Feb. 10, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona women’s soccer coach Lisa Oyen announced today that six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend The University of Arizona and begin playing for the Wildcats for the 2011 season.
“We are bringing in a very solid group,” Oyen said. “All these players can step in and have the ability to play and contribute in their first year. We are really excited about what they can do as players, in addition, they are going to be really good representatives of this program, this university and this community.”
The group is heavy with playmakers that can step in and add diversity and creativity to the offensive attack, but also includes several defensive-minded players to balance the class.
“We are only graduating three seniors, so we have a lot of our core players coming back,” Oyen said. “With this class, we were looking to add some depth and diversity with the players we were bringing in. We wanted to add to the athleticism of the team across the board, and we did that.”
Arizona maintained strong recruiting ties locally in Tucson, signing Tucson products Emily Lai (Catalina Foothills High School), a forward/midfielder, and LeeAndra Smith (Palo Verde High School), a midfielder. The Wildcats also tapped into the Phoenix area, signing Gilbert, Ariz. native Mykaylin Rosenquist, a center back (Corona del Sol High School).
“We are excited that the talent coming out of Tucson high schools is staying here,” Oyen said. “We always focus on recruiting talent in the local community and our state to bring the best players into our program.”
A pair of California players also signed with the Wildcats, including midfielder Julia Ganz from Santa Monica High School and midfielder/defender Desiree Bramlette from Dana Hills High School. Rounding out the class was UA’s most distant signee, midfielder/forward Brie DeFelice from Jackson High School in Canton, Ohio.
“I feel like these players will fit in very well with our returning players,” Oyen said. “We are building this program and are headed in the right direction with the right players. We are extremely excited to start working with this group to prepare for the 2011 season.”
The class of six student-athletes will join 16 returning players. That returning group of Wildcats will continue offseason workouts and begin a spring season with five competition dates in early March and continuing through April.
5-6 | Defender/Midfielder | Dana Point, Calif. (Dana Hills High School) | Club: West Coast FC
An all-around talented athlete that can play a variety positions on the field … Has lettered for coach Sheena Jarvis at Dana Hills High School … Helped lead school to a No. 3 ranking nationally in ESPN Rise Fab 50 … 2011 Dana Hills League champions … Semifinalists in the 2010 Aliso Cup and Excalibur tournaments … Played for Coast Soccer League semifinalists on 2008 and league championship team in 2007 … Named MVP of Harvest Cup … Two-year captain with club team West Coast FC, coached by Platini Soaf … Three-year letter winner in track as a pole vaulter … Two-time CIF qualifier in track … Two-year letter winner on school’s surf team … Named a scholar athlete of the week and athlete of the week with high school.
Why Desiree Chose
Oyen says: “Desiree is a very good all-around athlete, is a very hard worker and is good in the air. She reads the game well and can hit a variety of kinds of services out of the back and midfield. She is a very competitive athlete and has the physical and technical ability to be a very good collegiate athlete.”
5-4 | Midfielder/Forward | Canton, Ohio (Jackson High School) | Club: Cleveland Futbol Club
A quick, creative and athletic player who can fill a variety of attacking roles … Four-year letter winner for coach Frank Gagliardi at Jackson High School … Named team captain as senior … Named second team all-state as a senior … First team all-district, all-county and all-league as senior … Federal League Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010 … Stark County Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010 … Second team all-state as a sophomore and junior in 2008 and 2009 … Played club soccer with Cleveland Futbol Club under coach Pete Demonte … Three-time state champions, including in 2008 when club finished ranked No. 6 in the nation … Two-time National League member … Three-time Midwest League regional champions.
Why Brie Chose Arizona: “When I met the coaches and players, I knew it was the right fit. Apart from soccer, Arizona provides me with a wide variety of career paths with the academic programs they have. When seeing the campus for the first time, I saw it not only as very beautiful, but also very welcoming. I could picture myself at the university and I knew this was my opportunity to see and live in a whole new part of the country.”
Oyen says: “Brie can play in a variety of attacking roles. She is quick, very athletic and can hit a ball with both feet. Brie is very good in the attack in one on one situations, which allows for her to create great scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. She’s a very determined athlete, a very smart and exciting soccer player to watch.”
