Penn Standout Gives Added Leadership to W-League Side
Jess Fuccello adds a proven goal scorer to the Wildcats (Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania)
West Windsor, N.J. (Thursday, February 25, 2009) - The New Jersey Wildcats announced today that two-time Ocean County Player of the Year and current University of Pennsylvania junior Jess Fuccello will be playing for the team in their upcoming W-League season. The Wildcats will look to the All-Ivy forward to be an important piece of their offensive attack this summer.
"Jess is a very tough competitor that is capable of scoring goals," Wildcats head coach Dave Barbour commented. "I think she will be very important to our team, and we are pleased to have such a good goal scorer playing with us."
Fuccello has made an immediate impact to the women's soccer program at Penn since joining the Quakers in 2006. She led Penn by scoring nine goals en route to 23-points during her freshman season, being named to the All-Ivy Second Team and the Soccer Buzz Regional All-Freshman Team. She followed up that strong rookie year by leading Penn and the entire Ivy League in both points (26) and goals (11) in her sophomore campaign, becoming a unanimous All-Ivy First Team selection. She also received a nod to the NSCAA All Mid-Atlantic Second Team and the Soccer Buzz All Mid-Atlantic Second Team.
"Jess will be a fantastic addition to our 2009 roster," Wildcats President Kevin McDermott stated. "She is a prolific goal scorer and is a big piece of the puzzle toward our organization's goal of winning the W-League Championship. Jess is a great attacking personality and will fit well with Alli D'Amico and the other attackers joining our squad that we will be announcing in the days and weeks to come."
Returning to the pitch in New Jersey brings Fuccello back to a place where she saw much success while attending Brick Memorial High School and playing club soccer with the PDA Wildcats. She led the Mustangs in scoring in all four seasons she played in high school, helping her team to a Group IV State Championship each year. She was twice named the Ocean County Player of the Year as well as getting 2005 Shore Player of the Year accolades. On two occasions, she was named to the Associated Press and Star-Ledger All-State Team while receiving four nods to the All-Shore, All-Ocean and All-County teams. Her club career was highlighted with a 2003 USYSA National Championship, with the team finishing as runners-up in 2005 and 2006. She also has three state cups and four region championships on her club resume.
The New Jersey Wildcats played their debut season in the W-League in 1996 and has competed every season since. Under the guidance of then-head coach Charlie Naimo, the Wildcats compiled a 41-1 regular season record from 2004-06, winning regular season titles in 2004 and 2006 while taking the W-League championship in 2005. Following the 2005 season, the Wildcats were named the USL Franchise of the Year, and Naimo won the FieldTurf W-League Coach of the Year award in 2006.
The USL W-League played its inaugural season in 1995, and it is recognized as the premiere development league for female players in North America. The schedule is set to open next May and commence in August.