You may not have heard much from them last season, but you will in 2011 thanks to their shiny new recruiting class. Ladies and gentlemen … your Missouri Tigers.
Signed: Catherine Birch (Hurricane FC), Kaysie Clark (KCFC Alliance), Caroline Stanley (KCFC Alliance), Abi Raymer (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brittany Conley (Concord Fire Elite), Taylor Grant (Dallas Texans), Lauren Flynn (St. Louis Scott Gallagher), Sydnie Green (Arsenal FC - CA), Brittanee Randle (Eastside FC),
Flynn is a confident attacker who could thrive in Missouri’s offensive system, while Stanley is good enough to compete for the starting goalkeeper job right away. Expect big improvement from the Tigers this season.
UC Santa Barbara
Signed: Miranda Cornejo (So Cal Blues), Haley Guerrero (So Cal Blues), Catherine McFarland (Lonestar SC), Kelly McGrath (Colorado Rush), Indiana Mead (Neusport)
Skinny: This Big West program could be poised fro a breakout after a pretty good offseason. We start with Cornejo, who is one of the standout defenders in the country. Cornejo has put together a great club career, first with the San Diego Surf before joining the So Cal Blues. Ranked No. 51 on our Top 100 List, she is a U.S. Women’s Youth National Team regular and will bring polished technical ability and skill. Then there is Mead, who falls right behind Cornejo on our Top 100 at No. 51. Mead is a smart midfielder who works hard and can be effective with or without the ball. Mead also brings U.S. Soccer experience, which is a plus.
Guerrero is a So Cal teammate of Cornejo’s, while McGrath arrives as an ODP standout and team captain for the Colorado Rush.
Signed: Leah Aultman (Mandeville Soccer Club), Megan Grindstaff (Brentwood Premier), Justine Hovden (FC Milwaukee), Natalie Huggins (FC Dallas), Anja Rosales (Classics Elite), Alexa Wilde (Chicago Fire Juniors)
Skinny: The Big 12 is no bargain. So it’s no surprise that coach Marci Jobson pulled from a variety of places to comprise this class. Six newcomers from five different states arrive with the hope of giving the Bears the help they need to move up the standings. On the defensive side, Baylor will feature defender Aultman and goalkeeper Grindstaff, a three-time state champion with Brentwood Premier.
Hovden is a striker with good size who competes in the ECNL and is capable of stepping in to contribute right away. Huggins, of FC Dallas, will also bring offense alongside stellar athletes Rosales and Wilde.
North Dakota State
Signed: Anisha Kinnarath (Portage Trail Soccer Club), Katie Felch (Red River Soccer Club), Jenae Dabill (Red River Soccer Club), Tristyn Walczak (Minnesota Thunder), Emma Peschong (Dakota Gold Soccer Club), Jaclyn Scanlan (Red River Soccer Club), Mary Krambeer (Minnesota Thunder), Rachel Trudeau (Minnesota Thunder), Taylor Stainbrook (Minnesota Thunder)
Skinny: What a tight knit group this will be. As if entering their college careers together won’t be bonding enough, most of this group is comprised of just a couple clubs. Three Red River Soccer Club teammates will join the program along with four players from Minnesota Thunder.
Dabill was the North Dakota state Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 and a great all around athlete. Midfielder Stainbrook , Krambeer, Trudeau and Walczak will all bring invaluable ECNL playing experience. Not to mention some pretty proven chemistry.