Soccer Bolsters Roster with Top Level Transfers

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon has signed four talented transfers with extensive NCAA Tournament experience to the roster for the 2024 season, coach Graeme Abel announced Monday.

Two of the transfers have played in the NCAA’s round of 16 – Haley McWhirter with Mississippi State and Lucy Green with Mississippi. Taylor Bryan advanced to the NCAA Tournament with Virginia Tech, while Jayd Sprague helped Idaho win the Big Sky Tournament to qualify automatically for the NCAA’s field of 64.

Bryan and Sprague will be fifth years, Green is a redshirt-senior with an additional Covid year of eligibility available and McWhirter will be a senior. Prior to Mississippi State, McWhirter was named the 2021 American Athletic Association newcomer of the year while at East Carolina.

“We are really excited to add Haley, Lucy, Jayd and Taylor in July,” said Abel. “Their ability as soccer players is evident from watching their careers so far, but during the phone calls and visits, their character stood out. The ability and character, combined with their experiences in the postseason make them excellent additions to our roster. We can’t wait to welcome them to Eugene in a few months time.”

Taylor Bryan, 5-5, F, 5th Year, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Xaverian High School / Virginia Tech, Club: Dream Team and FC Fury DA

Was a three-year letterwinner at Virginia Tech. Scored seven goals with three assists (17 points) in her career for the Hokies. Attempted 48 career shots. Both goals of the 2023 season – versus James Madison and North Carolina State – were game winners. Also had an assist against Miami (Fla.). Had a season-best three shots against both JMU and N.C. State. Breakout season as a junior in 2022 with four goals and two assists in 19 matches. Scored twice in the final 10 minutes versus No. 13 Virginia, including the equalizer that ended the match in a 3-3 tie. Was named the ACC co-offensive player of the week for her efforts. Also scored the game-tying goal against No. 3 North Carolina before the Hokies went on to win, 2-1. Recorded her first goal of the season against Wake Forest. Tallied two assists in Tech’s 5-2 win versus Northern Colorado. Attempted three shots five times. The Hokies went 10-7-2 in 2022 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Redshirted the 2021 season. In the shortened 2020 season, had a goal against Miami (Fla.). Played in eight games and made three starts. Played club soccer with both the Dream Team and the Fury FC DA. Playing as a forward on the Dream Team under coach Craig Canavan (2014-16), the team won the National Futsal Championship in 2014-15. Earned three varsity letters under coach Erin Meagher at Xaverian High School. Scored 37 goals and added 50 assists in her prep career. Twice helped the Clippers advance to both the Brooklyn/Queens Championship and the state title matches (2017 and 2019). Xaverian made the city title match in 2017 as well.

Personal: Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Parents are Garfield and Shakira Bryan. Graduated from Virginia Tech with a major in human development.

Lucy Green, 5-5, D, RS-Senior, Meridan, Miss.

West Lauderdale High School / Mississippi, Club: BUSA ECNL

A four-year letterwinner at defender for Ole Miss, Green helped the Rebels advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, including the 2020 round of 16. Has two years of eligibility remaining, including a Covid year. Has played in 72 career games with 32 career starts. One career goal with two assists on 19 shots. Key member of Ole Miss’ 2020 NCAA sweet 16 team that went 10-6-2 with 14 starts on the back line. Helped the Rebels post six shutouts. Lone assist of the season came on the game-tying goal against Vanderbilt before Ole Miss went on to win, 2-1. Converted her penalty kick in the shootout win of the NCAA Tournament first round match against Bowling Green. Played a season-high 108 minutes in the second round match versus No. 8 national seed USC as the Rebels again advanced on penalty kicks. Season came to an end in a 1-0 loss to Duke in the round of 16. It tied Ole Miss’ best-ever showing in the NCAA Tournament. Helped the Rebels return to the postseason again in 2021 with 18 starts. Played in five shutouts including a stretch of three in four matches where Ole Miss blanked Florida, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Also played all 90 minutes of the Rebels’ shutout of No. 5 LSU. Collected an assist against South Alabama. Ole Miss was 12-6-3 in 2021. Appeared in all 20 matches as a junior in 2022. Scored her first career goal in the victory over Louisiana Tech. In 2023, saw action in 17 matches. Was a five-time letterwinner at West Lauderdale High School in Collinsville, Miss. Helped lead WLHS to the Mississippi 4A State Championship four of her five years. Named the 2020 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. Tabbed to the Clarion Ledger All-State team in 2020. Earned all-district honors in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Selected to the East Central MS All-Star Team and the Premier Preps of East MS Soccer Team in 2019. Scored 15 goals with 13 assists as a freshman. Tallied 12 goals and 10 assists during sophomore season. Scored five times while dishing out 10 assists during junior campaign. Scored seven goals with 11 assists as a senior, helping the Knights record 21 clean sheets. Also ran track. Named Miss West Lauderdale as a senior. Played at the club level where she was the team captain for BUSA ECNL. Selected to the ECNL Players to Watch List. Tabbed to the ECNL Under-17 Southeast All-Conference Team for 2018-19 season.

