FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University first-year women's soccer head coach Chelsea Parker has announced the addition of three transfers: 5-0 forward and midfielder Jada "JP" Pearson of Columbia, S.C.; 5-5 goalkeeper Makayla Willets of Mastic, N.Y.; and 5-4 midfielder Tarran Williams of Thirsk, England.
Pearson spent her freshman season at Gardner-Webb University last fall, but did not appear in any matches and will have four years to play at FMU. She is a graduate of Westwood High School, where she played under the direction of head coach Chelsea Pedersen. A four-year letterwinner and her squad's captain in 2019, she earned All-Region accolades as a senior, and was named her team's Offensive MVP in 2018 and the Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. She was also selected the most valuable player of the 2018 WAGS Tournament. On the club circuit, she played for Global Premier Soccer - Lexington Soccer Academy, scoring 23 goals in 2018 to lead her LSA squad to an 8-7-3 record. She also played some time in goal, recording six shutouts.
"I am excited about Jada's pace and athleticism," Parker said. "She is an in-state product that was exposed to Division I experience last fall, and we are excited to see what she can bring to the table this fall for the Patriots."
Willets played her freshman season last fall at Lees-McRae College. She appeared in seven matches and registered 373 minutes defending the Bobcats' goal while recording 33 saves, a .702 save percentage, and a 3.37 goals against average.
She is a graduate of William Floyd High School, where she played for coach Kaleigh Sidaras. As a senior, she garnered All-State, All-Conference, and All-County accolades, and was named the Suffolk County Girls Soccer Coaches Association (SCGSCA) League AA "Goalkeeper of the Year." A three-year starter for the Colonials, she tallied 391 career saves and 28 shutouts.
"I am very excited about Makayla joining us here at Francis Marion. I have known the Willets family for some time now and she comes from a great hard-working, genuine family. Makayla's personality, hard-work, energy, and goalkeeping abilities will only add to the pool of talent we already have."
Williams played two seasons at North Iowa Area Community College. Last fall, she appeared in 11 matches with 10 starts, and recorded three goals and four assists on 27 shots.
For her efforts, she picked up honorable mention All-Region XI Team honors. During the 2018 season, she played in 10 matches with six starts and scored two goals, one of which was a match-winner.
She is a product of the Easingwold School in North Yorkshire, England.
"We are equally excited to add Tarran to our roster for 2020. Since the beginning of recruiting, her overall energy and especially her want to be a part of the Patriot women's soccer program has been a motivating force for me. She will bring a bit of pace and creativity to the team."
Francis Marion lost four seniors off last season's 8-8-1 squad.