February 1, 2017
Redbirds announce eight commitments
NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State announced eight commitments to National Letters of Intent Wednesday, the first class under coach Brad Silvey.
"We are ecstatic to announce that eight incredible young women will be joining the Redbird soccer family for the 2017 season,” said Silvey, who replaced Eric Golz, who moved to Dayton. “This is a remarkable class that will afford our program the skill, speed, knowledge and determination to continue our successful trend. Each has found high achievement within their respective soccer and academic environments. They possess admirable character that will represent our university, program, and team in a positive manner. It is with much excitement and anticipation that we welcome our 2017 class to Illinois State."
The signees included Eclipse Select’s Jessica Denney (midfielder) and Natalie Vaughn-Low (forward).
"An incredibly gifted talent, J will provide us with high-level experience in the midfield,” Silvey said. “Her skill and knowledge of the game will be invaluable to our team. She is a steady, smooth and threatening addition to our roster.
"Simply stated, Natalie is an attacking threat. Her strength and power will allow her to play the forward position in a variety of different ways. She is dangerous and instinctive near the goal and will integrate into our attack-minded approach seamlessly."
Other signings included forward Sarah LaFayette, midfielder Morgan Metcalf, defender Sarah Ochitwa, midfielder Alissa Ramsden, defender Ashley Santos and goalkeeper Jenny Scara.
Said Silvey: "A fantastic local standout, Sarah is a talented forward that we are proud to keep close to home. She is equipped with next-level speed and has a knack for getting in behind defenses. She has scored plenty of goals throughout her impressive soccer career, which should quickly transition onto her collegiate score sheet.
"Morgan provides our team with an impressive and dynamic wide option. Coming from an extremely talented club, Morgan possess the proper mindset and training habits to quickly acclimate to our competition level. Attending Illinois State this spring due to early graduation, we are already enjoying her contributions to the team.
"Sarah is an extremely quick, technical, and disciplined defender. Her training habits and eagerness to improve will set her apart from most. She provides a flare and uniqueness to our backline which will offer flexibility in our style of play.
"A dominant and consistent central player, Lissy (Ramsden) is equipped to help our team win the midfield. Her ability to read the game and connect the dots will position us to improve ball circulation and retain possession for extended periods of time. Lissy also has an impressive aerial game which will enhance our team set plays.
"One of the strongest, grittiest, and positive individuals I have ever met, Ashley is a fierce competitor. Her versatility across the back will provide desirable stability and balance. She has an infectious personality and leadership traits that will quickly be embraced within our team culture.
"A very athletic keeper with a raw talent for the position, Jenny is another exceptional signee. She will set the bar high and immediately push and contend with those around her. Her personality and competitive edge will be great assets for our team."