Pepperdine Soccer Signs Seven For 2009
Ward’s winter signing group includes Roxy Barker (Mission Viejo, Calif./Woodbridge HS) Ashley Correa (Lynnwood, Wash./Meadowdale HS), Katie Crosland (Salt Lake City, Utah/Waterford School), Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS), Michelle Manning (Calabasas, Calif./Agoura HS), Callie Payetta (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach HS) and Ana Pontes (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake HS).
“Ultimately, this class is going to have a huge impact on the direction of our program because every one of these ladies has the potential to start for us as freshmen,” Ward said. “In reality, though, each one is also going to come up against stiff competition from our returning players.
“For our team to be successful, every player must come in fit, hungry and ready to fight for a spot in a competitive lineup and for the success of the program. We are very excited and confident that we have signed the perfect group of recruits to help us do just that.”
Roxy Barker (
A scholar-athlete award winner at
“Roxy is an outstanding student-athlete,” Ward said. “She is one of the finest goalkeeper recruits in addition to being a highly accomplished field player. Roxy could easily see minutes in the goal or on the field as a back next fall, which will bode well for us in our pursuit to have great depth in all positions.”
Barker was selected to two All-CIF first teams in 2006 and 2008 while at
Barker played club soccer for Wolfpack for several years before making the move to the Southern California Blues U19 squad this past season. Barker helped Wolfpack win eight titles during a three-year span before winning four in one season with the Blues. Five California Youth Soccer Association Championships, including two in the premier division, are listed among Barker’s 12 club titles.
Heck was one of only two goalkeepers on last year’s roster along with senior Kayla Stolte (Santee, Calif./West Hills), and posted a 2-2 record with two shutouts before suffering a season-ending injury. Her two shutout victories came against
Heck and Stolte combined for eight shutouts and 76 saves as a tandem last season, while registering a 0.97 goals-against average. Stolte’s presence will be missed in between the pipes in 2009 as she left with the school’s third-highest save total (231) and its second most wins (23) and shutouts (15).
Stolte’s loss is a major one for the program, but Ward seems to be very excited to move the Waves forward with Barker on the field.
“Ultimately, we feel that with the addition of Roxy and the return of Lacey that we’ll possess two of the best netminders in the country,” Ward said.
Ashley Correa (
Positions: Forward and Midfield
Ashley Correa will head down the Pacific shoreline from her hometown of
Correa will graduate in the spring from
Correa competed for Crossfire Premier outside of Meadowdale and helped lead them to three state titles and two league crowns in addition to the 2006 Region IV Championship.
Ward did not mince words when talking about how excited he is to add Correa to the front lines.
“We feel we acquired one of
The offense is in the midst of some adjustment following the loss of seniors Ashley Copp (Coronado, Calif./Coronado HS), Samantha Hire (El Cajon, Calif./Christian HS), Amanda Rupp (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), Emily Wynne (El Cajon, Calif./University HS), who combined to start 63 games for the Waves in 2008.
Correa could be one of their replacements up top as she works with returning talents such as sophomore Laura Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS) and seniors Alexis Farler (Roseville, Calif./Granite Bay) and Sophia Medina (Downey, Calif./Los Alamitos HS). Cole posted solid numbers in her rookie season, which included 14 points on six goals and two assists.
There’s also a chance senior Courtney Price (
Katie Crosland (
Based solely on match experience, the Waves should be pretty well set on defense entering the 2009 spring and fall seasons as they bring back juniors Cammie Burke (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and Haleigh Guertin (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS) and sophomore Myriah Stockman (Sandy, Utah/Brighton HS).
Although this trio combined to miss only three starts all of last season, Crosland shouldn’t be deterred from thinking she can’t crack the starting lineup. After all, someone needs to step up and serve in an enforcer role left vacated by senior Kelsey Baker (
Crosland was a four-year varsity letterwinner on defense for the
Crosland’s skills were at work in the classroom as well, earning high honors in addition to three Waterford Scholar Awards.
Crosland played club soccer for Utah Avalanche Premier, which claimed two State Cup Championships and the 2008 Las Vegas Coaches Classic Tournament title. She has been part of the Utah ODP State Team since 2006.
“Katie follows Myriah Stockman from the
Anisa Guajardo (
Positions: Forward and Midfield
The Waves will have landed a major player in Anisa Guajardo if her collegiate rÃ©sumÃ© ends up resembling anything close to her list of scholastic and athletic accomplishments coming out of
Not only has she been showered with a variety of team, conference and city honors, but she’s also about to graduate with high honors and has traveled to more than 15 countries (living in four of them) while maintaining dual citizenship in
As a citizen of the bordering nations, Guajardo was able to earn a spot on the U17 Mexican National Soccer team in 2008 and she heads into this season as part of that country’s U20 player pool. Last year’s squad made it to CONCACAF U17 Championship in Trinidad/Tobago.
“Anisa is going to be an outstanding addition to the Waves’ midfield,” Ward said. “She possesses fantastic skills and a wonderful mind for the game. In time, we see her having a massive influence on the way we possess the ball and ultimately, the way we attack opponents.”
Now in her fourth year at Buchanan, Guajardo has twice been named MVP, received Co-Player of the Year honors from the Fresno Bee in 2008, and scooped up a pair of all-city and conference honors last two years.
Her Buchanan team has been just as successful with her on board, winning the last three CIF Central Section Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference Championships.
In between her international and high school playing responsibilities, Guajardo also serves as team captain of the East Fresno United Fusion.
Michelle Manning (
Of all the recruits in this year’s class, no one should have an easier time adjusting to campus life than Michelle Manning.
Manning grew up in nearby
“This kid is an exceptional goal scorer in addition to being and all-around solid, tough and highly intelligent soccer player,” said Ward.
“Michelle is going to be a great addition for us as both a forward and midfielder and she possesses an uncanny knack for scoring goals the likes of which we haven't seen since Ali Pavoni and Jen Evans. Her strength of character and infectious personality will make our team smile right away and we expect her to make an immediate contribution next fall.”
Callie Payetta (
Positions: Forward and Midfield
A three-time offensive MVP and two-time all-league first team selection at
“We feel that Callie will bring a wonderful spirit of winning and work into our program next fall,” Ward said. “She’s a highly versatile and relentless player, who, like some of her other classmates, has an awesome knack for scoring goals. She will no doubt have an immediate impact on our program.”
Payetta also experienced a large degree of team successes recently, as her Southern California Blues squads won both the Coast Soccer League and North/South Championships in 2008.
Ana Pontes (
Ana Pontes comes to Pepperdine from
On the pitch, her individual honors include four all-district first team citations and a Newcomer of the Year award while her club teams have won four STX State Championships, two USYS Southern Regional titles and the 2005 Texas Cup.
“Ana Pontes is going to be a critical ball winner and play maker for us in center midfield,” Ward said. “With the departure of Ashley Copp and Sam Hire, Ana has a really good opportunity to come in next fall and make an immediate impact in the center of the park. Her experience both with her Houston Challenge club team and her international experience in