Six hail from Ohio, four from Illinois and one comes from Pennsylvania
OXFORD, Ohio – With 21 freshmen and sophomores currently on the Miami University women’s soccer team’s roster, the RedHawks continued their youth movement by signing 11 talented high school seniors to National Letters of Intent, head coach Bobby Kramig announced Wednesday. The 11-woman class that begins play at Miami in the fall of 2012 consists of Morgan Beck, Jess Bronke, Catherine Caniglia, Ashley Hull, Lauren Kelly, Lauren Mathews, Katie Mazurek, Sydney Neal, Shannon Stearns, Haley Walter and Katee Wensinger.
Six of the signees come to Oxford from the Buckeye State (Beck, Mathews, Mazurek, Neal, Walter and Wensinger) while four are from Illinois (Bronke, Caniglia, Kelly and Stearns) and one calls Pennsylvania home (Hull). Out of the class, one is a goalkeeper, two are defenders, four are midfielders and four play both forward and midfield. Bronke, Caniglia and Kelly already have experience playing together as the trio won a national title with the club team NSA Premier Fury in 2011.
Beck is a forward/midfielder from Cincinnati, Ohio where she earned four letters at Mariemont High School. She ranks second in school history with 58 career goals while leading her team to district championships in 2008 and again in 2011. Beck was named an All-American as well as Southwest Ohio Division III Player of the Year this past season. She was also named First-Team All-Cincinnati Hills League, All-Southwest District and All-Cincinnati three times each while earning All-Ohio honors twice, including first team once.
“A quick, clever and very creative player, Morgan is always fun to watch. She’s a very skillful player and has the ability to beat almost any player one-on-one, yet despite this ability, she’s one of the most unselfish players you’ll ever see,” Kramig said.
Bronke, a midfielder from Downers Grove, Ill., earned four letters at Downers Grove South serving as team captain for three years. While playing for the Mustangs she earned IHSA all-state honors in her senior season, all-sectional accolades in 2009 and 2010, and all-conference her final three years. Bronke was also named team MVP in 2010. She led her NSA Premier Fury club team to a National Championship in 2011 with fellow signees Catherine Caniglia and Lauren Kelly.
“Jess is an imposing presence in the midfield. She is a true, ball-winning center midfielder,” Kramig added. “She is dominant in the air and very, very dangerous on set pieces. We’ve been looking for a player like Jess for a long time.”
Caniglia, a midfielder from Naperville, Ill., earned three letters at Benet Academy under Coach Gerard O’Conor. She was her team’s leading scorer as a sophomore leading them to a conference championship. Caniglia has also played on the Olympic Development Program Illinois State Team in 2008 and 2009, helped her school win three state titles and lead her NSA Premier Fury Club team to a National Championship in 2011 with fellow signees Jess Bronke and Lauren Kelly.
“Catherine is a physically strong player with a great work rate. She attended our prospect camp and impressed us with her physical assets and her ball-striking ability,” Kramig said. “We’ll use her as a wide player and encourage her to run at opponents.”
Hull is a goalkeeper from Canonsburg, Pa. where she earned four letters at Canon-McMillan High School serving as team captain this past season. She recorded 27 career shutouts and 385 career saves during her time at CMHS. Hull earned WPIAL all-section in 2010 and 2011 and was awarded player of the year by her team. She also played on the PA (Pennsylvania) West Cup championship team and in the state All-Star Tournament in 2011. Hull competed two years in track and basketball at CMHS as well.
“Ashley is an athletic, mobile goalkeeper with good feet and good hands,” Kramig noted. “She will add yet another dimension to our already competitive goalkeeper situation.”
Kelly, a defender from Manhattan, Ill., earned two letters at Lincoln-Way Central High under Coach Daniel Radz before playing club soccer. She started all 24 games her freshman year and finished fifth on the team in points and third in assists. During Kelly’s freshman campaign she helped her team to a regional championship and a sectional final, while earning all-area honors. She, along with fellow signees Jess Bronke and Catherine Caniglia, led their NSA Premier Fury club team to a National Championship in 2011.
“Lauren is a very high-level defender. She’s quick, she’s fast and she is an excellent one-on-one defender,” Kramig said. “Mostly she has what all top-class defenders have — that mental toughness that says ‘I refuse to be beaten today’.”
