Gophers Sign Six for 2015

by TopDrawerSoccer
February 13, 2015

University of Minnesota women's soccer head coach Stefanie Golan announced the signing of six Golden Gophers for the 2015 season on Wednesday afternoon. All six have signed either Acceptance of Admission or National Letters of Intent and will join the Maroon and Gold for the 2015 fall season.

. Golan, with the help of associate head coach Krystle Seidel and assistant coach Andy Stoots, assembled a solid class including five hometown Minnesota players as well as one Colorado native to round out the recruiting class. The six signees include April Bockin, Maddie Castro, Molly Fiedler, Emily Heslin, Emily Peterson and Kailee Sharp.

"We have a terrific group of young women joining our Gopher Soccer family," said Golan. "They each bring many positive attributes to the table and they are all pushing themselves at a high level to come in and help our program take that next step forward. All 5 joining us from Minnesota are playing together with the Minnesota Thunder Academy ECNL program while Kailee Sharp is playing with a strong Real Colorado ECNL team. We are excited to have each of them suit up in the Maroon and Gold this fall."

A native of Eden Prairie, Minn., April Bockin joins the Gophers from Eden Prairie High School where she is an A Honor Roll student and an AP Scholar. Bockin served as team captain in 2014 and helped lead the Eagles to three consecutive section championships as well as a third and second place finish in the state tournament in 2013 and 2014 respectively. She was a four-time All-Lake Conference honoree earning All-State honorable mention laurels in 2011 and 2012. Bockin was named to the All-State, All-Tournament, All-Metro and All-Midwest Region teams in 2013 and 2014. The 2014 Minnesota Ms. Soccer and Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year earned NSCAA All-American accolades in her final season with the Eagles. While at Minnesota, Bockin will major in Kinesiology and wants to pursue a career in the health science field.

"I chose Minnesota because it had everything I was looking for in school and in a soccer program," said Bockin. "The outstanding academics combined with an amazing sports atmosphere were two things I was looking for in a school, and Minnesota has both of them. Once I met the coaching staff and some of the players on the team, I knew this was the place for me. The team has lots of fun with each other, but once they step on the field, the desire, determination and competitiveness comes out. I cannot wait to wear the maroon and gold and represent Minnesota for the next four years."

"April is a goal scorer and every team that wants to compete at the highest level needs a consistent goal scorer," said Golan. "She is both quick and fast, good with the ball at her feet, has fantastic timing on the restraining line and is also a fantastic distributor. April gets at defenders with the ball at her feet with the intention of beating them and getting to goal while recognizing what is opening up while she is doing so. We don't have a player like her and she will add a new dangerous dynamic to our attack. We are excited for April to wear a Gopher jersey this fall."

Maddie Castro joins the Gophers from Cottage Grove, Minn. Castro played at Park High School where she was a four-year letter winner and earned All-Conference and All-State accolades in 2014. Prior to playing with Minnesota Thunder Academy, Castro played at Saint Croix Academy where the team earned numerous league, summer state and regional championships. While at Minnesota, Castro hopes to major in psychology and neuroscience to prepare for a career as a psychologist.

"I choose Minnesota because it felt like home," said Castro. "It has not only the one of the best programs for my major but it has everything I could possibly want socially, academically and athletically. Also, the soccer program has some of the most amazing people and I knew right away Minnesota was where I should be, it was a no brainier."

"Maddie is a very smart and very technical soccer player who understands the game and connects the dots through the midfield," said Golan. "She does a great job of keeping the game flowing through simple, quick choices in her distribution but she also has the ability to play a dangerous, textured ball behind the defense to get a forward in behind. Maddie will add depth to the center of our midfield, and we are excited to have her at Minnesota."

Eagan, Minn. native, Molly Fiedler will join the Maroon and Gold after playing for St. Paul Academy and Minnesota Thunder Academy. Fiedler is the second of her siblings to play sports for Minnesota as her brother Matthew is currently on the Gopher Baseball roster. Fiedler is a two-sport letter winner in both basketball and soccer and was a four-time All-Conference honoree as well as earning three-time All-State accolades. Fiedler was a finalist for the coveted Minnesota Ms. Soccer award. Fiedler is currently undecided on what she will study once she arrives at Minnesota.

