Pacific Lutheran University looks forward to an exciting 2012 women's soccer season with a brand new coach and a large number of new recruits. Head coach Seth Spidahl and assistant coach Joe Jordan are eager to announce 12 new players who have made verbal commitments to play for PLU this upcoming season. Spidahl was named women's soccer head coach on Feb. 2.
Spidahl is quite enthusiastic about the upcoming season. "This 2012 freshmen class will have an immediate impact in the PLU women's soccer program. We have added players that will compete for playing time immediately and provide much needed depth in multiple positions. I'm very excited to be able to watch the growth of these student-athletes over the next four years here at PLU."
The incoming women's soccer class is made up of Nicoya Benham-Marin from Timberline High School, Eagle, Idaho; Abby Neil from Bremerton High School, Bremerton, Wash.; Kailey Lyman from South Kitsap High School, Port Orchard, Wash.; Hanna Zielke from Curtis High School, University Place, Wash.; Lauren Larson from Curtis High School, University Place, Wash.; Marisa Gonzalez from Kamiak High School, Mukilteo, Wash.; Maria Diel from Kennedy High School, Seattle, Wash.; Jennifer Brus from Rogers High School, Puyallup, Wash.; Lauren Higgins from Rogers High School, Puyallup, Wash.; Leah DeDominces from Sumner High School, Sumner, Wash.; Kelsi Woods from Graham-Kapowsin High School, Graham, Wash.; and Jasper Sortun from Anacortes High School, Anacortes, Wash.
Benham-Marin comes to PLU from Timberline High School. She played for FC Nova Elite in Eagle, Idaho. "We are very excited to have Nicoya join our program. Her speed and ability to get in behind defenses will certainly bolster our attack. She comes from a top club in Idaho so we would expect her club success to translate to the college level," Spidahl said.
Neil, a member of Westsound FC, will join the PLU team from Bremerton High School. Spidahl said, "Abby is a player with a lot of versatility. She has good athleticism that will allow her to contribute to our back line and depth in midfield. She is very excited to be a Lute and that contagious attitude will take her far in our program."
Lyman played for WPFC '94 ECNL and committed to playing for PLU from South Kitsap High School. "Kailey is a hard-nosed, aggressive player," Spidahl said. "Her work rate and competitive spirit will be a welcome addition to the PLU women's soccer program. She has the ability to play multiple positions as a fullback or central midfield player and I see her competing for playing time right away."
Zielke comes from Curtis High School and competed as a member of WPFC '94 Black. Spidahl commented, "Hanna has a big personality that we are thrilled to add to our team! She is a player that really looks to penetrate in behind the opposition's defense with her runs. She will be a welcome addition to our attack."
Larson played as a member of WPFC '94 ECNL and will join PLU from Curtis High School. "Lauren has a very impressive club resume and we look for her to contribute right away. She has been one of the leading goal scorers for her club teams of the past and I would expect her to continue on with the same goal scoring record," Spidahl said.
Gonzalez, who played on Northwest Nationals, will continue her soccer career at PLU. She attended Kamiak High School. "Marisa has trained under one of the top goal keeper trainers in the state, Scott Newman, with her NWN club team. She and Lauren Higgins will be welcome additions to our goal keeping situation here at PLU. Along with returner Laurie Reddy, we will have a solid goal keeper core," Spidahl said.
Diel has experience playing with Seattle United and at Kennedy High School. Spidahl stated, "Maria is a holding midfield player that will really help us with our possession style of soccer here at PLU. She has a strong club and high school soccer background so we are very happy to be adding her to the PLU family."
Brus, a graduate from Rogers High School, takes on a position with the Lutes as a former player on South Hill Revolution. "Jen is a high-level player with great speed and quickness. She will really give us a burst out on the wing as a wide midfield player with her pace and energy."
Higgins attended Rogers High School and played on South Hill Revolution. "Lauren has trained under current PLU goalkeeping coach Mark DeDominces with her club team at South Hill," Spidahl said. "She is primed and ready to compete for playing time right away here at PLU."
DeDominces graduated from Sumner High School and comes to the PLU soccer program from South Hill Revolution. "Leah will be a great addition to our program. She is coming from a very successful high school program and has trained under current PLU assistant coach Joe Jordan. She is a player who is ready for the next level," Spidahl said.
Woods played on South Hill Revolution and comes to PLU from Graham-Kapowsin High School. Spidahl noted, "Kelsi is a player with unbelievable potential...a great striker of the ball, and good speed makes her a very exciting addition to the PLU soccer program. She will make a big impact at PLU during her four years here."
Sortun will attend PLU from Anacortes High School where she played for Whatcom Rangers FC. Spidahl said, "An attacking midfield player who comes from a great club environment, I look for Jasper to really help our goal production with her vision off the ball. Along with this she has a 3.89 GPA, which really embodies the sort of student-athlete we are looking for here at PLU."
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