From the University of Arkansas:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas soccer coach Colby Hale and his staff welcome their second recruiting class this week.
Hale, coming off one of the most successful seasons in recent Razorback soccer history, has put together an 11-member signee class that should allow for continued growth at Arkansas.
This year's class includes Cameron Carter (Waco, Texas), Taylor Erwin (The Colony, Texas), Alexandra "Sparky" Fischer (Plano, Texas), DeeDee Green (Renton, Wash.), Mckinzie James (Rogers, Ark.), Claire Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.), Erika Miller (Knoxville, Tenn.), Katherine Moore (Blue Grass, Iowa), Kayla Peterson (Coppell, Texas), Rachel Riggs (Fort Worth, Texas) and Becca Schamel (St. Louis, Mo.).
"When putting together the class, we considered many things," Hale said. "The first was their fit with our current players and the culture which they have worked so hard to create. Obviously the physical attributes are necessary to compete to win the SEC, but we also looked at some other aspects. These young ladies will fit in well in terms of their competitiveness, commitment to the game and program, toughness and all of our core values. We are confident in the direction of the program and know that these young ladies will be great additions. We are excited about recruiting and this class is a testament to that."
The Razorbacks added a pair of goalkeepers in this year's signing class. Carter and Erwin have both had a lot of high school and club success and are expected to carry that leadership role into their collegiate careers.
Carter is a three-time captain and paced her high school team to a pair of state semifinal appearances. She is a first-team all-region and second-team all-state selection.
"Cam's strengths are that she doesn't have many weaknesses," said Hale. "She has good athleticism, technique, presence, and a quality kicking game. She is courageous and competitive and will look to compete for time in goal."
Erwin is a two-time all-district selection and has captained her high school program for two seasons.
"Taylor is extremely athletic and has tremendous potential" said Hale. "She can make the spectacular save and has a good kicking game."
Fischer gives Arkansas a left-footed attacker next season. The 2012 defensive player of the year, she is a first-team all-district selection and led her high school team to the state title as a junior. She also earned MVP honors in 2011 for her club team.
"Sparky is one of the better attacking left backs we saw in the 2013 class" said Hale. "She has excellent pace, quality service with her left foot and defends well in transition."
Green is a four-year letterwinner who has earned numerous awards for both her club and high school teams. An all-league second-team selection as a freshman, Green earned first-team honors the following two seasons while pacing her high school team to the state title three seasons. Her club team won several tournaments and titles including the Washington State title and Region IV ODP Championship.
"DeeDee has electric pace and a quality service from her left foot," Hale said. "She will compete for time somewhere on the left. She gets forward very well from the left back or can cause defense problems with her pace as a left winger."
James is a member of the Arkansas State Championship teams at Rogers (Ark.) High in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition, she earned MVP honors and the Hustle Award for her club team, NWA Lightening.
"Mckinzie is a versatile player with many good attributes," Hale said. "She has good athleticism, technique and strikes a ball well."
Kelley is a midfielder who helped Bishop Kelley to several tournament titles as well as the 5A (2010, 2011) and 6A (2012) District title as well as the 6A state title this season. A three time first-team all-district selection, Kelly was also the offensive player of the year as a senior.
"Claire is an attacking player who creates goal scoring opportunities," Hale said. "She is fantastic in the air, sees the field well and has the technical ability to play the ball she wants. She plays on a fantastic club team, scored an important goal in a national final and was the Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year in Oklahoma last year."
Miller is a good all-around player who earned defensive MVP honors in high school. She began her career in Florida before her family moved to Tennessee where she paced her team to the state final four. She helped her Tennessee club team to the Region 3 Premier League title and a state runner up finish in 2012.
"Erika is a player we are very excited about," Hale said. "She can play anywhere but will probably be fighting to see time in the back. She has good pace, reads the game well and is comfortable on the ball. As a wide back she defends well and will get forward and help attack, or as a central player she can organize, defend and is excellent in the air."
Moore is good with both feet and led her high school team as its captain last season. A three-time all-conference selection, Moore was also a two-time all-district and all-state pick as a prepster. She led the state in scoring and assists as a sophomore and junior.
"Katie is a good athlete that has great versatility," Hale said. "She was at our camp and really excelled and we look forward to her potential impact here."
Peterson was a three-year team captain and defensive player of the year at New Tech High. She paced her team to the district title in 2009 and district and area titles in 2010 and 2011. Peterson is a two-time first-team all-district selection.
"Kayla is a hard-nosed, blue-collar type of player who is simple on the ball and does all of the little things to help her team win," said Hale. "She comes from a great club which will help her transition and will compete for time at defensive center mid."
Riggs is a versatile player who was a two-time team captain and the leading scorer as a freshman and sophomore in high school. Her club teams have won the North Texas state title or earned runner-up finishes for four consecutive seasons.
"Rachel is a dynamic attacking player with excellent technique and a fantastic work rate," Hale said. "She is active, good in the air and has the mentality we look for in a player."
Schamel rounds out this year's class. An all-conference defender in high school, she was team captain of ECNL and SLSG club teams as well.
"Becca is a center back who we are excited about," Hale said. "We picked her up late in the process and I think her best soccer is ahead of her. She is a tenacious center back with good athleticism and an understanding of the bigger picture within the game."
This completes the 2013 signing class for the Razorback soccer team. The Razorbacks will host a short exhibition spring schedule before returning to the pitch in August for the start of the 2013 season.
For more information regarding Razorback soccer or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.