Posted Feb 7, 2007 19:25:16
Tech Soccer Signs Eight Recruits
RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech soccer coach Jen Burns announced the 2007 signing class as eight student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Lady Techsters.
This year’s class will bring the team’s roster closer to 30 members, creating depth and more options for Burns and assistant coach Rich Stoneman.
“Last fall we were a better team, but the numbers were not there,” Burns said. “At times we only had 14 healthy players, and that didn’t give us a lot of options. That really hurt us at the end of the year and on Sundays it was very difficult. With this class we wanted to bring in eight to 10 kids that would give us the numbers to grow to about 28 on the roster.”
Many of the incoming players have the ability to play multiple positions, which will enable the team to play different lineups, systems and styles. Some players currently on the roster will also be able to play multiple positions because of this new advantage.
“You will notice with this class we will have more help on the outside-mid that will make our attack less predictable,” Burns said. “We have attacking players that can play the midfield and forward. The class enables us to play different people and we will be more versatile in more systems that we run. We will also be able to run more systems.”
This year’s class includes: Katlyn Bachan (Flower Mound, Texas), Lindsey Gamill (Bedford, Texas), Kiva Gresham (Albuquerque, N.M.), Korey Hearn (Garland, Texas), Megan Hudson (Arlington, Texas), Jillian Pinder (Pensacola, Fla.), Austin Sanders (Cedar Park, Texas) and Dana Woolley (Rowlett, Texas).
Burns said the height of Pinder and Hearn will help in the offensive attack for Tech. With their size, Tech will be able to bring more crosses from the outside making the attack less predictable than it was this season.
But the entire class has Burns looking forward to Tech’s fourth season of soccer. What excites Burns most is this year’s class could step in and play today for the Techsters, which will only make the team better.
“The returners we have were able to know they were going to play with a smaller roster. This class gives us depth,” Burns said. “All these kids we’ve signed have the ability to start for us in the fall. That creates good practice environment and good competition in the group. It makes us a better team all around. I think this class will help us take the team to the next level, to have our first winning record and take us to the conference tournament.”
Burns anticipates adding at least two more players in the fall as walk-ons to join this year’s class.
2007 Signing Class
5-4, Freshman, M
Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus HS)
Bachan helped take her high school team to a Class 5A state title in 2005 with a 25-5-4 record, and the team earned a national Top 10 ranking. The Marauders reached the state quarterfinals in 2006. She brings experience of playing on a high caliber team to Tech as well from her club experience. Club teams she has played for won six tournaments and/or league championships and reached the finals and semifinals multiple times. She played for four different club teams in her career in the Atlanta and Dallas areas.
Burns said: “Katlyn Bachan plays on a very good team. She’s played at a very high level in Texas and Georgia and is very creative with the ball. She can play center-mid or up top, and we like her creativity. You will see her do things on-ball that will make you say, ‘Did you just see that?’ She’s one you could compare to in basketball a player that makes a no-look pass or are just very unpredictable. She’s very versatile and is just fun to watch.”
5-5, Freshman, M
Bedford, Texas (The Oakridge School)
Gamill scored 15 goals and has 14 assists her junior year at The Oakridge School. Playing in the Southwest Preparatory Conference, she helped the Owls finish third in their division the last three years. Gamill was named to the St. Mary’s Hall All-Tournament Team all four years and elected team captain her junior and senior years. She has also played eight years for the Dallas/Fort Worth Tejanos ’89 Girls Premier club team. During that time the team was the Grand Champs Lake Highlands Girls Classic League in 2000 and 2001 as well as the North Texas Premier League from 2003-06.
Burns said: “Lindsey Gamill is going to be a defender or center-mid. That will be dependent on how everyone comes in in the fall. She’s a very hard-nosed kid. She will run through you and can take a hit, and she wins balls. One thing that will help her succeed at this level is she already has a quick speed of play. She wins balls and can make a quick decision with the ball. She will win the ball and make a simples pass to our playmaker or she has the vision to create something herself.”
5-4, Freshman, M/F
Albuquerque, N.M. (Highland HS)
Gresham signed with Tech out of Highland High School in Albuquerque, N.M., and brings a ton of experience to the team. All four years of high school she was named All-District 5-5A and was three-times chosen as district player of the year. The last two years she has helped lead the Hornets to the state semifinals and quarterfinals. Gresham scored 54 goals with 36 assists in four seasons. She played club soccer for RVFC ’89 under coach Chris Brennan. Brennan also served as Gresham’s high school coach three years. Cathy Klein coached the Hornets this season. In club competition, Gresham scored 29 goals in two seasons.