Mathews is a midfielder from Hamilton, Ohio where she earned four letters at Badin High School under head coach Steve Tabar, who is a former Miami assistant coach. She was a member of the 2009 and 2010 All-Girls Greater Cincinnati League First Team, earned All-Southwest District and all-city in 2010 and was voted her team’s most valuable offensive player. Mathews lead her team to district championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Her US Youth Soccer team won the 2010 state title. Mathews is also a decorated basketball player earning three letters as a point guard for the Rams and leading them to a 2011 district championship. Several family members have also attended Miami, including her father, Richard (’84).
“Lauren possesses a very high soccer IQ. She reads plays very well and because of this, Lauren can play virtually any position on the field. All this and she’s a very good leader as well,” Kramig noted.
Mazurek, a defender from Dublin, Ohio, earned two letters at Dublin Jerome High School serving as team captain this past season. While playing for the Celtics she lead them to 2011 district, sectional and regional championships and was the state runner-up while helping them to a program-best record of 14-1-1. Mazurek was named Second-Team All-Ohio Capital Conference in 2010 and 2011 and was a state team and regional pool player in 2009 and 2010 for the Olympic Development Program. Her Ohio Premier Club team won the national championship in 2007 and state championships three times, including last year.
“Katie is a good player who possesses a wonderful combination of athleticism and soccer savvy,” Kramig said. “Katie is a very organized defender with strong leadership qualities. She is also a good distributor of the ball and very strong in the air.”
Neal is a midfielder from Carlisle, Ohio, where she earned four letters at Fenwick High School serving as team captain in her final two years. She led her team to a state championship in 2008 and was the state runner-up in 2009 and 2011. Neal was named a 2010 All-American as well as All-Ohio, First-Team All-Dayton and first-team all-conference while earning Dayton and GGCL Player of the Year honors. Her club team won state titles in 2006 and 2008, as well.
“Sydney is a tough, tough kid. She’s physically strong and a terrific soccer player who is skillful, can play with both feet and an excellent server of the ball,” Kramig said. “Syd can play in an attacking role for us either centrally or out wide.”
Stearns, a midfielder/defender from Orland Hills, Ill., earned three letters at Carl Sandburg High School. She was named all-conference in 2011 after recording 21 goals and 17 assists. Her 2010 team finished with a 22-1-1 record, was the runner-up at the Illinois 3A state finals and a number one state ranking. She also helped her team win conference and regional titles in 2010 and 2011.
“Shannon is a very versatile player who can play any midfield or defensive position. She has a good build to her and is very athletic,” Kramig noted. “She also has great feet, which you don’t see every day on a player with her frame.”
Walter is a midfielder/forward from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she earned four letters at Kings High School serving as team captain in her final two years. Walter was the team leader in assists and scoring in three out of her four years as well as a three-time First-Team All-Fort Ancient Valley Conference selection. She also earned team offensive MVP honors. Walter lettered four years in track and two years in basketball, as well, as she currently holds the 400-meter dash school record and is part of the 4×400 meter school record relay team. Her father, Craig Walter (’78), and her grandfather, Paul “Bucky” Walter (’50), both attended Miami while her grandfather is a 2002 inductee to the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame.
“A relentlessly fit player, Haley quite simply wears opponents down. She’s fast, she’s fit and she possesses a great competitive attitude,” Kramig commented. “Haley was very impressive when she attended our prospect camp and we are very excited to have her joining our team.”
Wensinger, a midfielder/forward from Stow, Ohio, earned four letters at Stow-Munroe Falls High serving as team captain in her final two seasons. She recorded 39 goals and 20 assists over her career as a Lady Bulldog. She led her team to four conference championships, as well as the district semifinals in each of her four seasons. Wensinger was tabbed all-conference each of her last two years while earning conference player of the year this past season. As a senior she also earned all-district and second-team all-state honors and played in the Ohio Senior All-Star Game. Wensinger has lettered three times in track so far as well and placed second at the state meet in the 4×800 in 2009 and was all-conference in 2010.
“Fit, fast, skillful and versatile — what more could you wish for?” Kramig said of Wensinger. “Katie has all those qualities and more. I think she can play almost any position on the field. We first saw her at our prospect camp and are delighted that she chose Miami.”
This past season, the RedHawks finished 9-8-1 despite the majority of the team being underclassmen. Miami begins its spring exhibition schedule March 31 at Louisville while the signees join the team in the fall.