Head Coach Dianne Nolan traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to sign one of four new recruits for the 2013-2014 Lafayette women’s basketball team.
Under the advice of former Lafayette star LaKeisha Wright ‘11, who currently plays professionally in England, Nolan visited Harriet Ottewill Soulsby. A 6’3” forward from Berlin, Germany, Soulsby signed her letter of intent shortly thereafter.
Soulsby comes to Lafayette with an array of accolades. She was named England’s U18 Player of the Year following the 2012-2013 season and won the silver medal at both the U16 and U18 European Championships. Soulsby is also a member of the U18, U20 and senior national teams.
“She has great size and an inside punch,” Nolan said, noting that the trans-Atlantic trip to Soulsby’s Charmwood College was completely worthwhile to secure her as a recruit.
Although Soulsby may hold the title for most interesting recruiting story, three other freshmen join her this season.
Jayla Waller: Waller is a 5’8” forward from Milledgeville, Ga. She impressed Nolan at Baldwin High School as a two-time captain with a “great left-handed shot” and “impressive quickness in transition.”
Nolan additionally mentioned her hands on defense and noted her average of 4.6 steals per game in high school. Waller also averaged 16.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Nolan’s expectations for Waller are “high”, according to the coach.
Maia Hood: Hood tore her ACL the very game that Nolan came to watch her play at Alexander Hamilton High School, sidelining her for the season.
However, the injury was not enough to deter Nolan from taking a chance on Hood, who finished just short of the millennial mark in rebounds with 998.
“She’s been rehabbing her butt off,” Nolan said with a proud tone.
The 5’9” guard and two-time captain from Elmswood, NY is not yet able to contribute, but Nolan made it clear that she plans to utilize her services immediately upon her return.
Hood averaged 22.7 points and 14.7 rebounds per game en route to amassing 1,619 points over her high school career.
Ashley Lutz: The 6’1” forward from Sudbary, Ma. stuck out to Nolan for her outstanding dedication and work ethic.
“She’s always in here shooting around,” Nolan said.
Lutz features an outside shot, an asset especially for a player with her length.
Generally an inside player in high school due to her size, Lutz may find herself switching roles a bit in a different system at Lafayette.
“We’re asking her to do some things she didn’t do in high school,” Nolan acknowledged. “But I know she can do it.”
Lutz averaged 17 points per game at Lincoln-Sudbury High School and led her team in rebounding three consecutive seasons.