Feb. 8, 2013
RUSTON - Last season, head coach Kevin Sherry took the Louisiana Tech soccer team to new heights.
The Lady Techsters registered a 12-5-4 overall record which included an 11-game unbeaten streak, a 1-1 tie with No. 19 ranked Denver and a fourth place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
As LA Tech transitions to Conference USA next fall, Sherry expects to take his soccer program to even greater heights with the signing of 16 newcomers to the 2013 squad.
"I am very happy and excited about this signing class because I know the great potential these recruits have," said Sherry. "At the end of last season, the deficiencies of the program were very clear to see and those areas needed to be addressed. We have achieved this with these recruits who bring enthusiasm, a love of the game, mental toughness, leadership, competitiveness, hunger and a desire to succeed."
"They all come from successful club teams which will enable them to bring a much needed winning mentality to the team. Many of these recruits are playing in the National Elite Club League (ECNL), the highest level for club teams in the country, and this very competitive environment is perfect preparation for the Division 1 'Conference USA' level."
Annabel Prior hails from Carshalton, Surrey, U.K. where she has been very successful at the club level. She was a first team member of Charlton Ladies Football Club as well as Chelsea Football Club U17s.
"Annabel Prior is a stylish central midfielder with a fierce shot who has the imagination and creativity to carve out many opportunities for our strikers," said Sherry. "It will be interesting to see how Annabel adapts to the game here in the United States which is quicker and more powerful than what she is used to in the U.K. I am sure she will adapt quickly and be a great success."
Faith Washington lettered four years at Pearl River High School in Slidell, La. where she was a second team all-state selection in 2011 as a goalkeeper.
"Faith is an athletic goalkeeper who has a lot of potential," said Sherry. "Once Faith is involved with our goalkeeper training program, I am confident we will see a great goalkeeper. She has all the tools necessary to be a top keeper and we have the coach in Josh Wagenaar who can help her reach her full potential."
Charity Simmons is another Louisiana native, lettering four years at Live Oak High School in Watson, La. The midfielder was named second team all-state her junior year as well as district MVP. Her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, she garnered all-metro, all-parish and all-district honors while recording a total of 127 goals and 46 assists.
"Charity is a combative, driven individual who will one day go on to be the captain of the Lady Techsters soccer team, of that I have no doubt," said Sherry. "Charity is a wonderful person and a great leader. She is one of those few individuals who are truly inspirational, and the effect she will have on this program will be immense."
Taylor Montoya is a defender who lettered four years at Frisco Centennial in Frisco, Texas for coach Lauren O'Brien. She was named first team all-district four times and offensive MVP three times, registering a total of 40 goals and 25 assists.
"Taylor is a very strong and athletic defender who can also play in midfield," said Sherry. "She is a very gifted soccer player who will provide this team with some much needed steel and strength. She has had a great soccer education with FC Dallas ECNL and, as a result, will be an immediate influence on the team."
Chelsea Billups is a teammate of Taylor's from FC Dallas ECNL and also lettered four years at Bishop Dunne High School where former LA Tech running back Ryan Moats is an assistant director of technology. Chelsea was twice named team captain and team MVP.
"Chelsea is a balanced and stylish midfield player who can play in any position because of her true two-footed abilities," said Sherry. "We have a lack of left-sided players on the team so this will probably become her position, but Chelsea is so good she could end up playing anywhere. She is a great player to watch and someone who I know the Ruston soccer community will enjoy watching."
Katie Sloan is a powerful forward from Kansas City, Mo. who has already broken The Barstow School goals record with 90 netters, just through her junior year. She was named the 2012 Missouri Class I Co-Player of the Year in the western region and also the 2010 and 2011 Offensive Player of the Year.
"We haven't had a strong central striker who can lead the line, hold the ball up, play in support players and finish consistently like Katie since the days of [assistant coach] Kiva Gresham," said Sherry. "Katie has the potential to be that player which this team has been crying out for. She has all the attributes to be a top class striker and we are very lucky to have her."
Emily Griffin is another striker and has been a member of FC Dallas while lettering four years at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. She was also a member of the Dallas Texans club team from 2010-2012.
"Emily is a very quick striker who has great vision and can see gaps in defenses most young soccer players can't," said Sherry. "It is hopeful we can provide Emily plenty of through-balls on a consistent basis which will provide her with the ammunition she needs to help improve our attacking threat. This speed will worry many defenses which will create more space for our other strikers to capitalize upon."
Hannah Dauzat, a midfielder from Cypress, Texas, has plenty of Louisiana Tech blood in her. Her mother played volleyball for LA Tech from 1985-86 and her uncle played football for the Bulldogs from 1981-84. Hannah holds the Cy-Fair High School record for most assists in a single season (21) and most assists in a career (51).
