University of Albany women’s football sign seven newcomers and one transfer

ALBANY, New York— The University at Albany women’s football program and first-year head coach Sade Ayinde have announced the addition of eight student-athletes ahead of the Fall 22 season.

This group consists of one transfer and seven new rookies from a returning group that made the America East Conference semifinals last fall.

“It will be great to bring this new class, which consists primarily of attacking players, into our returning group,” said Ayinde. “I look forward to our current team welcoming the newcomer in a similar way that I saw Ashley welcome last spring. There are some young talents in this class that our staff are looking forward to over the next four years, but we also know that each of these players is ready to compete and enrich our team culture in positive ways.”

Selma Elverum: F | 5-4 | Oslo, Norway (Norges Toppidrettsgymnas)

Fast Facts: Elverum, the only international recruit in Class 2022, hails from Norway, where she played for Stabæk Fotball. She won several league titles with Stabæk, won a Norwegian title in 2021 and was the division’s top-scorer in both 2019 and 2022. In addition, Elverum has been invited to train and dress for the Stabæk Fotball women’s team, which competes in football’s top women’s professional league, Toppserien.

Why UAlbany? “UAlbany made a good first impression that made me feel welcome and have a quality football team. I look forward to getting to know all the girls on the team and the coaches.”

Hailey Hnis: M | 5-5 | Wantagh, New York (General Douglas MacArthur)

Fast Facts: Hailey, who joined the UAlbany program alongside her twin sister Madison, won the 2021 Northeast ECNL Conference with her SUSA G04 club team in 2021 and was named Offensive Player of the Year for Fury FC in 2019. In her three years of varsity soccer at MacArthur High School, she scored 54 goals and received All-State, All-County, All-Long Island, Class A Conference Player of the Year honors while leading her team to three Class A Conferences Championships and a Class A County Championship in 2019. Hnis is also a member of the National Honor Society.

Why UAlbany? “UAlbany ticked all my boxes. It allows me to follow my dreams of playing Division I football while attending a school with a direct path in my major, Education. I am very happy to be part of the Great Dane’s women’s football program.”

Madison Hnis:D| 5-4 | Wantagh, New York (General Douglas MacArthur)

Fast Facts: Madison, who joined the UAlbany program with her twin sister Hailey, won the 2021 Northeast ECNL Conference with her SUSA G04 club team in 2021. As a three-year-old varsity soccer player, Hnis won All-Class, All-County and Second Team All-Long Island, while helping her MacArthur team win three Conference Class A Championships and one Class A County Championship in 2019. A member of the National Honor Society.

Why UAlbany? “UAlbany seemed a perfect fit for me. It’s amazing that I’ll be playing Division I football during my teacher training course. This fulfills everything I dreamed of. I can’t wait to wear purple and gold, play soccer with new people in a new environment, make friends and start a new chapter in life.”

Emily Jozak: F | 5-8 | Wayne, NJ (Wayne Valley)

Fast Facts: Jozak most recently played at FC Copa with UAlbany teammate Caroline Mascone and four years in varsity soccer at Wayne Valley High School. With her previous team PSA, she won the 2018 New Jersey Youth State Cup, the 2019 USYS National Championship State Cup, the 2019 USYS Eastern Regional Championship, and was a semifinalist for the 2019 USYS National Championship. With her high school team making four conference championships, Jozak had 59 goals, 30 assists, and earned All-State and All-County honors. In 2021, her high school team won the county championship, state sectional championship, and for the first time in school history, the state group championship. Jozak is also a member of the National Honor Society.

Why UAlbany? “When I was there for the first time, I just knew that this was where I saw myself. What I look forward to the most is campus life with all that the school has to offer and being able to compete at the highest level of football.”

Ashley Ladner: M| 5-3 | Oceanside, New York (Oceanside)

Fast Facts: Ladner comes to UAlbany from the University at Buffalo. An Oceanside, NY native, she competed in midfield at Oceanside High School for four years, where she received All-Class, All-Conference, All-County, and All-State honors. In 2018 Ladner was also named Conference Player of the Year. During her club career, she has been recognized as an ECNL Player to Watch three times and was included in the 2020 Girls IMG Top 150. In 2016 she was an invited participant of the US Soccer Training Center and a representative of the ENY ODP National Camp. Ladner played club football for Albertson Fury and FC Fury DA and most recently played WPSL with DUSC/Gotham FC Reserves.

Why UAlbany? “When I transferred, I wanted to choose a school that played at a high level while still having fun, and that’s why I love UAlbany’s football program. I knew the style of play suited mine, which also helped with my decision.”

Caroline Mascone: M | 5-8 | Middletown, NJ (Middletown North)

Fast Facts: Mascone was a member of the same FC Copa as UAlbany teammate Emily Jozak. A former Middletown North High School MVP, she played varsity football for two years and served once as the team captain. Mascone was also a member of the Middletown North track team and will volunteer for the Holiday Express program annually during the winter holiday season.

Why UAlbany? “I chose UAlbany because of the high level of football and academics. I look forward to making friends and experiencing new things while playing football.”

Charlie Pawli:D| 5-9 | Lake View, NY (St. Mary’s of Lancaster)

Fast Facts: Pawli joins UAlbany from St Mary’s of Lancaster High School, where she played for four years, served as a senior and captained her team to two Division A championships. Pawli, received All-State honors and was named to the MMHSAA Division A All-Catholic First Team. She was a member of the Western New York Flash Academy where she won an ECNL North American Cup title. Pawli was also a distinguished track and field athlete and a member of the National Honor Society.

Why UAlbany? “I love the campus, the education UAlbany has to offer and the opportunity to continue playing football. I also look forward to meeting new people and experiencing new things.”

Casey Stowell: M | 5-7 | Wingdale, NY (Arlington)

Fast Facts: Stowell played for Arlington High School and Nirvana FC before joining UAlbany’s program. Stowell received All-League honors for four consecutive seasons, All-Section honors as a junior and senior, and All-State honors as a senior. In addition, she was a 2021 Regional All-American, 2020 Regional Tournament Elite Team Selection, and 2021 and 2020 Elite 11 Selection. Stowell is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society and has volunteered her time coaching youth soccer and other community organizations.

Why UAlbany? “UAlbany has an excellent biology program and Albany has its own hospital which I plan to go to after my four year undergraduate degree. I also have the opportunity to play Division I football here.”

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