RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Four recent high-school graduates – Jada Blaize (Jamaica, N.Y./CVSR), Asha Harper (Toms River, N.J./Manchester Township), Amanda Ramirez (Manchester, N.J./Manchester Township) and Jasmine VanSpanje (Effort, Pa./Pleasant Valley) -- signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the recently-concluded NCAA regular-signing period to continue their lacrosse careers at Felician University, Felician head women's coach Natalie Bermudez announced today.
Tuesday's signings run the total number of players in Bermudez's scholarship Class of 2022 to eight. Four other incoming freshmen – defender Kayla Garcia (Saylorsburg, Pa./Pleasant Valley), midfielder Cara Johnson (Manchester, N.J./Manchester Township), attack/midfielder Jordyn Juvelier (Centereach, N.Y./Centereach) and midfielder Sam Majewski (Binghamton, N.Y./Johnson City) – committed to Felician during the NCAA's early signing period in November.
"This group brings size to our draws, on- and off-ball movement, and communication with help slides," said Bermudez, entering her third season. "Possession is the name of our game; the more draw controls we win, the more opportunities we will have to put shots on goal. These players will also allow us to have the right people moving the ball upfield."
Blaize was an all-division performer for Channel View School for Research in Rockaway Park, N.Y. She also participated in soccer and basketball for CVSR. Blaize, a 5-foot-9 midfield/attack, also plays for the Bombers Lacrosse Club, based out of Forest Hills, N.Y. She intends to major in biology at Felician.
"Jada has a work ethic and hunger to succeed that is insurmountable," Bermudez said. "She is a threat to score any time the ball is in her possession. She has a commanding presence and is reliable as a draw player."
Harper, a 5-foot-9 attack, was last year's offensive Most Valuable Player for Manchester Township High. Her brother, Tyrice Beverette, is a defensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals. Harper hopes to study occupational therapy.
"Asha is young in the sport, but has all the right mechanics," Bermudez said. "Her size and box-out abilities are clearly noticed and she's quick to move the ball upfield. She has also dominated draw controls at the high-school level."
The 5-foot-4 Ramirez played defense and midfield for Manchester Township High, as she, Johnson and Harper helped the Hawks to a Shore B-South championship. She also won a Shore B-South title in soccer. Ramirez plays at the club level for T3 Lacrosse. She expects to major in communications.
"Amanda is a solid defender who understands communication and dedication," Bermudez said. "She is always in position to slide and protect her goalie. Amanda has growing leadership qualities that I expect to flourish during her college years."
VanSpanje, a 5-foot-4 midfielder/attack, helped lead Pleasant Valley High of Broadheadsville, Pa., to a 2016 district playoff appearance in its first varsity season. She also participates in volleyball for the Bears. She intends to major in biology.
"Jasmine is a speedy midfielder/attack who will add depth to our offense," Bermudez said. "Her off-ball movement makes her a threat to the cage. She keeps defenders on their toes and is always ready to release the ball."
Felician is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). The Golden Falcons will enter their fourth varsity intercollegiate season, and will look to improve on 2018's 10th-place finish in the CACC standings.