Spring Hill College head women's soccer coach Christian DeVries has announced his 2012 class of Badger signees. The class is 11-players strong and adds some exciting new offensive talent to the Spring Hill roster while also addressing needs in the midfield and strengthening the Badger defense.
Amanda Allen, a forward from Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans, La., is a three-time All-District selection and was named All-State in 2010. "Amanda is going to have an immediate impact on our attack," says DeVries. "She brings us speed, quickness and a strong desire to find the back of the net."
On defense, Kaitlyn Blais a graduate of A. Crawford Mosley High in Lynn Haven, Fla., joins the Badgers and will be asked to fill the role of injured junior defender Molly Cowley of Jefferson City, Mo. "Kaitlyn is a great defender. She is strong athletically and doesn't make many mistakes," says DeVries. Blais also carries impressive academic credentials as an AP scholar.
Jaimie Breitweiser from Daphne (Ala.) High School is a defender that DeVries says he has been watching develop over the past two years. "She plays with a lot of heart and desire," he says. "As she learns and adjusts to the college game, she will give us needed depth in the defensive line."
A four-year varsity letter winner and MVP at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic High School, goalkeeper Maggie Dalessio (above) will make the Badgers stronger in net. According to DeVries, "Maggie will immediately provide the leadership that we need in goal. She brings competition to the role of starting keeper and that makes us better."
Sidi Genus (left), a forward from Great Bay, Jamaica, by way of St. Johns College High School in Washington, D.C., is described by DeVries as "raw speed." She brings much needed swiftness to the Badger front line up top and DeVries says, "Sidi was introduced to us by Chris Rose who also first acquainted sophomore Jabu Thompson of Miami, Fla., with the SHC men's program. She's a developing player coming to us right off the beaches of Jamaica, but she'll make an immediate impact."
Coming to the Badgers from Chalmette (La.) High School, midfielder Lauren Gonzalez (right) brings a tremendous amount of heart and desire to the game. "Lauren will be valuable to our team and increases our depth," says DeVries.
Redshirted by LSU in 2011, forward Courtney Harlan was the Athlete of the Year at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in her senior season. "Courtney is one of the top players to ever come out of Mobile County," says DeVries. "She possesses dynamic speed and is a consistent threat up top on offense. She quietly does her job every day and is extremely effective."
Midfielder Hannah Michael of Ursuline Academy in New Orleans was an All-District player all four years of her prep career. "Hannah is a very sound player technically and she's another player who increases our depth immediately, but she will have some adjustments to make as she learns the faster college game."
Aedan Stranahan of Arcata High School and the Olympic Development Program (ODP) in Eureka, Calif., joins the SHC midfield and has some big shoes to fill with the graduation of virtually the entire Badger starting midfield after 2011. "We saw her on film and brought her in to see her skills,' says DeVries. "We were immediately impressed with her ability to see the field and the way she does the basic things very well." DeVries looks to Stranahan to develop into a great leader during her career on the Hill.
Defensive midfielder Emma Tacon of St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas, is a very athletic player and will add depth to the Badger reserves. "Coach Paul Knapstein at McGill-Toolen recommended Emma to us and we've been impressed with her athleticism."
Kari Vitucci of Cedarburg, Wis., comes to SHC from Divine Savior Holy Angels High School and DeVries likes her style of play. "I don't know if ‘orneriness' is the right word, but Kari is a gritty player," says DeVries. "There are several roles on the field that we'll be able to plug her into, so she might be our utility player for a while, but her feisty style of play will bring life to our game."
Overall, DeVries in confident that this recruiting class addresses the immediate needs of the Badgers. "We have significantly improved our offensive threat and repaired the holes left by graduation in our midfield," he says. "On defense, we shored up our line and our goalkeeping. In general, I'm very happy with this class."