"Originally, I thought I wanted to go to a small school," said Fiedler. "But after I visited the University of Minnesota, I fell in love. I have been at a tiny school my entire life so I wanted to switch things up and try something new. I really liked the coaches from the beginning and felt comfortable around them. It's an added bonus that my brother goes to school here and loves it. It makes me that much more excited to come to Minnesota!"

"Molly is a dynamic attacking midfield player who will be exciting for fans to watch. She is at her best with the ball at her feet, faced up, running at other teams' defenders and she can score goals but also helps her team get into dangerous positions in the attacking third. Molly is athletic with a fantastic engine, and she will make us a more dynamic team in the attacking third. We are excited to have Molly suit up in Maroon and Gold."

Emily Heslin joins the Gophers from Woodbury, Minn. and Hill-Murray High School where she was a three-time letter winner. On the field, Heslin is a 2014 All-Conference honoree, Most Valuable Player, All-Pioneer Press Second Team and All-State player. She was also named a 2014 NSCAA All-American. Off the field, Heslin is a devoted student, earning numerous science-related accolades and is a member of the A Honor Roll.

"I chose Minnesota because as a kid I had always dreamed of being a Golden Gopher," said Heslin. "After meeting all of the coaches, I knew that the University of Minnesota was where I belonged. I am extremely excited to start the next chapter of my life as a Golden Gopher."

"Emily is a central midfielder who brings a lot of different things to the table," said Golan. "She is strong in the air, her distribution is precise, she can dictate the tempo of the game and she can finish from distance. Emily is a fierce competitor who wants to come in and make a difference and she is going to complement our midfield group very well. She is going to strengthen our midfield corps and we are excited to have her in the Gopher Soccer family."

Prior Lake, Minn. native Emily Peterson joins the Maroon and Gold from Prior Lake High School where she was a soccer letter winner. Her team was the section runner-up where she earned All-Conference and All-State honors in 2014. Peterson is one of five from the Gopher recruiting class to play at Minnesota Thunder Academy. Peterson's uncle, John Guentzal was a member of the Gopher Football team.

"I chose Minnesota because it offers the majors I am interested in, it is close to home and has a great soccer program that fits me as a player," said Peterson.

"Emily is a fantastic addition because she is versatile and consistent," said Golan. "We have felt throughout the recruiting process that we always know what we are going to get when we see her play: she is a fit, strong, hardworking, extremely coachable player who keeps the game simple and fits into her team's system. With Emily, it is all about what can she do to help the team be more successful. She is going to come into our program and compete to be on the field and her versatility will give her the opportunity to add depth to our program in a number of places. She is going to continue to grow and develop in our program, and we are excited to have her in Maroon and Gold."

Rounding out the recruiting class is the lone Colorado represented in this year's recruiting class. Centennial, Colo. native Kailee Sharp is a soccer letter winner at Cherry Creek High School. Her team won the 5A State Championship in 2012. Sharp hails from Real Colorado ECNL where her team was a championship qualifier in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She was the MVP of the 2010 Arsenal Tournament. Sharp hopes to major in a sports-related field.

"I chose Minnesota because I felt it was a good fit academically, athletically and socially," said Sharp. "I fell in love with the team and coaching staff. I just knew that Minnesota was the place for me."

"Kailee has been excited about Minnesota for a while now and we are excited to welcome her to the Gopher Soccer family," said Golan. "She comes from a strong Real Colorado ECNL program where she has consistently competed at a high level. Kailee brings with her a strong technical base as a goalkeeper with strong distribution, and she is only beginning to scratch the surface of the potential she has as a goalkeeper. Getting into a consistent training environment with Andy Stoots is going to put her in a position to begin realizing that potential, and we are excited to add more depth to our quality goalkeeper corps."

The six Gopher newcomers will join the 21 returners for the 2015 season. The Maroon and Gold finished the 2014 season with an overall record of 11-9-1 and a trip to the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament last November.

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