BRADENTON, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2024) – The North Carolina Courage have added six non-roster invitees to the preseason roster amid the training camp at IMG Academy, as announced by the club on Friday. The preseason roster now features 37 players, including 32 in market and available to train.
The six new non-roster invitees are goalkeepers Lauren Kellett and Cayla White, defender Maya McCutcheon, and forwards Rylee Baisden, Bella Gaetino, and Emma Hawkins.
Kellett had a standout career at Texas Christian University, setting the all-time school record with 28 clean sheets. She totaled 69 games played with a career goals-against average of 0.80 and 215 career saves at an .802 percentage. The Coppell, Texas native was a three-time All-Big 12 honoree and selected the 2021 Big 12 Goalkeeper of the Year while earning United Soccer Coaches All-Region accolades.
White logged 3,703 minutes in goal for the Virginia Cavaliers across four seasons with 115 saves at an .804 percentage. The Arlington, Virginia native made a career-best 11 saves in a 2023 match against nationally ranked Clemson to help the Cavs earn a 1-1 draw against the eventual national semifinalists.
McCutcheon began her collegiate career at Oklahoma, earning All-Big 12 Freshman Team honors in 2019. She then joined West Virginia University in 2021 and started all 62 possible games for the Mountaineers in three seasons, recording over 5,000 minutes with six goals and four assists.
Baisden returns to the Courage after spending time with the club in 2021 and 2022. She played 233 regular season minutes across 12 contests, recording one goal. She also made a pair of Challenge Cup appearances. After a four-year collegiate career at Pepperdine, Baisden began her professional career in Australia from 2018-2019. She returned Down Under to play for Perth Glory last year, appearing in seven matches before injury cost her the remainder of the season.
Gaetino will begin her collegiate career at UNC this fall. She was named to the USL W League ‘Team of the Season’ First Team with Flint City, starting every match with six goals to lead the team into its first playoffs berth. She played club for Michigan Hawks, where she was a two-time ECNL All-Conference performer and 2023 ECNL National finalist and National Selection Game invitee. She has previously participated in training camp with the Kansas City Current.
Hawkins began her collegiate career at Central Arkansas before two seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners. She appeared in 38 games, starting 37, in Norman and notched 15 goals with four assists. She led the Sooners with nine goals as a fifth-year in 2023 to lead Oklahoma to the second round of the Big 12 Tournament.
The Courage are amid their two-week training camp in Florida, training at IMG Academy with planned closed-door scrimmages with the Chicago Red Stars and Orlando Pride.
The team will return to North Carolina on Monday, February 19, to continue preparation for the NWSL regular season, which begins Saturday, March 16, at 7:00pm against the Houston Dash at WakeMed Soccer Park. Season memberships, mini plans, and single-match tickets are on sale now and the match will stream live on the all-new NWSL+ platform.
ABOUT THE NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
The North Carolina Courage begin their eighth season of competition in 2024 since beginning play in the National Women’s Soccer League (USSF Division I) in 2017. The Courage were formed after Steve Malik purchased the Western New York Flash and relocated the franchise to Cary, North Carolina, and play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage are the winningest club in NWSL history, claiming seven league trophies as three-time NWSL Shield winners (2017, 2018, 2019), two-time NWSL Champions (2018, 2019), and two-time UKG NWSL Challenge Cup champions (2022, 2023). The Courage also won the 2018 ICC Championship. Follow the Courage on the web at www.nccourage.com and on social media @TheNCCourage