Earlier this month, the women’s soccer program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst announced its roster of nine new recruits for 2011 and among those incoming freshmen is Danvers High’s Becky Landers.
Landers, who is graduating in May, earned All-State status three times and garnered just as many conference All-Star accolades while starting all four years for the Lady Falcons’ soccer team. A captain this past fall, she helped lead Danvers back into the Division II North Sectionals finals, suffering a narrow defeat by Belmont.
But the 5-6 midfielder’s achievements don’t stop there – Landers was named Northeastern Conference MVP in 2008 and contributed to three consecutive NEC titles and two Division II North championships for Danvers. She played club soccer for Stars of Massachusetts, won three State Cup championships, two R1 Premier League championships, two Disney Showcase titles, was part of the R1 championship squad, a member of the United States Youth Soccer Association national finalist squad in 2007 and contributed to an Elite Clubs National League national finalist finish in 2010.
“[Becky] is really excited for the chance to play in [Division 1] and in the A10 (Atlantic 10),” said dad Mike Landers. “It’s a great conference and UMass has an up-and-coming program… Her one regret is that she never won a state title at Danvers High.”
She’s also looking forward to playing college soccer with a couple of her club teammates – Kristen Gargiulo of Boxborough and Victoria Sousa of Nashua, N.H. – who have already played together for the past five years.
“She loved playing at DHS, especially the chance to play for three years with her older sister Kathleen who graduated in 2010,” Mike Landers said. His elder daughter was a team captain in 2009 and played last year at UMass Dartmouth.
“Becky has played against some of the best clubs in the country. She has the ability to be a strong defensive midfielder for us with her ability to mark our opponents’ most dangerous players,” said UMass Amherst coach Ed Matz in the announcement.
“I am very excited about our class of 2015,” Matz said. “This class will move us closer to competing for an Atlantic 10 Championship in the near future...I feel this class will make an impact on both sides of the ball, since all of these players have played at a very high club level and know how to compete and win matches under pressure.”