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Grace Sponaugle, Defender, Utah Avalanche
IMG Academy 150: #143
A tall defender who has played soccer since the age of four, before making her commitment to Oregon, Grace Sponaugle had to recover from a recent torn ACL injury.
During that process, however, she came to the conclusion that becoming a Duck as the right move for her to make.
“After looking at more than 10 other schools I knew that Oregon was the best fit for me,” Sponaugle told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “I love the coaches, their vision for the future, and I want to help them build the program. I am looking forward to becoming a stronger player. The facilities are the best in the country and I am excited to play in their new soccer stadium.”
She said that patience was the key to making her comeback and returning to the game she’s played for so long.
“I felt like I took two steps forward and one step backwards for the first six months of my recovery,” she said. “It has been frustrating but I know the experience will be good for me in building my strengths both on and off the field.”
With regards to her future program, Sponaugle liked plenty of things away from the field as well.
“I loved the big time school in a small town community,” she said. “Oregon is very accommodating to student athletes. Their academic resource center was the best that I had seen. Oregon provides the resources and opportunities to ensure success both on and off the field. With my interest in sports marketing, product design and photography, the business school will be a perfect fit.”
Reece Hummel, Midfielder, Pride SC
Commitment: Arizona State
A technically creative attacking midfielder, Reece Hummel’s commitment to Arizona State was largely due to the team’s coaching staff.
“Coach Kevin [Boyd] and coach Scott [Champ] are awesome and they really fit me as a player,” she told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “I believe the coaching staff can help take my game to another level. I don't want to stop playing soccer after college is over. Their coaching philosophies and their mentality to win is exactly what I need to get to the next level. The style of play suits me really well and I believe that I can be an impact player early on to the program.”
The program as a whole ticked all the boxes she was looking for in a soccer team.
“Arizona State met all of my personal requirements,” she said. “Some of those are playing PAC-12 soccer, playing in a warmer climate than Colorado, playing for a school that I felt comfortable at during my visit, and I wanted to play at school that is supportive of their athletes.”
Away from the game, the Colorado native was also enticed by a friendly campus and the potential of a warmer climate.
“I love the location, the climate, and the people that I met,” Hummel said. “I love that ASU has so many student activities and the sports environment is so amazing. I am really looking forward to walking on campus and being a part of the Sun Devil Family.”
Defender Ashton Brackin (Birmingham SA) has committed to Auburn for the class of 2014.
Midfielder Taylor Tarsi (Dallas Texans) has committed to Texas-Tyler for the class of 2014.