Haley McWhirter, 5-6 M, Senior, Magnolia, Texas

Austin High School / East Carolina / Mississippi State, Club: Houston Dash Academy

McWhirter was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams for Mississippi State and before that, was the American Athletic Conference’s newcomer of the year in 2021 while at East Carolina. Has played in 64 career games between the two schools with 62 starts. Has 14 career goals and nine assists for 47 career points. Tallied 124 career shots. As a junior at Mississippi State in 2023, was voted captain of the Bulldogs’ team that went 12-6-5 overall and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Appeared in 23 matches making 21 starts. Had a goal and two assists on 28 shots. Tallied an assist vs. Northwestern State. Attempted a season-high four shots on goal and scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute versus Auburn. Also logged an assist against Tennessee. Was named to the 2023 fall SEC academic honor roll. Big year for Mississippi State as a sophomore in 2022 when she scored seven times with six assists on 43 shots. Scored her first goal as a Bulldog against FIU. Assisted on the game-winning goal versus Minnesota. Scored her second goal of the season against South Alabama. Netted game-winning goal in MSU’s comeback win over Louisiana Tech. Scored her third goal of the season at Southern Miss with an assist in the 2-0 win. Recorded an assist in a 4-0 decision over Presbyterian. Scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 83rd minute to lead the Bulldogs past LSU, 3-2. Also had an assist against the Tigers. Scored her fifth goal of the season at Ole Miss; it was her third game-winner of the season. Had MSU’s only goal against Alabama. Seventh and final goal of 2022 came against Georgia. Recorded both assists in the Bulldogs’ 2-1 win over New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament opening round.

Prior to Mississippi State, became the first player in ECU history to be named Rookie of the Year by the AAC. Selected unanimously for the AAC all-rookie team and also made the all-Conference second team. Registered six goals and one assist, with five of those goals and the assist coming in conference play. Started all 19 games with 53 shots. Won three straight AAC rookie of the week honors. Had a goal and an assist versus Tulsa and also found the net against VMI, South Florida, Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis. Three of her goals were game-winners – VMI, Houston and Memphis. Attempted a career-best 6 shots versus James Madison. Trained with ECU during the 2020 season but did not compete due to the Covid-shortened season. A highly sought-after recruit at the University of Texas at Austin High School. Was the school’s No. 2 ranked student academically. Was a year-round member of the Houston Dash Academy. Combined for more than 100 goals and assists over three seasons. Ranked 13th in the 2020 Top-Drawer Development Academy League Scorers and was selected to the Top-Drawer Weekly Standout Players to Watch list more than 20 times. A U.S. Market Training Center and Combine invitee from 2014-2018.

Personal: Parents are Tim and Jill McWhirter. Majored in supply chain logistics at Mississippi State.

Jayd Sprague, 5-10, M, 5th Year, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Laguna Beach High School / San Francisco / Idaho, Club: Pateadores SC

A two-time Big Sky all-conference player for Idaho. Played two seasons at San Francisco before transferring to Idaho. Has played in 58 career matches with 53 career starts. Six career goals and an assist (13 points) and 82 career shots. Named to the 2023 all-Big Sky first team and the Big Sky all-tournament team after leading Idaho to the Big Sky tournament championship and the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Vandals were 12-5-2 and dropped a close 1-0 game to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. Started all 19 matches in 2023 and scored four goals on 32 shots. Scored the game-winner in the 89th minute versus Northern Arizona. Also connected on the game-winner against UNLV. Other two goals came against Washington and Idaho State. Attempted a career-high six shots against Northern Colorado. Scored twice with an assist in 17 matches in 2022. Attempted 29 shots as the Vandals went 12-3-3 and advanced to the championship game of the Big Sky tournament, where they lost to NAU on penalty kicks. Had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win against Louisiana. Also scored in a 3-1 victory over Portland State. Named to the all-Big Sky second team and the Big Sky all-tournament team. Prior to Idaho, played in 21 games over two seasons at San Francisco. Was an all-WCC honorable mention pick in 2021. Played all 110 minutes of the Dons’ 2-2 tie with Oregon in 2021. Helped Laguna Beach High School win back-to-back Orange Coast League titles in 2017 and 2018. Three-year letterwinner was named to the 2018 OC all-league first team and the 2019 and 2020 all-Sunset League team. Played club soccer for multiple teams and won an ECNL National Championship in 2016.

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