Spring Hill College Women's Soccer Head Coach Christian DeVries has announced his 2011 class of Badger signees. The class is 10-players strong and focuses on defensive specialists, but also adds some exciting new offensive talent to the Spring Hill roster.
Erin Brennan (left), a central/defensive midfielder from John F. Kennedy Catholic High School and the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club in St. Louis, Mo., won her prep team's "Best Offense Award" as a senior and was named 2nd team All State as a junior. She is also a Scholar Athlete and recipient of the Archbishop May Service Award. DeVries says, "Erin is very skilled with the ball and has the ability to distribute on target. She will add depth to our already strong midfield core."
Defender Theresa Carr (right) comes to The Hill from Rosati-Kain and FC-St. Louis in Missouri. In 2010, her high school team won its District Championship. Carr is a 2-time varsity letter winner in soccer and a member of the National Honor Society. "Theresa is a calm central back who will give us some needed depth in the center of our defense," says DeVries.
Margaret "Megan" Fox of Niceville Senior High School and Emerald Coast United Soccer Club in Niceville, Fla., was named her prep team's Most Improved Player in 2008-09. An outside midfielder/forward, DeVries said, "Speed, Speed and more speed. Megan is going to bring explosive speed to the flanks as either a forward or a midfielder."
Central defender Haley Funderburg of Pell City High School and BUSA '93 (Elite) Soccer Club in Pell City, Ala., won the PCHS Coach's Award and was named the 2009 Lakeshore Tournament MVP. As team captain in her junior and senior seasons, she won a spot on the SCAA South Region High School Team and was named the 2010 PCHS Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. She also won the PCHS "Top 10" academic award all four years of high school. "I'm looking to have Haley step into where (All Conference and graduating senior) Lara Menke left off," says DeVries. "She compliments the way (sophomore defender) Molly Cowley plays. She likes to get forward and she should give the back line a little more punch."
Midfielder Madeline Galen (far left) is from Cor Jesu Academy and J.B. Marine Soccer Club in St. Louis. A sister to current Badger senior midfielder Abby Galen, her prep squad finished 3rd in the state in her senior season. She was a 4-year varsity player and recorded High Honors and/or Honors academic status each of her four years at Cor Jesu. DeVries says, "Madeline will provide us with the depth in the midfield that we were lacking in the past. She will get the opportunity to play along side of her older sister, Abby."
Midfielder Christy Pendergast (above, right), also from Cor Jesu Academy and J.B. Marine Soccer Club in St. Louis, was a 4-year varsity player where her squad reached the State Semifinals in both Soccer and Field Hockey. In the classroom, she achieved High Honors her senior year. She joins her older sisters Katie and Lorie at Spring Hill where they have played for the past two seasons. "Christy is quick with the ball and will provide depth on the flank positions," says DeVries.
Tatiana Gonzalez (right) of Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, Miss., and the Houston Dynamite Gulf Coast Soccer Club won the OSHS Captains Award as a senior and won the 2009 Best Defensive Player Award as a sophomore. A two-time All-District selection at left outside defender, she appeared on the OSHS Honor Roll throughout her prep career and won the Academic Excellence Award in 2011. "She is a strong defender that we are looking to come in and start on the left side,' DeVries says. "Tatiana has the ability to stop the dynamic forwards we see in this league."
Goalkeeper Abby Massengale (left) from Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, La., was named 2nd team All State in 2009 and 1st team All District in 2010. Her high school squad reached the Louisiana Semifinals Round in both 2009 and 2010. She appeared on the Mount Carmel Honor Roll throughout her academic career. DeVries says, "Abby's biggest strength is her ability to control her team in front of her. She is also good with her feet and distributing the ball."
Carolina Tejera (right) won two varsity letters in soccer at Bishop Verot High School in Ft. Myers, Fla., as a defender/midfielder. DeVries says, "Carolina is a very hard worker who will be a role player as she develops."
Forward Emily Thorpe (left) from Bishop Miege High School and the KC Blaze Cosmos Soccer Club in Shawnee Mission, Kan., played four years of varsity soccer at BMHS. She also lettered in Cross Country and Girls Basketball while achieving Scholar Athlete status. "Emily is a big target forward who will give us options in the final third," DeVries said.
These 10 newcomers join forward Chanel Eligin who is already enrolled and attending spring practice.
DeVries sees this class as a major step toward fitting together the pieces Spring Hill needs to become a serious contender in the NAIA's southeast region. "With the 2011 class I knew we had to address defense and scoring," he says. "Last season, we did a good job of controlling the center of the field and we are returning the core of the midfield. With this class we have added three to four defenders and another goalkeeper to the squad. In order to improve scoring opportunities, we have added a goal scorer in Elgin and speed to the flanks. I also believe that we were able to add depth in each area of the field that will be important as we move to a full Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) schedule in 2011."