PERKINSTON — Three Mississippi Gulf Coast women's soccer players have signed to continue their college careers with four-year programs. Jess Shepherd will play with NCAA Division I Southern Miss, and Erin Longsden and Casey LaFontaine will play with NCAA Division II Delta State.
"This is my first signing since I've been at the program, so it means we're headed in the right direction," Gulf Coast coach Jackie Rhodes said. "These are three foundational players we've had for the past two years, so we're sad to see them go but really excited for what they have in their futures."
Shepherd (So., Parrswood/Manchester, England) scored 17 goals and had 15 assists during her MGCCC career. She won NJCAA and MACJC academic awards as a freshman and played in the MACJC All-Star Game as a sophomore.
"When I came here, I was a different player and played a completely different position," she said. "They threw me in the deep end and said they said we want you to have an impact on the team, so I took it on and tried it and it gave me the instinct to go forward and put myself out there."
Longsden (So., Droylsden Academy/Manchester, England) scored 20 goals and had eight assists during her MGCCC career. She played in the MACJC All-Star Game as a sophomore.
"I've learned to play more as a team player," she said. "I think Delta State is going to help that even more. The girls seem really nice."
LaFontaine (So., Pass Christian/Pass Christian) scored 11 goals and assisted on eight others during her MGCCC career. She was an All-Region 23 as a freshman and earned academic awards from the NJCAA and MACJC. She was named MVP at the MACJC All-Star Game.
"The coaches have really been inspiring," she said. "They push you to your limits. Its' a great atmosphere here with great facilities. I've loved every minute of it and am glad to have played for Gulf Coast."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCAthletics on Twitter and BulldogLIVE on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.