STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald announced Wednesday the signing of eight standouts that will join the Bulldog soccer program beginning with the 2012 season.
The Bulldogs inked Halee Heltsley (F; Shepherdsville, Ky.), Honeye Heydari (F/MF; Jackson, Tenn.), Gracie Irby (D; Germantown, Tenn.), Shelby Jordan (D; Jackson, Tenn.), Caitlin Maloney (MF; Campbell Hall, N.Y.), Shannon Palmer (MF/F; Poughquag, N.Y.), Mary Kathryn Taylor (F; Pace, Fla.), and Marissa Williams (MF; Crestwood, Ky.).
"We are really happy with the girls we have coming in. We are adding depth in positions where we needed help," Macdonald said. "Technically, these players are going to raise our level of play, so across the board it's a good, solid class."
Halee Heltsley - F; 5-7; Shepherdsville, Ky. (North Bullitt HS)
High School: Standout scorer for Ryan Bringhurst at North Bullitt High School... Set the school's career goals record last season with her 100th... Named North Bullitt's Most Valuable Player... Scored a personal-best 86 points during her senior season, netting 37 goals to go along with six assists... Earned all-state honorable mention after claiming first team all-region and all-district accolades for 2011... Set the school's single-season goals record as a junior, depositing 41 in the back of the net... Also established a new standard for consecutive games with multiple goals as she accomplished the feat in seven-straight matches... Named NBHS's Most Outstanding Player her last two seasons... Has played club soccer for Mockingbird and head coach Tim Nowak the past three seasons after helping Javanon to four state championships from 2005-10... Guided Mockingbird to first place in the state in 2011 after the squad claimed Region 3 champion status in 2008 and finalist honors the year prior.
Personal: Born Halee Nichole Heltsley in New Albany, Ind., on Feb. 19, 1994... The daughter of Scott and Stephanie Heltsley... Has three siblings, John, Taylor and Cody.
Honeye Heydari - F/MF; 5-7; Jackson, Tenn. (University School of Jackson)
High School: Enjoyed a splendid prep career for Chris Leonardi's University School of Jackson team... Earned all-state, all-region and all-district honors all four years of her playing career... Broke her school's career scoring record with 149 goals and 30 assists over her four-year career... Paced University School of Jackson to back-to-back state championships her final two prep seasons... Named Jackson Sun Offensive Player of the Year and All-District 13A-AA MVP after scoring 30 goals and assisting on 14 more to help her 2011 squad to a 17-1-1 record, the Division II-A West Region title and the state championship... Claimed her second of back-to-back Jackson Sun Player of the Year accolades following a junior campaign in which she tallied 77 points on 36 goals and five assists in leading the Lady Bruins to the state title... Scored 84 points (41 goals, eight assists) as a sophomore following a sensational freshman year that saw her score 42 goals and three assists for 87 points... Also excelled on the track for USJ in a number of events... Earned all-state honors on the school's 4x800-meter relay team that won the state title in 2009... Selected to the Tennessee Olympic Development Program in 2009 and 2010... Excelled on the club level playing for the Lobos Soccer Club and head coach Kieron Heblich... Helped the Lady Lobos to three tournament titles during the 2010-11 club season, including winning the prestigious Disney Showcase in Orlando, Fla... Scored 20 goals, including nine in Region III play, as she guided the Blue squad to the Region III Premier League central title, Region III Southern Region quarterfinals and the USYS Tennessee DI state finals... Scored 40 goals for the Lady Lobos' 2009-10 squad that went 34-5-1 en route to winning the CASL title and advancing to the state D1 finals.
Personal: Born Honeye Heydari in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 11, 1994... The daughter of Saeed and Maryam Heydari... Has a brother, Hamed, and a sister, Holeh.