Burns said: “Kiva is someone we’re very excited about. She has the versatility to play in the back, middle-outside or up top. She has great pace. With her up top we can send the ball over, and she’ll go get it. She has a great finishing touch about her. Any time she can get a shot off from around the 18-yard box, she’s going to take it. A lot of young players don’t have that true finishing ability under pressure, and I think if she’s got a shot she’s going to bury it. She will be able to start for us in the fall, we just don’t know where yet.”
5-9, Freshman, M
Garland, Texas (Sachse HS)
Hearn comes to Tech after playing her high school soccer at Sachse HS in Sachse, Texas. Her freshman year she received team defensive MVP and was an honorable mention for all district her sophomore year. Hearn played two ears for the Dallas Texans Red West ‘89/’88 for coach Marcus Bones along with fellow Tech signee Dana Woolley.
Burns said: “Korey Hearn will play up top and with her height she holds players off. She uses her body very well to keep defenders away from the ball. She can swarm the ball and make something happen and gives us a new dimension in finishing crosses with her height.”
5-6, Freshman, M/F
Arlington, Texas (Mansfield Summit HS)
Hudson is a midfielder/forward and was named to the District 4 5A All-District second team her senior year and team captain for the Jaguars. Hudson and her Mansfield Summit teammates claimed the district championship in 2004 and reached the bi-district playoffs. Hudson played for two club teams, one year with the Tejanos ’89 Girls Blue and three with the Tarrant Sting.
Stoneman said: “Megan Hudson is a forward with a knack for finishing the ball and has a knack for assists. She sees the play of the game well and knows where the ball needs to be and can make things happen early and easily. We can use her strength and height up top.”
5-4, Freshman, M/F
Pensacola, Fla. (B.T. Washington HS)
Pinder will add to Tech’s midfield and forwards and has six years of club experience. Playing for her B.T. Washington High School team, Pinder helped the Wildcats reach the state semifinals in Florida and win back-to-back District 1 4A titles. She was selected Class 4A All-State second team her sophomore years and received Pensacola News Journal Player of the Year honors. To-date she has scored 45 goals for the Wildcats with 13 assists. Playing in club action for Pensacola Futbol Club, Pinder and her teammates have won six tournaments since 2002.
Burns said: “Jill Pinder is an outside-mid that can also play center-mid. She will give us a lot of help on corner kicks and she can finish crosses well. Her best attribute is her ability to finish the cross. She’s good in the air and will win balls and has deceptive speed. She can play the ball outside and get good cross on the ball from out there as well.”
Austin “Blue” Sanders
5-3, Freshman, CM/F
Cedar Park, Texas (Vista Ridge HS)
“Blue” Sanders could make an impact for Tech up the middle bringing depth to a position the Techsters were thin at in 2006. She was a standout player on her high school team being named team MVP her freshman year and earning first team all district her sophomore and junior seasons. Sanders played for Lonestars Soccer Club for 12 years under coach Jim Wain with the team finishing third and second in state with Sanders on the squad.
Burns said: “Blue could play center-mi or forward for us. With Kat McCullough out this season we were light in the midfield, and Blue will add depth to that position. She has great creativity and foot work and she can shoot the ball from outside.”
5-8, Freshman, D/M
Rowlett, Texas (Rowlett HS)
Woolley hails from eastern Dallas suburb of Rowlett, and brings added height to Tech’s backfield. Playing two years for the Eagles at Rowlett High School, Woolley earned District 10-5A Honorable Mention as a freshman. She brings club experience from two squads playing for Genesis ’89 from 1999-2995 and Dallas Texans Red West from 2005-07. She helped the Dallas Texans Red West win the Germantown Invitational in 2005 and reach the quarterfinals of the 2006 North Texas State Cup.
Burns said: “Dana Woolley is a defender and is very tall. She can really help in our attack. Dana can get the ball, get forward and cross it or go to the goal. She is one of those kids that can blur the line between defender, midfield and forward with her ability to attack push the attack in the front. She will win airballs and will not lose a lot of one-on-one plays in the back. She’s comfortable enough to get up field with the ball if she has the time and space.”