Tennessee soccer coach Brian Pensky announced the addition of eight signees for the program's 2021 recruiting class. The group consists of seven field players and one goalkeeper. Two of the signees will enroll in January, while the remaining six will begin next fall.
The Vols’ 2021 recruiting class was ranked 17th overall in the country and second in the SEC by TopDrawerSoccer.com. The group includes four midfielders that are currently rated inside the IMG Academy Top-150 club player rankings, which is tied with North Carolina for the most in the nation.
“We are excited about this class," Pensky said. "There is a lot of talent among the group, with a good deal of versatility as well. And we all know how important that is. I am excited to see them continue to work hard and develop prior to arriving on campus.”
Here’s a breakdown of each player and their notable achievements.
Chatterton is a 5-foot-2 midfielder out of Noblesville HS in Noblesville, Indiana. She was named a high school All-American by the United Soccer Coaches in the fall of 2019, as well as the 2020 Indiana Girls Player of the Year by the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association. Chatterton is a three-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com, and led her school to back-to-back state IHSAA championships the past two years.
“I chose the University of Tennessee because I wanted to attend a school out-of-state, preferably towards the South. Academically and athletically, UT was a perfect fit for me,” Chatterton said.
Fusco is a 5-foot-9 midfielder out of Olmsted Falls High School in Olmsted Township, Ohio. She is rated as the No. 101 overall prospect and No. 31 midfielder by IMG Academy/TopDrawerSoccer.com for the class of 2021, and has also been named a 2019 Youth Girls All-American by the United Soccer Coaches. Fusco played club soccer for Internationals SC alongside fellow 2021 Tennessee signee Taylor Huff.
“I chose Tennessee because it was the school that was the best fit for me and had everything I was looking for. I loved the campus, coaches and the soccer program,” Fusco said.
Huff is a 5-foot-8 midfielder/forward from Madison Comprehensive High School in Lucas, Ohio. She is a three-time United Soccer Coaches All-American and is rated as the No. 68 overall prospect and No. 21 midfielder by IMG Academy/TopDrawerSoccer.com for the class of 2021. Huff holds the Ohio state record with 93 career assists and earned District II Player of the Year, All-State and All-Region honors in four consecutive seasons.
“I chose Tennessee because as soon as I stepped on campus as a high school freshman, it felt like home. Everyone was so welcoming and caring,” Huff said. “I also wanted to go somewhere warmer than Ohio!”
Rain is a 5-foot-9 defender/forward out of H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. She was named First Team All-Western Conference and team MVP in 2019, and played club soccer for Tampa Bay United Rowdies, earning All-Southeast Conference honors during the 2017-18 campaign. Rain was also invited to participate in the ECNL Player Development Program in back-to-back years.
“I chose the University of Tennessee because I wanted to be closer to home and play in the SEC,” Rain said.
Sayoc is a 5-foot-2 midfielder from Wellington C. Mepham High School in North Bellmore, New York. She earned All-Region and All-State honors in 2019, and is rated as the No. 116 overall prospect and No. 37 midfielder by IMG Academy/TopDrawerSoccer.com for the 2021 class. Sayoc has played club soccer for East Meadow SC on Villa for eight years and served as a team captain for seven years.
“I chose to attend the University of Tennessee because my dream is to play soccer at the next level. UT has one of the best coaching staffs, and they will help me continue to develop and improve as a soccer athlete,” Sayoc said. “From the first visit at UT I fell in love with the campus and positive environment. I knew this is where I wanted to spend my college years.”
Schleifer is a 5-foot-6 midfielder/defender from American Heritage High School in Lake Worth, Florida. She is rated as the No. 110 overall prospect and No. 35 midfielder by IMG Academy/ TopDrawerSoccer.com for the 2021 class, and was named a Second Team All-American by TopDrawerSoccer.com for the 2019-20 season. Schleifer was named to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships Best XI in 2019 and is a four-time First Team All-State performer for American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida.
“Tennessee is the combination of everything I could ever want in a college. The environment of an SEC school is of course unmatchable,” Schleifer said. “The second I stepped foot on campus, I fell in love with everything about it. From Knoxville, to Regal Stadium, to the fantastic coaching staff and the amazing program they uphold, I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.”
Stayart is a 5-foot-3 midfielder out of Cary-Grove Community High School in Cary, Illinois. She is a two-time All-State midfielder for Cary-Grove Community High School, and is rated as a three-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Stayart led her club team, Eclipse Select, to a No. 1 national ranking during the 2019-20 season.
“I chose to attend the University of Tennessee because I knew I wanted to play at a school that competes in the SEC conference, and immediately after visiting, Tennessee just felt like the perfect fit,” Stayart said. “I fell in love with the soccer program, the staff, the campus, and the overall atmosphere.”
Zazzara is a 5-foot-9 goalkeeper from Etowah High School in Woodstock, Georgia. She earned first team All-Region honors in 2018 and 2019, and was named the MVP of her high school soccer team in 2019. Zazzara plays club soccer for Concorde Fire SC, helping her team secure back-to-back ECNL Southeast Conference championships in 2018 and 2019.
“I chose Tennessee because it had the big school atmosphere that I was looking for, while also having a great engineering program,” Zazzara said. “The soccer program is one of the best with amazing coaches that made Tennessee seem like the perfect place for me.”