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Cecilia Knaub, Midfielder, Penn Fusion
IMG Academy 150: #103
Commitment: Penn State
Few programs represent a better option for the best girls players in Pennsylvania than making the commitment to Penn State, which Cecilia Knaub decided was the best option for her.
“I chose Penn State due to the combination of highly competitive soccer and good academics,” she said. “I also just felt at home in the program.”
For the midfielder, who plays more of a defensive or holding role and links the defense with the attack, there was plenty to like about head coach Erica Walsh’s team.
“The program is one of the top programs in the country, and the idea of competing at the highest national level really excited me,” she said. “Everyone there is committed to making the program the best in the country and to win a national championship.”
The usual standouts that make Happy Valley a unique collegiate experience also helped sell Knaub on the school and the program.
“The academics at the school are great and leave me with a lot of options in regards to my studies,” she said. “The school spirit at Penn State is truly unique and the whole community loves its school, which I believe is really special.”
A desire to not stray too far from where she grew up helped fuel Kaycee Hoover’s college commitment.
“I was born and raised in Southern California and it was important to me to stay close to home,” she said. “I also thought it would be fun to play against my older sister who will be attending a Big West Conference rival in Long Beach State.”
A versatile player who likes to play on sides of the ball, along with the pull of SoCal, she really liked the coaching staff.
“Head coach Demian Brown and assistant Diego Bocanegra are excellent coaches who believe my strengths as a player will strongly contribute to their already successful program,” she said.
And of course, most importantly, the classroom opportunities met her criteria, as she’s not quite sure what she’d like to study at the moment.
“Cal State Fullerton offers all three areas of study that interest me as majors: English, Kinesiology and Political Science,” she said. “I also think the campus is situated in an ideal location that is very familiar to me.”
A goalkeeper not known for her size – Fraasch stands at all of 5-foot-6 – the Minnesota native liked what she saw from Grand Canyon, a program jumping into the Division I ranks this year.
“After spending 10 years of playing soccer in Minnesota, I was drawn to colleges and conferences in warmer locations,” she told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “By the time I visited GCU, I had already visited with quite a few schools, not only in the Midwest but all over the country. There were bits and pieces that I liked about each of these schools and their soccer programs, and the various opportunities each had to offer, however none felt like the perfect fit. I know it sounds cliché, but as soon as I stepped on to the GCU campus, met with the coaches and spent time with the players, and toured the campus and athletic facilities, all the pieces fell into place.”
That recent move was another appealing factor for her.
“I also love the fact that GCU is newer to the Division 1 level, and the coaches are very focused on success at his level,” she said. “They have set challenging goals and high standards for their players, and the players like me they are bringing in to compete at this new level. I could really see myself as part of this new team, and helping to build a solid reputation for GCU at this level.”
Midfielder Grace Orndorff (Academy United SC) committed to Northwestern for the class of 2014.
Midfielder Briana Kulisch (Bethesda SC) committed to Stetson for the class of 2014.
Midfielder Lily Chetosky (Windy City Pride) committed to Valparaiso for the class of 2014.
Forward Stephanie Fabry (FC Wisconsin Eclipse) committed to Wisconsin for the class of 2015.
Midfielder Tiffany Raygor (Norcross Soccer Academy – Georgia) committed to Louisiana Lafayette for the class of 2015.
Midfielder Malika Markham (Heat FC) committed to Oregon for the class of 2015.
Midfielder Anna Higdon (Freestate SA) committed to Stetson for the class of 2014.
Defender Natalie Ambrose (Oregon Rush) committed to Columbia for the class of 2014.