After a disappointing loss to the University of Portland in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, ASU coach Graham Winkworth knew he would need reinforcements for the upcoming campaign – and for the 2023 season that's just what he did.
ASU women's soccer has added three upperclassmen transfer students: Suzuka Yosue, a record-setting forward from The Citadel, Florence Vaillancourt, a forward who has won multiple offensive awards during her time at Niagara University and Syracuse University, and Hannah Lapeire, a midfielder from Purdue University.
All three have already found themselves as regulars in the starting 11. Lapeire and Vaillancourt both have over 150 minutes played and Yosue has played over 350 minutes in the first six games of the season.
Suzuka Yosue, fifth year
During her four years and 72 games played at The Citadel, Yosue scored 26 goals and set a school record with 34 assists in her time on the team.
Along with these record-setting stats, Yosue was recognized multiple times for her ability on offense as she earned All-Southern Conference first-team honors three years in a row and won offensive player of the week honors three times.
"I can help this team (with) my awareness of the ball and the space," Yosue said. "We have so many good forwards so (if) I have something that they don’t have and they have something I don’t, we have a good combination with those skills."
While at ASU, Yosue hopes to perform well against tough Pac-12 rivals to improve her chances of playing professionally, as this was the main reason she came to ASU in the first place.
She aims to challenge herself in a conference filled with good competitive teams as an opportunity to show off her skills, get as many goals and assists as possible and eventually help her in her efforts to go pro.
Florence Vaillancourt, graduate student
Vaillancourt had a successful three years at Niagara University, earning multiple Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors such as the MAAC Player of the Year award and All-MAAC first-team honors. She hopes her experience inside the penalty area at Niagara will carry over to her time in Tempe.
"I feel like this team even last year with Nicole (Douglas), we saw that she scored so many goals, and that also comes with people building with her," Vaillancourt said. "Once I saw that she was able to be successful here, I was like, that’s a good opportunity for me because it means she has the personnel behind her to help her build these chances."
Despite her high expectations for this season, Vaillancourt first faces the challenge of recovering from an injury she sustained during her time at Syracuse University. However, both she and Winkworth are confident that she will make a full recovery and will show her goal scoring abilities once again.
Vaillancourt is looking forward to contributing in important Pac-12 games this year, especially against teams like UCLA who have recently proven themselves to be the top teams in the country.
Hannah Lapeire, redshirt senior
During her time at Purdue University, Lapeire received All-Academic Big Ten honors three years in a row, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2023, and the Durham Brothers Leadership Award in 2021.
"I think coming in as a grad transfer and bringing in experience that I have, it really allowed me to have a different look on the season and just help my teammates and help the younger girls and just help everyone ... understand that we're all in this together," Lapeire said. "As long as we're using each other as teammates to lean on, we can accomplish a lot more together on the field and off the field than if we were individuals."
Lapeire is not only a good leader but a workhorse, as her ability to play in the midfield will prove to be important for the team. The midfielder position is intense and physically demanding; having someone who can consistently play in that position will help the whole team.
"(She) is a really hard-working young lady who is not afraid to put her head on the ball," Winkworth said. "She’s a brave player and certainly has been giving us minutes in the center of midfield."
The trio's presence has already been felt as together they have already made 13 shots, four assists, one goal, and played over 600 minutes to help the Sun Devils start the season undefeated with a 3-0-3 record through the first 6 games.
Though their careers at ASU will be short, these three have a chance to put a charge into this team that comes from their veteran presence.
Edited by Vinny Deangelis, Sadie Buggle and Caera Learmonth.