burnell | Midfielder | Glen Mills, Pa. (Garnet Valley HS)
Ranked 44th in the nation, Julia Burnell will join the Blue Devils after wrapping up a standout career as one of the best players in the state of Pennsylvania. Ranked as the top player in the Pennsylvania region by TopDrawerSoccer, Burnell has been a standout for Garnet Valley High School. On the club side, Burnell has been with the Penn Fusion Soccer Academy since 2011. Prior to joining Penn Fusion, Burnell starred with Aston Galaxy from 2006-11.
Burnell also brings U.S. National Team experience with her to Durham. The midfielder has been called up multiple times to U-15 Girls National Team camps.
Julia Hannon | Midfielder/Forward | Massapequa, N.Y. (Massapequa HS)
Massapequa, N.Y., native Julia Hannon comes to Durham as the nation’s 67th-ranked player in the country and fourth in the New York region according to TopDrawerSoccer. Hannon played with Massapequa High School for her freshman and sophomore seasons before entering the Development Academy. Hannon and MHS captured the state championship in her first season, earning most valuable player honors in the win while also reeling in All-State honors. She helped Massapequa return to the title match a year later, once again being named the contest’s MVP.
On the club side, Hannon has been a member of FC Fury NY since 2016, while playing with HBC Soccer Club from 2014-16 and capturing multiple regional championships. Hannon has also been a member of the ODP Regional Team and a part of the U.S. U-15 Girls National Team.
Natalie Maurer | Defender | Richmond, Va. (Saint Gertrude HS)
The nation’s 142nd-ranked player, Natalie Maurer comes to the Blue Devil women’s soccer squad via Richmond, Va. Although she attended Saint Gertrude High School, Maurer did not play on the high school level and instead trained with the boy’s Richmond United team. Maurer is currently a member of the Richmond Strikers club, where they recently won the 2018 Club Champions U-23 League. She competed with Richmond United from 2014-18 and the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club from 2012-14.
Maurer has been invited to two ECNL National Camps in Portland, Ore., in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, she was one of four girls selected to play with the Women’s PSG team in their exhibition against Manchester City, playing in the entire second half at left back. Maurer has been in the U.S. Soccer system since 2013 and was selected to U-18, U-19 and U-20 National Camps in 2018. She totaled four caps in the process, playing in games against the Netherlands with the U-19 team and against France and China with the U-20 squad.
Sarah Miller | Midfielder | Livingston, N.J. (Livingston HS)
Duke’s final signee for the 2019 class is Livingston, N.J., native Sarah Miller. Miller played the last three years with Livingston High School, racking up All-County honors her sophomore and junior seasons. The Top Midfielder to Watch in 2018 according to NJ.com, Miller racked up 10 goals and seven assists in her three seasons.
On the club scene, Miller competes with the NJ Stallions, her squad since 2016. Prior to that, she played with STA from 2009-16. Miller and the Stallions have competed in the National League from 2016-18. The Stallions also won the 2017 National Cup and was the 2017 USCS Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion.