WHITTIER, Calif. - Whittier College Head Women's Soccer Coach Monica Gerardo is proud to announce her 2014 incoming recruiting class, which will help propel the Poets up the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings.
The 2014 season is just around the corner, as the Poets report for training camp soon, looking to build upon years of hard work and dedication. Gerardo is excited about the talent and immediate contribution that each player will make in the upcoming season. The program will add eight players to the program, covering just about every position on the field. The addition of all players will add much needed depth to an already talented roster.
On the offensive side of the ball Gerardo brings in Tatiana Carillo who is a speedy, athletic forward from Hacienda Heights, Calif. who comes to the Purple & Gold from Rio Hondo Community College. Her knowledge of the game and work ethic will indeed help the Poets in the attacking 1/3 of the field, creating and finishing opportunities on goal. Tatiana is excited in, "…knowing that she will be a part of the Whittier College family for the next two years." Blaire Persell is a target forward from Temecula, CA where she competed for Temecula United and Great Oak High School. Blaire's strength on the ball and ability to play with her back to goal, will help fill a void at the target forward position. Persell brings positivity and a strong work ethic that will most definitely help the program grow in a positive direction.
In the middle 1/3 of the field, three players will make an immediate impact in the center of the midfield. Ashley Gonzalez a local La Serna High School standout and Strikers FC player will add depth both offensively and defensively at center midfield. Her distribution skills and vision will help create opportunities for the forwards, and her defensive strength should help anchor the midfield. In 2013 she helped guide La Serna High School to a CIF Championship and in 2014 she was her programs Defensive Player of the Year. Lauren Kai from West Torrance High School, who also competes for FRAM Soccer Club is a standout play maker that will find success spraying balls to our forwards, while creating chances of her own on goal. Academically, Kai was on the Principal's Honor Roll and athletically at West High School she earned: MVP 2013-14, 1st Team Bay League, 2nd Team All-CIF and is a two time Coach's Award recipient. Lauren is thrilled about being a Poet, including "…the great coaching staff, fun teammates and excellent education that she'll receive." The 3rd addition in the midfield is Courtney Canchola, from Rowland Heights and Freedom Futbol Club. Her work ethic and technical abilities will help bolster an already deep midfield core.
Defensive standout Leah Kolek will be adding her athletic talents to the Poet backline. Kolek, an outside or center back, competed for FRAM Soccer Club and Diamond Bar High School. She has earned various high school athletic achievements such as: 1st Team All-League, All-League CIF 2nd Team, Midfielder of the Year, Co-Captain and 4 year varsity player. Leah is also an academic standout where she earned Honor Roll all four years in High School. Leah, "…decided to come to Whittier College because it was a perfect fit for me academically and athletically. I love the environment on campus and the soccer team was really welcoming and friendly."
This season Gerardo adds two goal keepers to the squad. Caitlyn Schrepfer who competes for Tustin United and Valencia High School will push to earn a starting role in her first year at Whittier College. Schrepfer's aggressiveness, ability to read the game, and technical ability with her feet are all strengths that will help in her contributions to the program. She describes herself as someone that can, "…add some variety and motivation to the program. I'm a very dedicated player and I always strive to play at the top of my game and motivate my team to join me." The 2nd goal keeper added to the roster is Christina Prieto from La Mirada High School and Strikers FC. Prieto's contribution will be seen on a daily basis by her work ethic, ability to push herself and those around her.
Whittier opens 2014 at home as they welcome in Benedictine University on Saturday, August 30th at 7:00pm.