Texas soccer adds nine with 2016 class

February 8, 2016

Texas head soccer coach Angela Kelly and the University of Texas soccer program are proud to announce the addition of nine new Longhorns for the 2016-17 academic school year, including seven incoming freshmen and a pair of transfers.

Signees joining the program for the upcoming 2016 soccer campaign include (Hometown/High School or last College/Club Soccer Team): forward Cydney Billups (Greenwood Village, Colo./Mountain Vista High School/Colorado Rush & Real Colorado), goalkeeper Taylor Braun (Colleyville, Texas/transfer from the University of Kentucky/Dallas Texans Red), goalkeeper Paige Brown (Jackson, Mo./transfer from the University of Louisville/St. Louis Scott Gallagher), goalkeeper Nicole Curry (Dallas, Texas/The Episcopal School of Dallas/Dallas Sting ECNL 98), forward Kyra Falcone (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur High School/Classics Elite 98 Premier), forward Cyera Hintzen (McKinney, Texas/Sachse High School/Dallas Sting ECNL 98), defender Emily Martin (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman High School/Heat FC ECNL 98), defender Atu Mshana (Garland, Texas/Bishop Lynch High School/Dallas Texans ECNL) and forward Tecora Turner (Memphis, Tenn./St. Agnes Academy/98 Lady Lobos Rush Premier & FC Alliance 98).

“There is a tremendous amount of excitement centered around our 2016 signees,” Texas head coach Angela Kelly said. “We are adding prolific goal-scorers, play-makers, defenders and goal-keepers that have all had numerous experiences at high levels. This class certainly gives us versatility with our system of play and more depth all over the field. Not to mention a commitment to dominate and compete both on the field and in the classroom.”

Cydney Billups

Position: Forward

Hometown: Greenwood Village, Colo.

High School: Mountain Vista H.S.

Club: Colorado Rush & Real Colorado

The daughter of former National Basketball Association (NBA) star and ESPN studio analyst Chauncey Billups, Cydney Billups heads to the Forty Acres as a two-sport athlete in soccer and track & field at Valor Christian H.S. She transferred to Mountain Vista H.S. prior to the 2015 soccer season and wasn’t eligible to play as a junior because of transfer rules. At Valor Christian, she combined on the pitch for 18 goals and eight assists in 34 matches played over two years with her best statistical campaign coming as a freshman when she totaled 10 goals and dished six helpers over 24 matches. During her club career with the Colorado Rush and Real Colorado, Billups helped lead her teams to a three top-eight finishes at ECNL Nationals (second in 2013 and third in 2015) while combining to score 26 goals and distribute 10 assists in 50 total matches.

Taylor Braun

Position: Goalkeeper

Hometown: Colleyville, Texas

Previous College: The University of Kentucky

Club: Dallas Texans Red

A goalkeeper transfer from the University of Kentucky, Braun brings along a slew of accolades from a standout 2014 freshman campaign with the Wildcats (redshirted during the 2015 season). The Colleyville, Texas, native was named to the Southeastern Conference’s 2014 All-Freshman Team after leading the league in goals-against-average and save percentage. She managed a streak of 387 consecutive scoreless minutes, spanning five matches, and also registered a streak of five consecutive shutouts in SEC play. Braun picked up a pair of honors as the National Defensive Player of the Week (10/14 & 10/27/14), was chosen as the league’s Defensive Player of the Week (10/13/14) and reaped two SEC Freshman of the Week nods (9/7 & 10/27/14). Along the way she posted high-profile shutout victories over Louisville, No. 24 South Carolina and No. 5 Florida. With her club team the Dallas Texans Red, Braun was a captain at the 2013 and 2014 ECNL National Training Camps, was named the 2012 Puma Showcase Golden Glove recipient, participated in the 2012 ODP National Training Camp and was part of international trips to Germany and Costa Rica. At Grapevine H.S., she helped lead her squad to a pair of district and area titles while twice earning all-district accolades.

Paige Brown

Position: Goalkeeper

Hometown: Jackson, Mo.

Previous College: The University of Louisville

Club: St. Louis Scott Gallagher

Another goalkeeping transfer from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this time out of the University of Louisville, Brown appeared in 35 matches during her two-year career with the Cardinals, posting a 18-13-3 overall record between the pipes. As a freshman in 2013, she started in 17 matches, going 11-4-1 overall with 62 saves, a .697 save percentage and four shutouts while registering a 1.61 goals-per-match average. Included in those efforts were a career-best eight saves in a loss to UCF and consecutive shutouts over Houston and USF. During the 2013 season she earned nods as the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Week and played in the NCAA Tournament. In 2014 as a sophomore, Brown managed a 1.35 GAA with 46 stops and a .648 save percentage while UL went 7-9-2 overall. She posted seven saves against Notre Dame and played 1665 total minutes between the pipes. With her club team (she didn’t play soccer in high school), St. Louis Scott Gallagher, she participated in the 2013 Elite Clubs National League’s Player Development Program at the University of Wisconsin and the 2012 ECNL/id2 National Training Camp presented by Nike’s The Chance while earning international experience at the 2012 U.S. Women’s National Team Youth Goalkeeper Identification Camp and as part of the U-18 national team camp and player pool.

