Duquesne women’s soccer head coach Al Alvine has announced his 2017 recruiting class. The group of eight student-athletes represents four states and six club teams. Local players include Deena DeBaldo (Fox Chapel) and Tori Kopchak (Mars).
“We couldn’t be more excited about this group of incoming players,” said Alvine. “It’s a very well balanced recruiting class that addresses all of our needs moving forward. They all have the ability to have a significant impact on our program both in the short and long term. Their success on the field is evident but all of these young ladies are also incredibly high achievers in classroom and in their respective communities.“Our goal will remain to win the Atlantic 10 Conference championships and to play at the highest possible level. These eight women will go a long way in helping us achieve those goals.”
Kopchak, who was part of the 20-player graduating class with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA), said she’s really looking forward to the opportunity to play at Duquesne.
“I can’t wait to get on campus, and get started with playing,” exclaimed Kopchak during the RDA’s National Letter of Intent Day celebration on Wednesday.
Alvine will add Kopchak, DeBaldo and another Western PA product, Lauren Bell (Hickory H.S.), to a roster that is already filled with numerous local players that have helped the Dukes to an Atlantic 10 title in 2015, and a third place finish in 2016.
“The A-10 win rung a bell in my head,” said Kopchak, who was a member of Mars WPIAL Girls Class AA title winning team in 2015.“I had been there many times. But when I met with coaches, then met with players and got a chance to see more of campus, I fell in love with it all over again. I found myself getting really excited once I pictured myself going there.”
“Tori is an explosive and dynamic forward who is versatile enough to play anywhere up top or as a wide midfielder. Her work-rate is phenomenal and she brings a real element of physicality and grit to the game.”
“Deena will bring an element of creativity and flair to our midfield this fall,” said Alvine.“She has the unique ability to break down a defense either off the dribble or with a final pass. Deena is a true playmaker who sees the game differently than most players.”