Women's Soccer Signs Seven for Run Towards Third-Straight Title
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The
two-time defending Big Sky Champion Northern Arizona women’s
soccer team has inked seven players to national letters of intent,
10th year head coach Andre Luciano has announced. The incoming
freshman will help offset the loss of five seniors from the 2009
squad and join a veteran team that is expected to return 10 seniors
in 2010. The Lumberjacks have won consecutive Big Sky Championships
and advanced to the NCAA College Cup two years in a row.
“I’m very excited about this incoming class. I feel that they are a perfect balance for our returning players in terms of what we are trying to accomplish as a program,” Luciano said. “We are not only looking to win another conference title but also hoping to advance further in the NCAA Tournament. They are quality human beings and great student athletes as well and I expect them to represent out program in an exceptional manner.”
All seven signees hail from outside of Arizona, with four coming to Flagstaff from California, two from Utah, and one from Maryland. Each player has played extensively not only in high school but also for highly-respected club teams. The signees are presented in alphabetical order.
Rebecca Berry, D/F, 5-4, Layton, Utah (Northridge HS/Layton Strikers)
Three-year starter and four-year letter winner in soccer at Northridge HS…2009 Northridge HS Defensive Player of the Year and Region 1 All-Area Second Team selection…2008 Region 1 All-Area Honorable Mention…Played club soccer for United Front (2007-08) and Layton Strikers (2008-10)…Daughter of Joseph and Eleanora Berry
Luciano on Berry: “Rebecca is easily one of the fastest players I’ve ever coached. She’s a player that came through our camp system and impressed us tremendously with her ability to play out of the back or as an outside midfielder. She has tremendous pace and is very tenacious in her ability to defend. She will look to make an immediate impact with us on our back line or as an outside mid.”
Alana D’Onofrio, D/M, 5-6, Pleasanton, Calif. (Amador Valley HS/Pleasanton Rage)
One -year letter winner and starter in soccer, three-year letter winner in basketball at Amador Valley HS…Captain of Rage club soccer team for seven years and starter for nine years…Advanced to state semifinals in 2006 and Rage showcase semifinalist in 2009…MVP and team captain of basketball team in 2009, led team to league championship in 2007…Daughter of Kathy and Mike D’Onofrio…Also considered San Francisco, Rutgers and Oregon State
Luciano on D’Onofrio: “Alana played with a prolific club team (Pleasanton Rage) and has had excellent coaching in her youth. Tactically she is very aware of her abilities. We will look to play her as an outside back or as an outside mid. She is very unique as a predominately left-footed player and is a strong athlete that should be an impact player for us.”
Shelby Foltz, D, 5-8, Escondido, Calif. (Escondido HS/Rancho Santa Fe Attack)
Four-year starter and letter winner, two-year team captain in soccer at Escondido HS…Named most inspirational player and team captain…Team was CIF participant…Club team won coast league and was champion of the Nomads tournament…Daughter of Gretchen and Steve Foltz…Sister, Georgia, will be a junior on the NAU soccer team in the fall.
Luciano on Foltz: “Shelby was a pleasant surprise for us at our Summer camps. She is a very different player than her sister (second-year defender Georgia Foltz) but she is a fierce ball-winner at the central back-line position. She is very well-schooled tactically as a possession-oriented back and can play as a central back or a central holding midfielder for us.”
Madeline Malmquist, D/M, 5-6, Salt Lake City, Utah (Olympus HS/Utah Avalanche)
Three-year starter and four-year letter winner in soccer at Olympus HS…Named co-offensive player of the year as a junior…Scored game-winning goal in 2009 state tournament to defeat the defending state champion…Member of Utah Olympic Development Program 2004-06…Two-time Utah state champion with Avalanche club team, three-time finalist…Team was ranked No. 4 nationally and No. 2 in Far-West region in 2009-10…Daughter of Mike and Mary Malmquist…Also considered Idaho and Utah.
Luciano on Malmquist: “Madeline has played for one of the best club teams in the country (read more about the Utah Avalanche here). She has great experience playing in major tournaments against top-flight competition. She has the potential to do well for us as an outside midfielder or an outside back. She has very good technical abilities.”
Shawnee Morgan, F, 5-9, Escondido, Calif. (San Pasqual HS/Rancho Santa Fe Attack)
Four-year letter winner and starter in soccer and softball, two-year letter winner and starter in field hockey at San Pasqual HS…2009 All-league soccer selection…2008 Valley league soccer champions, 2009 Division-I CIF semifinalist…Earned varsity soccer Coaches award in 2009…Club team won Nomads tournament and San Diego Pegasus tournament champions…Daughter of Bradley and Elizabeth Morgan.
Luciano on Morgan: “Shawnee is a phenomenal athlete who has the ability to dominate in the air as a forward. She will be a player very similar to (graduated senior) Sarah Neatherton in terms of her ability to run at people with pace and strength.”
Jordan Stenger, F/M, 5-3, Baltimore, Md. (Mercy HS/Baltimore Bays)
Four-year letter winner and starter in soccer, three-year letter winner and starter in softball at Mercy HS in Maryland…Leading scorer of soccer team in 2007, captain of team 2008-10…First-team Baltimore City 2008, second-team All Metro in 2009…High school championship finalists in 2009, semifinalists in 2008…Won Frederick Cup championship in 2006 and Voorhees Classic championship in 2007 with Baltimore Bays club team…Daughter of Christopher Stenger and Jamie Mignano.
Luciano on Stenger: “Jordan is like a pit-bull or a bulldog. She showed a phenomenal work rate in our camps as a forward or center-mid. She is very aware of her surroundings and technically one of the more gifted players we will have on our team. She has a tenacious ability to attack and defend and hopefully will do very well for us.”
Lauren Weaver, GK, 5-6, Winnetka, Calif. (Chatsworth HS/Real So Cal)
Four-year letter winner and starter in soccer, one-year starter in volleyball at Chatsworth HS…First-team All-city and All-league for three seasons playing goalkeeper, defender and midfield…scored winning goal to win 2009 CIF Los Angeles City Section championship…Member of Cal South Olympic Development Program 2004-07…Member of Real So Cal club team for six years…won several state and tournament championships, ranking third in the nation for under-18 girls…Club team also played four games against Mexican national team in preparation for 2008 World Cup qualifying…Daughter of Susan Weaver.
Luciano on Weaver: “Lauren will add to our talented group of goalkeepers that we have on our roster. She comes from one of the top-five club teams in the country (Real So Cal). What makes Lauren special is that not only is she a good shot stopper but she is also a great organizer in the box and has a great presence on the field. She does very well with the ball at her feet to allow her teammates to play with possession from the back. She will immediately compete for playing time with our other outstanding keepers.”