Gracie Irby - D; 5-7; Germantown, Tenn. (Germantown HS)
High School: Playing for Matt Sugg at Germantown High School, Irby became known as a lockdown defender... Started and played in all but two games during her career, leading the Lady Red Devils to the district semifinals every year, and the district finals in 2009... Selected the Defensive Player of the Year her first three years... Led the defense with 29 shutouts over four years... Scored 21 goals and contributed 16 assists from her central defender position... One of only seven defenders selected to the NSCAA All-Region team in 2011... Was a member of the ESPN Rise team in 2010 and 2011... THSSCA All-State selection her sophomore, junior and senior seasons... Also named all-state by the Tennessee Writers Association her final three prep seasons... Best of Preps all four years while finishing as a top five finalist from 2009-2011... Selected team captain her junior and senior seasons... Received the Red Devil Award in 2011... Captained the Collierville Lady Lobos' 94 club team since 2006... Guided her club squad to a 25-4-1 record, No. 9 national ranking and No. 3 region rating last summer after the team won the Region III Premier League Central championship, and advanced to the Region III Southern Region quarterfinals and the Tennessee DI state finals... Led the Lady Lobos to a 59-9-2 record her sophomore and junior campaigns... Also excelled in basketball by being named Defensive MVP for the 2008-09 season while starting at point guard... Lettered in track and field in 2010.
Personal: Born Gracie Ann Irby in Memphis, Tenn., on Feb. 4, 1994... The daughter of Bill and Connie Irby... Has one brother, Will.
Shelby Jordan - D; 5-5; Jackson, Tenn. (University School of Jackson)
High School: Began her stellar career as an eighth grader for coach Chris Leonardi... Three-star recruit from Top Drawer Soccer... Captained her team to two consecutive state championships her junior and senior seasons, the first state titles ever for the program... Played forward and defender to begin her career, punching in 19 goals and dishing out five assists her eighth grade season... Accumulated 38 points (14 goals and 10 assists) her freshman year before increasing those numbers her sophomore year to 59 points (23 goals and 13 assists)... Moved to the centerback position her junior and senior seasons, anchoring a 2011 defense that allowed only 10 goals in 22 games... Earned back-to-back all-state honors from both the Tennessee High School Coaches Association and Tennessee Sports Writers Association in 2011 and 2010... Named all-district and all-region each year of her prep career... Selected the district co-MVP in 2010 and regional MVP in 2011... Also starred in track for USJ... Named all-state in both track and cross country in 2009... Ran the anchor leg of the Lady Bruins' state champion 3,200-meter relay team, pulling her team from third to first... Won the sectional title in the 1,600-meter run and finished runner-up in the 3200 meters in 2009... Was a Wendy's High School Heisman Award winner for USJ in 2011... Played for Germantown Soccer Club's Fury from 2004-09 and Collierville Soccer Association's Lobos from 2009-present... Won the Premier League championship and advanced to the USYS Southern Region quarterfinals with the Lobos in 2011... Advanced to the Tennessee state finals with her club squads in 2008, 2010 and 2011... Helped the Lobos to the 2011 Disney Showcase title and the CASL championship... A four-year member of the Tennessee State ODP Team... Selected to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III pool in 2011 and 2010... Invited to the ODP National Camp in February, 2011.
Personal: Born Shelby Elizabeth Jordan in Jackson, Tenn., on Jan. 13, 1994... The daughter of David and Carilyn Jordan... Has one brother, Stephen.
Caitlin Maloney - MF; 5-5; Campbell Hall, N.Y. (Washingtonville Senior HS)
High School: Named one of New York's top prospects by ESPN Rise following a stellar career playing for head coach John Shepherd at Washingtonville High School... Selected to the 2011 NSCAA All Region II team... Guided the Lady Wizards to the New York state quarterfinals, where her senior season ended with a 17-2 record... Clinched the sectional title in her final prep season, her third straight... Named a Varsity845 second team all-star after posting three goals and six assists as a senior... Led Washingtonville to the Class AA regional tournament in 2009, falling to eventual champion John Jay-East... Played club soccer for Quickstrike FC... Helped Quickstrike to the 2010 USL Super Y League national runner-up, a year after she played on the squad that won the national championship... Snagged two eastern New York state championships with the club.
Personal: Born Caitlin Theresa Maloney in Bronx, N.Y., on July 15, 1994... The daughter of Joseph and Theresa Maloney... Has two siblings, Peter and Kelsey.