5-4 | Midfielder | Santa Monica, Calif. (Santa Monica High School) | Club: Slammers FC
A talented, dynamic and forceful player that will add punch to the offensive attack … Four-year letter winner at Santa Monica High School for coach Jimmy Chapman … Team’s leading scorer in each of last three seasons … Named 2010 Ocean League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year … Member of 2009 Ocean League championship team … Named Ocean League Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 … Named Ocean League Rookie of the Year in 2008 … Named second team All-League as a freshman … Team won league championship in 2008 … Selected as the Outstanding Athlete at the 2008 JCC Macabbi Games … Played club soccer for Slammers FC under coach George Larsen … 2008 Region IV Champions … 2008 Cal South National State Cup Champions … 2008 Surf College Cup Champions and 2008 Surf Cup Champions … Red Bull National League Champions in 2008 … USYSA national semi-finalists in 2008.
Why Julia Chose Arizona: “I love the coaches, campus and overall vibe. I feel comfortable there and I wanted to play in the Pac-12. Arizona is both close yet far enough away from home.”
Oyen says: “Julia is very dynamic and she is a great scorer. She’s a solid all-around attacking player. She is an exciting, creative player. She can hit balls from all over and can score a variety of different ways. When Julia has the ball at her feet you know something good is about to happen.”
5-6 | Forward/Midfielder | Tucson, Ariz. (Catalina Foothills High School) | Club: Arizona Rush 93
A phenomenal athlete that can play attacking roles and defending roles … A three-year letter winner for coach Charlie Kendrick at Catalina Foothills High School … Team captain senior year … Leading goal-scorer as a junior on 2010 4A Division I state championship team … Named to the 2008 All-Southern Arizona team after leading school in goals as a freshman … 2009 ESPN Rise All-Arizona Top Player … Honored in 2010 by the Arizona Republic as a “High Achiever” … Named MVP of the 2009 Brandon bean Tournament … Plays club soccer with the Arizona Rush 93 coached by Dalton Kaufman ... Member of Arizona ODP State team from 2004-2009 … Represented Arizona at 92 Regional Camp for three years … Selected to play with the Arizona Rush of the Women’s Professional Soccer League in 2010.
Why Emily Chose Arizona: “Living in Tucson, I have always been a Wildcat. I always wanted to play D-I in a premier conference like the Pac-12. To have the chance to play in my home town and Arizona made it an easy decision for me. I was born to be a Wildcat.”
Oyen says: “Emily is a phenomenal athlete. As good as she is now, she has just scratched the surface of what she can become. She is a player who has a lot of diversity in where she can play and be successful. We are excited to see where she can fit in best. She scores goals, and is determined to score goals, but I think she can play defending roles as well.”
5-9 | Defender |
A tall, athletic, prototypical center back with good experience … A letter winner at Corona del Sol High School in Gilbert, Ariz., under coach Matt Smith … Ranked No. 15 player in the Rocky Mountains and Southwest Region by Top Drawer Soccer … Named to the 5A-1 Central 1st Team All-Region team last year … Named a Co-Defensive Player of the Year … Played on the Arizona ODP State Team … Played club soccer for the highly successful SC del Sol under coach Ally Maxwell … Six-time state champion on club team … Region 4 Finalists in 2004 and semi-finalists in 2007.
Why Mykaylin Chose Arizona: “I chose Arizona because of the academics, atmosphere and coaches. It’s close to home and I have friends in Tucson because I lived there for nine years.”
Oyen says: “Mykaylin has the mentality needed as a defender at this level. She’s very well-prepared for playing at the collegiate level. She fits the role for everything you want in a defender in that she is good in the air, does not shy away from a physical match, and has the composure and confidence to get involved in the attack.”
5-6 | Midfielder | Tucson, Ariz. (Palo Verde High School) | Club: Tucson Soccer Academy
A unique player that brings creativity and passion through her play … Played high school soccer under coach Jim Mentz … A first team All-City selection as a sophomore … Southern Arizona leading scorer as a sophomore … Named second team All-City as a freshman and lead area in goals scored … Team captain all four years at school … Played club soccer for Tucson Soccer Academy under coach Charlie Kendrick … Team took second in state in 2010 … Club team captain for U11-15 and U-17 seasons … Played for Arizona ODP state team in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 … Participated in ODP regional camp in 2006-07 … Two-time region honorable mention in cross country … Well-decorated as a student-athlete in her career at Palo Verde, including being named Hispanic Student-Athlete of the Year, earning the school’s Leadership Award and being a member of the National Honor Society.
Why LeeAndra Chose Arizona: “I was born and raised in Tucson and I have always dreamed about playing soccer for my hometown university.”
Oyen says: “LeeAndra is a very unique player. She does some things that you don’t see other players do because of her creativity and ability to break down players on the dribble. She plays with a ton of passion and creativity that is great to watch. We are looking forward to seeing her play in an Arizona uniform.”