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Two Lady Highlanders sign with Georgia Military College
First Presbyterian soccer players Mackenzie Buckley and Cassandra Ruff signed with Georgia Military on Wednesday. - photo by Photo by Charles Smith

Coach Courtney Morgan was back in Hinesville on Wednesday, adding two more FPCA soccer standouts to her roster.

Mackenzie Buckley and Cassandra Ruff will be joining former FPCA teammates Cecilia Graham and Mary Kathryn Whitney on the GMC field in the fall. GMC is coming off the most successful season in the history of the GMC soccer program. GMC won the GCAA championship and earned a run at the National NJCAA title, losing to the No. 1 team in the nation by one goal.

With most of her squad returning and the addition of several talented recruits, Morgan is poised for another run at the national title in the fall.

Morgan was keen to add more FPCA players to her roster.

"This is a quality program and coach Tom Sukaratana produces quality players. What I like the most about FPCA recruits is their character. They are not just talented, they are responsible and trustworthy. They work hard and get the job done. It is beneficial not to have to worry about your players and their character."

Morgan has had her eyes on Buckley and Ruff all year.

"I saw them playing with Graham and Whitney last year. I knew then that they would be a good fit for the team. Buckley is feisty and fast. She can defend well. She is small and deceptive and the opposition will underestimate her, which will be their mistake," Morgan said.

Regarding Ruff, Morgan said she was was impressed with her control in the midfield.

"Ruff reads the field well. She is not timid and fit in well with the team at camp. She is aggressive and reads the field well. I am very pleased with the signings today".

FPCA’s Sukaratana said Ruff joined his school team her sophomore year. She made an immediate impact on the team.

"Ruff is tough. She is good in the midfield and can mix it up with anyone. I am pleased with her development over the three years she has been at FPCA. She has worked hard and I am happy she is getting the opportunity to take this further.

Sukaratana also recalled his early years with Buckley.

"Mackenzie has played club for me since she was 5 years old. She has always been a hard worker and extremely coachable. Mackenzie is an excellent defender and a team player. She has never looked for personal glory and is the most humble player to work with. I am so happy that they will be joining Graham and Whitney at GMC."

Ruff and Buckley said they are ready to move on to college.

Buckley said, "This is a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to continue on with soccer in college is a blessing and to continue with Graham, Whitney and Ruff is icing on the cake. I am looking to make an impact for my team and make sure I continue to deserve this opportunity."

Ruff spoke of her love for the game.

"Soccer is my passion, it keeps my mind focused. When I heard from my friends what a great atmosphere and coach that GMC has, I knew I needed to check out the team and the campus. I loved the school, everyone was welcoming. This is a good choice for me."

Buckley will be working on a degree in general studies and is currently undecided on a major. Ruff will be working on a nursing degree.

Graham covers FPCA sports for the Courier.

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