Wednesday, April 22, 2015
FAIRFAX, Va - The Braddock Road Stars Elite announce the resigning of 5 defenders from last year’s successful inaugural team: Elysse Branton, Natalie Larkin, Kaleigh Riehl, Jen Boyles, and Clare Robbins. In addition to the 5 returning defenders, Annaugh Madsen, Kelsey Kiley, and Elise Lawson will join the Stars Elite for the 2015 season. With extensive youth national team experience and exciting, young talent, the backline could give Braddock Road the edge necessary to make another playoff run this season.
Boyles, Branton, Larkin, Madsen, and Riehl were all members of the BRYC ‘95 Elite group which won the USYS Youth National Championship in 2012 as well as U-17 and U-18 USYS National League titles under head coach Larry Best.
Riehl missed most of the 2014 season while playing with the U-20 Women’s World Cup team in Canada last summer. The incoming Penn State freshman was called into the U-20 camp at the beginning of April that was held in conjunction with the first U-19 WNT training camp since 2004. Fellow teammate Elysse Branton, who made 8 appearances for the Stars Elite last season, was called in with the U-19s. It was the first camp for Branton after a successful freshman season at William & Mary where she received CAA All-Rookie Squad honors.
Natalie Larkin will return after starting 7 games for Braddock Road in 2014. As a freshman at Princeton University, Larkin quickly became a vital member of the team’s defense. The former U-18 National Team player started all 15 games she played and finished the season with 6 assists. Larkin’s impressive first season earned her All-Ivy League 2nd team honors.
With many of the veterans out with youth national team obligations or with injuries last season, the Stars Elite relied on quality minutes from young players. High school seniors Jen Boyles and Claire Robbins played a combined 1,495 minutes for the Stars Elite in 2014. Boyles, who will play for the Virginia Tech Hokies in the fall, finished the season with a goal and an assist. Robbins, who will join Braddock Road teammates Branton, Rachel Moore, and Maire Shine at The College of William and Mary, was a mainstay last year in the back.
Kelsey Kiley and Elise Lawson, current defenders on BRYC ‘98 Elite team, will add much needed depth to a strong backline. Characteristic of Braddock Road, the talented pair will benefit in their development playing with and against older players this year in the W-League and W-20.
Having missed the entire 2014 W-League season due to injury, Annaugh Madsen redshirted her first year at the University of Virginia. Madsen used that time to regain the strength she had lost being unable to play the previous year. Through the right regimen of physical therapy and strength training, she has pushed through the ups and downs and fought her way back onto the field. She eagerly awaits the start of the 2015 season.
“It has been amazing getting back into things and getting to play again especially in the environment here [at UVA]” said Madsen. “This summer is going to be important but will also be fun to be back playing with everyone. Every day is a blessing to play.”
Braddock Road will begin the 2015 season when they travel to Dayton on Friday, May 15. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at DOC Stadium in West Carrollton, Ohio. Fans can follow on Twitter (@BRStarelite) for live game updates.