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Western schools clean up on local talent

Published: February 8, 2010
Continuing our look at top recruiting classes from around the country…
(Remember, schools often do not announce their full recruiting class until well past National Signing Day)

The strong base of talent out west combined with some of the country’s leading programs being stationed there, virtually guaranteed that the recruiting classes for western programs would be healthy.

girls club soccer and womens college soccer player kaitlyn fitzpatrickKaitlyn Fitzpatrick
Start with perennial NCAA title contender Portland. Garrett Smith’s Pilots landed 5 players from the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 100 list, including such standouts as Eclipse Select goalkeeper Erin Dees, Surf SC backstop Nichole Downing, Real So Cal forward Michelle Cruz, Dallas Texans’ goalscorer Amanda Frisbie and Sereno SC midfielder Ellen Parker.

Down the coast in the San Francisco Bay area, California and Stanford both came in with four Top 100 players. Cal landed San Ramon SC and youth national team veteran midfielder Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, Crossfire Premier midfielder Kathryn Bennett, MVLA attacking standout Rachel Mercik and NW Nationals defensive juggernaut Emi Lawson.

For rivals and national runner-up Stanford, So Cal Blues defender Kendall Romine will be joined by twin sisters and attacking threats Sydney Payne and Shelby Payne, plus Windy City Pride goalkeeper Emily Oliver.

Farther down the coast in LA, perennial Final Four qualifier UCLA strengthens its position with a very good class including #1-ranked player Jenna Richmond, a midfielder with Mclean SC and the U20 Women’s National Team. Skilled So Cal Blues forward Kylie Facinelli will also be calling Westwood home for the next four years, as will Slammers forward Natalie Ledezma.

girls club soccer player and womens college soccer player elizabeth eddyElizabeth Eddy
Across town at USC, So Cal Blues and youth national team standout forward Elizabeth Eddy will be doing her part to bring the national title back for the Women of Troy. Eagles SC forward Hayley Boysen has also signed with Southern Cal, while Slammers defender Mia Bruno is yet another Orange County player climbing on board.

Up in Santa Barbara, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are showing signs of following in the successful footsteps of their counterparts on the boys’ side of things. Alexandra Conti of Mustang SC highlights the class, but Irvine Strikers’ trio Nicole Depuy and twin sisters Paige and Lindsey Gankema are also strong additions, along with Natalie Maxey of Legends FC. The 2011 verbals are even better, so watch out for the Gauchos.

In Santa Clara, coach Jerry Smith always brings some technically talented players and this year is no different,with Real So Cal midfielder Alyson Birgel and Sereno midfielder Julie Johnston headlining the class. Johnston’s teammate Sarah Jackson and Lake Oswego SC (Oregon) duo Molly Mettler, a goalkeeper, and defender Calisa Reis make for a strong signing year for the Broncos.

Also check back daily for our complete list of College Commitments.
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