"Hannah is a wonderfully balanced, left-sided offensive midfielder who can also play as a striker," said Sherry. "Hannah loves the game of soccer and wants to be the best player she can be which is a perfect fit for our program. Hannah is a hard worker and gives everything for the team in every game. She has great skill on the ball and has an eye for goal. Having another left-footed player on the team will give us a much better balanced look to it."
Kailee Hervey is another striker out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Frisco where she was named second team all-region and district Offensive Player of the Year in 2012. She was also a member of FC Dallas ECNL.
"Kailee is a top striker who we were very fortunate to acquire late in the recruiting process," said Sherry. "She has great balance and control, which together with her speed and strength, will give us a high level striker we can use to lead the line or play off the main striker in a support role. Kailee has that 'wow' presence about her because of her high technical ability which is something of a rarity to witness."
Jessica Harmon lives in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, but attends boarding school in Austin, Texas. She has also lived in Alaska where she was a member of the South Anchorage High School state championship team in 2011 and a member of the Alaska Northstars Select team.
"Jessica is a strong player who can play anywhere on the field," said Sherry. "She is a very determined, independent young lady who is mature beyond her years. She is physically strong and mentally tough, and it is these qualities we hope to use to strengthen the defensive line which sometimes wilted last season when put under pressure."
Marjolein Timmermans is another European player for coach Sherry out of Harmelen, Netherlands. She is a member of the Saestum Club team and at the age of 15 was selected to play for the KNVB Dutch National U15 team.
"Marjolein is an outstanding right defender who is physically tough in the tackle, and has the ability to get forward and support in attack," said Sherry. "Marjolein will bring a European toughness to the defensive line which this team needs. Filling graduated senior Lindsay Brough's shoes is a tough task for anyone, but in Marjolein, we might have found that player. I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to bring a talent such as Marjolein to the program."
Madison McCann is a 5-foot-9-inch midfielder who hails from Sacramento, Cali. where she lettered four years at Sheldon High School for coach John Little. Madison has started every game since her freshman year and is also a member of the San Juan Spirits ECNL.
"Madison is a technically gifted player who can play either in midfield or defense because of her skill level and mental toughness," said Sherry. "She will also bring some much needed height to the team which will help in both penalty areas. Her first touch is exceptional, and I am confident she will fit perfectly into our system of play."
Fern Colepio is another midfielder out of Sutton, England who has tons of experience on the club level, having been a member of Millwall Lionesses FC, Fulham and Chelsea Academy.
"Fern is a very skillful central midfield player who can also play out wide," said Sherry. "She is an exceptionally talented young player who has outstanding close control, great vision and a wonderful knowledge of the game. Fern has great natural talent and a love of the game which will no doubt be a huge influence on the team. She is also a genuine soccer player who has complete control of the soccer ball and has the imagination and creativity necessary to unlock defenses with it."
Alexandra Fiorvento is an athletic central defender from Vancouver, BC, Canada who has been a member of the TSS U19 Elite from 2010 to present.
"Alexandra is excellent in the air and strong in the tackle," said Sherry. "She comes from a team whose coach has stressed the importance of passing and controlling the ball which will enable her to fit right into our culture from day one. Alexandra has amazing potential and we are all very excited about having her on our team. Her natural, Canadian competitive spirit will be a huge asset to the team."
Kylee Seto is another signee from Vancouver and is the second goalkeeper of the bunch. She participated in the USL Super-Y League for Coastal FC where they won three Northwest championships in a row, 2008-2010. She was also the 2011 V.S.S.A.A. track and field junior champion in the high jump.
"Kylee is an athletic goalkeeper who is very hard working and is determined to be the best that she can be," said Sherry. "She is an outstanding talent with a lot of potential who will come in and be very competitive for that starting goalkeeping spot from day one. Kylee has great handling skills and moves her feet well which gives her a tremendous foundation from which to fulfill her potential."
Madison Doll lettered four years at Northshore High School in Pearl River, La. for coaches Jeff Dunlap and Ryan Lazaroe where she was named second team all-state and first team all-district her junior year. She also lettered in track and field where she currently holds the Northshore High School records for the 200m, 800m and the 4x200m relay.
"Speed, outright speed, is the best way to describe Madison," said Sherry. "Madison became available very late in the recruiting calendar and we are very excited to have her with us. She has proven to be one of the best strikers in Louisiana because of her speed and technical ability, but we may utilize this speed in a different position to help give the team a better balance."
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