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Pepperdine Soccer Signs Seven For 2009


 
 

MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine head women’s soccer coach Tim Ward today announced that seven prep standouts have signed their National Letters of Intent, which will allow them to enroll at Pepperdine this fall and start competing for the Waves in 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 (Mission Viejo, Calif./Woodbridge HS)

Position: Goalkeeper/Defender

 

A scholar-athlete award winner at Woodbridge High School, Barker comes to Pepperdine with a chance to acquire a large slice of playing time either as the team’s No. 2 goalkeeper behind sophomore Lacey Heck (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson HS) or as a position player along the defensive line.

 

“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 Woodbridge and received a pair of team MVP awards in addition to being voted Rookie of the Year for track and field.

 

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 Tennessee and Washington State during the same weekend.

 

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 (Lynnwood, Wash./Meadowdale HS)

Positions: Forward and Midfield

 

Ashley Correa will head down the Pacific shoreline from her hometown of Lynnwood, Wash., to play soccer in Malibu later this year somewhere on the offense.

 

Correa will graduate in the spring from Meadowdale High School where she was a four-year letterwinner and two-time MVP in 2005 and 2007. She also was named to a pair of All-WESCO first teams and two WESCO South All-Star teams.

 

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 Washington’s best natural resources in this skillful left-footed goal scorer,” he said. “Ashley has a talent for beating defenders off the dribble and scoring goals with her thunderous left foot. Her experience both with her successful Crossfire club team as well as the time she has spent in the Washington ODP system should prepare her well for life in Malibu.”

 

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 (Corona, Calif./Colony HS) could work her way back up to front after missing all but six games from a year ago. As a team tri-captain, however, her leadership may also be needed on defense.

 

Katie Crosland (Salt Lake City, Utah/Waterford School)

Position: Defender

 

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 (Honolulu, Hawai’i/Punahou School).

 

Crosland was a four-year varsity letterwinner on defense for the Waterford School and made the all-state first team three consecutive years from 2006 to 2008. She also served as a two-year team captain and led her squad to state titles in 2006 and 2008.

 

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 Salt Lake area and we expect equally impressive performances from this athletic and intelligent 5-10 defender,” Ward said. “Her ability and versatility will bring much needed depth to the Waves back line and she should, no doubt, challenge for major minutes next fall.”

 

Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS)

Positions: Forward and Midfield

 

The Waves will have landed a major player in Anisa Guajardo if her collegiate résumé ends up resembling anything close to her list of scholastic and athletic accomplishments coming out of Buchanan High School.

 

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 Mexico and the United States.

 

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 (Calabasas, Calif./Agoura HS)

Position: Forward

 

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 Calabasas, Calif., which is about 12 miles north of Pepperdine University, and played ball for both Agoura High School and Real So Cal.

 

“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 (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach HS).

Positions: Forward and Midfield

 

A three-time offensive MVP and two-time all-league first team selection at Huntington Beach High School, Callie Payetta could provide a spark to the Pepperdine offense in her very first season either from the forward or midfield positions.

 

“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 (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake HS)

Position: Midfield

 

Ana Pontes comes to Pepperdine from Houston where she was a star center midfielder for both Clear Lake High School and Houston Challenge. The National Honor Society student is also an all-star in the classroom and is projected to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class later this year.

 

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 Brazil should give her a great starting point for what we feel is going to be an excellent collegiate career.”


 

 

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