Nicole Curry

Position: Goalkeeper

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

High School: The Episcopal School of Dallas

Club: Dallas Sting ECNL 98

A two-sport athlete in soccer and volleyball at The Episcopal School of Dallas for Mike Renshaw and Laura Gomez, respectively, Curry helped her soccer squad to consecutive Southern Preparatory Conference (SPC) Championships in 2014 and 2015, while also being named 2014 All-North Zone and 2015 All-SPC. With her club team the Dallas Sting ECNL 98, she played in three straight ECNL National Finals – Champions League (U-17 – eighth in 2015; U-16 – fourth in 2014; U-15 – seventh in 2013) and was part of two ECNL Texas Conference champs (2013, 2015) and two second-place finishers (2012, 2014). Her 2013 team entered the ENCL Champions League as the No. 1 seed after allowing no opponents to score during conference and national event play.

Kyra Falcone

Position: Forward

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

High School: Douglas MacArthur H.S.

Club: Classics Elite 98 Premier

Another two-sport athlete, this one at Douglas MacArthur H.S. in San Antonio, Texas, Falcone has earned letters in cross country (2013-14) and soccer (2012-16). On the pitch, she has earned consecutive first team all-district, all-area and NEISD All-Tournament nods (2014, 2015) and was chosen as a 2016 San Antonio Express News Player to Watch while combining for 47 goals and 43 assists for 137 total points as of Jan. 11, 2016. As a sophomore, she totaled 22 goals and 14 helpers, while managing 20 scores and 18 assists as a junior. With her club team, the Classics Elite 98 Premier, Falcone has helped her squad to a Region 3 semifinal (2015), a Premier League title (2014) and a pair of state titles (2012, 2013).

Cyera Hintzen

Position: Forward

Hometown: McKinney, Texas

High School: Sachse H.S.

Club: Dallas Sting ECNL 98

A prolific scorer at Sachse H.S., Hintzen recently spent time as part of the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team training camps held in Carson, Calif., over Oct. 3-10, 2015, and at Lakewood Ranch, Fla., from Jan. 23-30, 2016. During her scholastic career thus far, she has combined in her first three seasons to total a staggering 89 goals and 41 assists for 219 total points. As a junior she scored 46 goals and delivered 19 helpers on her way to earning Most Valuable Player honors in District 11-6A as well as the Sachse Offensive MVP award. On the volleyball court, Hintzen was recently tabbed All-District 11-6A Honorable Mention. During her club soccer career, she has played for Antonio “Tatu” Pecorari with the Dallas Sting ECNL.

Emily Martin

Position: Defender

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.

High School: Bishop Gorman H.S.

Club: Heat FC ECNL 98

Having not played soccer in high school, Martin has made quite a name for herself on the club pitch for coaches Amanda Schmutz, Tom Amick and Vinny Magliulo with Heat FC ECNL 98. A Top Drawer Soccer four-star recruit, and the IMG Academy’s 134th ranked player in the country, 30th rated defender in the country and the fifth-ranked player in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest Region, she has helped her various club squads to both a pair of USYSA Nevada State Cup titles (2009, 2011) and a bronze medal (2010) as well as a USYSA Far West Regional Championship quarterfinal (2011). Martin has been on the field for every single minute of every match played in the ECNL from 2011-16, has been an invitee to the U.S. Soccer Federation Training Center and has been a part of the ECNL Player Development Program (PDP) in 2014 and 2015.

Atu Mshana

Position: Defender

Hometown: Garland, Texas

High School: Bishop Lynch H.S.

Club: Dallas Texans ECNL

A native if Garland, Texas, Mshana has put together quite the scholastic and club soccer resume between Bishop Lynch H.S. and the Dallas Texans ECNL. A Top Drawer Soccer/IMG Academy National 150 Top Girls Player of the Watch and one of their top 15 national defenders for the class of 2016, she has previously helped lead her high school team to the 2014 TAPPS 5A State Championship as well as to a runner-up finish in 2013, while earning a pair of state championship co-most valuable player honors (2013, 2014) and three consecutive TAPPS 5A All-State, All-District First Team and all-tournament accolades (2013, 2014, 2015). With the Dallas Texans ECNL, she co-captained her squad to the U-16 ECNL National Championship Game in Richmond, Va., while being selected to the event’s first team. Most recently, Mshana helped lead her program to the 2015 Dallas International U-18 Girls Cup Championship.

Tecora Turner

Position: Forward

Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

High School: St. Agnes Academy

Club: 98 Lady Lobos Rush Premier & FC Alliance 98

Rounding out the 2016 Texas recruiting class is a two-sport standout from St. Agnes Academy in Memphis, Tenn., Turner played two years of varsity soccer (2013 & 2015) while running track in 2013, 2015 & 2016. Following a senior soccer season (2015) that saw her score 19 goals and dish 10 assists over just 12 matches, she was tabbed for the second time to the The Commercial Appeal’s Best of Preps listing and as THSSCA All-State while also being selected TSSAA Division II-AA West All-Region. She also reaped The Commercial Appeal “Best of Preps” and THSSCA All-State accolades after managing 17 goals and five helpers during 15 matches as a sophomore in 2013. During her scholastic soccer career, Turner totaled 36 goals and 15 assists for 87 total points. On the track, she ran the 100, 200 and 400 meters, finishing third in the latter event at the 2015 Tennessee Division II State Championship track meet. During her club career with the 98 Lady Lobos Rush Premier and FC Alliance 98, Turner has combined to score a staggering 87 goals and dish 43 assists over three seasons from 2012-2015. She was a part of 2013 and 2014 Tennessee state finalist teams, participated in the ECNL Player Development Program with the Birmingham United Soccer Association and has previously earned an invitation to the U.S. Soccer Federation Training Center.

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