3 PRCC soccer players headed to 4-year schools
Published 12:42 pm Friday, July 2, 2021
Three Pearl River women’s soccer standouts have signed to continue their careers to the four-year level. Briana Carr (Laurel; West Jones) and Jade Shaw (Carriere; Pearl River Central) have signed with Blue Mountain College, while Makenzie Ezell (Ocean Springs) has signed with Ave Maria University.
“It’s a big deal for us to have three kids go on to the next level,” coach Henrik Madsen said. “One of the things that we want to strive towards here is building kids up to move on. I’m happy for them.
“I think all three of them have come in and had a tremendous impact on our program.”
Carr was a threat in the Wildcat attack during her freshman and sophomore seasons.
During her freshman season, she was second in goals with seven and she chipped in two assists.
Carr continued her success in her sophomore campaign, leading the team in goals with five and grabbing a pair of assists.
“Bri has been tremendous for us up front and has scored some really nice goals,” Madsen said. “She has worked very hard and provided great link-up play for us. She was key the last two seasons up front.”
Carr felt a sense of familiarity at Blue Mountain.
“I feel like it was a good fit for me because out of all of the other schools it felt the most like Pearl River. It is a smaller private school. I feel like I can be part of another family.”
Carr is excited to be able to play with Shaw again.
“The dynamic duo is back,” Carr said. “I feel like we will bring some good things to the table at Blue Mountain.”
“I loved it at Pearl River. It felt nice and like a family. I think Blue Mountain will feel similar to here. I liked the overall environment, teachers and the school.”
Shaw was an essential piece for the Wildcats as an attacking midfielder. She netted five goals and bagged one assist as a freshman. As a sophomore, Shaw scored three goals and assisted on four more.
“Jade came out of Pearl River Central as kind of the unknown when I came in,” Madsen said. “She’s been nothing but great for us these two years. I’m happy she’s able to move on.”
Shaw mentioned that the new soccer program was an attraction for her.
“I liked the campus a lot and they have a new soccer program,” Shaw said. “I want to be able to help build it up and have a fresh start.”
Shaw was happy to move to the next level with Carr.
“I’m excited to play with Bri again,” Shaw said. “It’s good to be able to move on and play with her. It was a lot of fun to play at Pearl River.
“The coaching staff is very nice and welcoming. I really enjoyed my time here.”
Blue Mountain College is in Blue Mountain (Miss.) and is a four-year school. The Toppers compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference and are an NAIA member. The program will have its inaugural season this fall.
Ezell featured as a lockdown defender for the Wildcats during her career as they held a 0.91 goals against average in her freshman season and 0.95 during her sophomore season. She also chipped in on the offensive side with three goals and one assist.
“Makenzie was our captain this year and was solid on the backline,” Madsen said. “After an injury, she was wavering back and forth on whether she wanted to keep playing or not. I’m glad she decided to play. She had a great season and I’m happy she’s moving on.”
Several factors helped Ezell choose Ave Maria.
“Academically, it was a good fit because I want to go into the medical field and they have a strong science program. I’m really excited about that. The campus is beautiful and the coach has been welcoming and very nice about everything.”
Ezell expects to fill a void at centerback for the Gyrenes.
“Last season they had a centerback get hurt and they had to pull a midfielder back. She’s moving back to the midfield, so I’ll be able to fit in at centerback.”
“My time at Pearl River has been special and I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime. Coach Henrik and coach Carl (Blundell) have made this a very special place. With my ankle surgery last year, I wasn’t sure if I’d have a chance to keep playing so they helped me push through.”
Ave Maria University is a four-year school in Ave Maria (Fla.). The Gyrenes are a member of the NAIA and compete in the Sun Conference.
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