Spring Hill College Head Coach Adam Pearce released the names of his women's soccer signing class for 2009 on Monday morning. The class is comprised of two transfers and two freshmen while stressing Pearce's typically strong defensive approach.
Sophomore 5'8" goalkeeper Stephanie Stacey of New Berlin, Wis., has transferred to Spring Hill from Viterbo University in La Crosse, where she appeared in 17 games with 13 starts as a freshman before suffering a late-season injury. In 2008, she played over 1379 minutes in goal where she collected 87 saves on her way to a 7-7-1 record with three shutouts.
She prepped at New Berlin Eisenhower High School and the Waukesha Soccer Club. The twin sister of SHC volleyball player Sarah Stacey, Stephanie is the daughter of Dave and Judy Stacey. "Stephanie embodies what it means to be a goalkeeper," said Pearce. "She's tough, brave and fearless in goal. I'm excited about having a solid legitimate player take over what has been an unstable position for our program recently."
Lara Menke, a 5'6" center midfielder, is Pearce's second transfer on the year, coming to the Lady Badgers from St. Louis (Mo.) Community College-Meramec where she scored six goals with eight assists for a total of 20 points in 19 games as a sophomore. In 2008, she was named to the 1st team of the NJCAA All-Region 16 team and was a NJCAA All-America nominee. Menke's freshman squad finished the year ranked No. 15 in the nation and closed out the year as the Region 16 runner-up, but rebounded in 2008 to take the region's crown.
Menke prepped at St. Francis Borgia High School in Washington, Mo., where she was a four-year letter winner in soccer and cross country. She was named to the All-District team in cross country each of her four seasons and was selected All State in 2003 and 2004. Pearce says, "Lara will add a level of maturity to our team. To have a player of her caliber with more than 40 college games under her belt is a fantastic bonus. I expect her to compete for a starting position immediately."
Three-time varsity team captain Sarah Uptmor comes to Spring Hill from Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where the 5'7" midfielder won 1st team honors on the conference, district and regional levels. She was selected to the Missouri All Tournament team in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
Uptmor (left, No. 5) played club soccer for the Lady Sweepers while also playing varsity basketball and tennis at Cape Central. A four-year honor student who plans to major in Marine Biology, she is also an advanced scuba diver. "I'm very excited that Sarah has joined our program," says Pearce. "She has a tremendous attitude and work rate while also being a very versatile player. Her technical abilities will allow us to use her at a variety of positions. She will be competing for a starting job from Day One and will have a bright future and successful college soccer career."
Pearce's second freshman for this recruiting class is Savanna Sablich of Roswell (Ga.) High School. As a 5'5" defensive midfielder, Sablich was a winner of her high school's Academic Leadership Award and a three-time winner of the Coach's Award.
"Savanna is very intense and demands a lot of herself," Pearce said, "She definitely has the attitude and approach we're building here at Spring Hill. She's eager to cut her teeth on the college game. I have high hopes for her because she competes daily in every game and every practice."
The Lady Badgers open the 2009 season at home versus Brenau University (Ga.) on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m.