Shannon Palmer - MF/F; 5-3; Poughquag, N.Y. (Arlington HS)
High School: Compiled an outstanding career under the direction of Kieran McIlveny... Was a varsity player all four years for the Arlington Admirals, playing in 74 career games... Started her senior year on defense but moved to forward later in the year... Notched 15 goals in her final prep campaign to lead the Admirals to their first Section 1 Class AA title, New York state championship finalist honors and a No. 25 national ranking by the NSCAA... Scored 10 game-winning goals, including the Section 1 semifinal and final, and the regional final... Selected as an All-Section 1, Poughkeepsie Journal First-Team All-Star and MSG Varsity All-Westchester First Team and Hudson Valley First Team in her final prep season... Captured the Section 1 Class AA championship after the team advanced to the semifinals the past two seasons and won co-champion honors in 2008... Focused on defensive back her first three prep seasons, scoring five goals as a junior after notching six goals in her first two prep campaigns... Played for the Quickstrike Lady Blues from 2006-present for head coach Jesse Kolmel... Won the 2009 USL Super Y League national championship and advanced to the final the following season... Led her club team to two eastern New York state championships and four national championship qualifications... Eastern New York Olympic Developmental Program team member from 2004-2010... Chosen to compete in the 2006 Dana Cup in Denmark... Selected to Top Drawer Soccer's Players to Watch list... Has scored 57 goals and assisted on 43 more during her club career.
Personal: Born Shannon Maura Palmer in Los Alamitos, Calif., on Dec. 22, 1993... The daughter of Jim and Melissa Palmer... Has two sisters, Katie and Erin... Started her playing career playing U5 and U6 soccer in Brandon, Miss.
Mary Kathryn Taylor - F; 5-4; Pace, Fla. (Pace HS)
High School: Sensational goal scorer for Joey Goodwin's Pace High School squad... Led the area in goals the past two seasons... Guided Pace to district championships in 2010 and 2011... Finished the 2012 season, her final prep campaign, with 35 goals and eight assists, leading PHS to a 17-3 record... Netted 32 goals and assisted on 21 more as Pace went 17-2-2 her junior year... Selected to represent her teammates on Pace's athletic council the past two years... Named a Beyond the Goal FCA Award recipient... Also lettered in track for Pace, competing in the district finals in the 100-meter dash... Played club soccer for Futbol Club Santa Rosa, under the direction of Louie Sahin... Captained her club squad the past five years, earning MVP honors after topping the team in goals each of those seasons... Scored 58 goals in 2011 as FCSR won the Gulf Coast Invitational before advancing to the Orange Classic International U19 Showcase 1 finals... Netted 50 shots in 2010 to lead her squad to a pair of tournament titles, including the Orange Classic U16 Showcase... Won the Orange Beach Shootout and Rose City Tournament in 2009, scoring 41 times on the season.
Personal: Born Mary Kathryn Taylor in Omaha, Neb., on Aug. 9, 1994... The daughter of Bradley and Elizabeth Taylor... Has two siblings, Claire and Bradley Adam.
Marissa Williams; MF; 5-7; Crestwood, Ky. (South Oldham HS)
High School: Talented midfielder for Cy Tucker's South Oldham High School squad... Earned first team all-state honors three of her four prep seasons (2011, 2010, 2008)... Named to the all-state second team squad in 2009... Captained her squad the past two years, earning MVP accolades both of those campaigns... Tallied 46 points on 16 goals and 14 assists her senior year, leading South Oldham to district runner-up honors... Selected Miss Kentucky Soccer after earning all-district tournament, all-region and all-region tournament honors last year... Tabbed NSCAA State Player of the Year and NSCAA Outstanding Senior Award winner... Closed her prep career by claiming NSCAA All-America and All-Region accolades... Scored a career-best 18 goals as a junior and assisted on 14 more to claim first team all-state and all-region accolades... Also named to the district and region all-tournament teams... Named second team all-state and first team all-region after scoring 16 goals during her sophomore season... Began her high school career with a 14-goal, eight-assist 2008 campaign, claiming first team all-state accolades to go along with her first of four-straight all-region awards... Played alongside fellow MSU signee Halee Heltsley on Tim Nowak's Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club... Teamed with Heltsley to lead Mockingbird to the 2011 state championship.Personal: Born Marissa Lynn Williams in Louisville, Ky., on July 13, 1994... The daughter of Jim and Lisa Williams... Has two sisters, Megan and Kristi.