Corvallis, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s soccer team has signed 11 players to National Letters of Intent, Head Coach Linus Rhode announced last week.
The signing class includes Natalie Higgins, Nikki Faris, Emma Bergstrom, Kayla Latham, Miranda Stiver, Jessika Martinez, Madison Misi, Anabella Geist, Kelsea Matthews, Emma Jones, and transfer Amanda Tewes.
Higgins, a forward and San Clemente native, is a three-time varsity letter-winner at San Clemente High School. She currently plays for West Coast, helping her team to a third place finish at Nationals in 2011. Higgins was also a member of the Cal South Olympic Development (ODP) Team from 2010-11, helping earn a Region IV Championship and second place finish at Nationals.
“She is an attacking midfielder/forward, she’s a creator, and she’s a finisher. So we’re looking for her to bring that to our team and to provide opportunities for other players to find the net,” Rhode said.
Faris, an attacking midfielder from San Clemente, is also a three-year varsity letter-winner at San Clemente High School. She spent most of her club years with the So Cal Blues and earned two State Championships, before transitioning to West Coast in 2013. Faris was named a First Team All-County player in Orange County in 2013 and spent two years in the Cal South ODP summer pool.
“From what we’ve seen of her, she’s extremely fast, powerful, and can score goals and create goals. We’re looking for her to bring that in as a freshman,” Rhode said.
Bergstrom, a Washington Native, is a midfielder and three-year varsity letter-winner at Interlake High School, where she was the back-to-back leading goal scorer in 2011 and 2012. She currently plays for Crossfire Premier, helping her team to a State Championship in 2006 and the State Finals from 2008-10. Bergstrom was also selected to the GU-15 ECNL All-Event Team as a forward.
“She plays defensive center mid and is very strong on the tackle, a good passer of the ball, and good in the air. So we’re looking for her to come in as a freshman and bring some physicality in that midfield for us,” Rhode said.
Latham is a midfielder from Colorado, and earned First and Second Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State honors for Dakota Ridge High School 2011-12. She currently plays for Colorado Rush, helping her team earn a U14 National Championship and nine other tournament championships. Latham was also a member of the Gothia World Youth Cup Championship Team in 2010, and a three-year member of the Colorado ODP team
“She is an attacking midfielder and has had stints with the US ID camps through ECNL. She can play both attacking and defensive mid and has very good field vision,” Rhode said.
Stiver, another California native, is currently a midfielder for Slammers FC, and has played for them since 2011. She has helped her team to three Elite Clubs National League Finals. Stiver also has two varsity letters at Corona Del Mar High School, earning 2011-2012 All-CIF Team recognition and helping her team to the league quarter finals in 2012. She also has varsity letters in track and field and cross country, earning All-CIF Team recognition.
“She is an extremely fast and tenacious player that can play in an attacking role or defending role. We are looking for her to bring that versatility next year as a freshman,” Rhode said.
Martinez is a Northern California recruit and currently plays attacking midfielder for Lamorinda United, helping her team to two US Club West Region Championships in 2012 and 2013, a State Championship in 2013, and an NPL National Championship in 2013. Martinez was a member of the Cal North ODP Team from 2009-12, and has three varsity letters at San Ramon Valley High School.
“She is a very good dribbler and creator coming out of the midfield or as a striker. She can go to goal, she’s dynamic, and we’re looking forward to that,” Rhode said.
Misi is an Oregon Native and was recruited as a forward from the Westside Timber in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. She has three varsity letters for Southridge High School, and was named Most Valuable Player in 2012, Best Defensive Player in 2011, and Most Improved Player in 2010. Misi was also named one of INWsoccernews WPSL Northwest’s “Best XI in reserve” after tallying three goals for her the Westside Timbers in 2013.
“She is a target forward, very powerful and strong. She is very aggressive and isn’t afraid to be physical, and she can score goals in the air or off the ground with accuracy and power,” Rhode said.
Geist is also an Oregon native and is currently a goalkeeper for Crossfire Oregon, helping her team to the state finals in 2013. She was also a member of the Oregon ODP Team for four year. Geist plays for Putnam High School, helping lead her team to the state quarterfinals the last three years, also being named a three-time All-Conference First Team selection and NWOC “Player of the Year” 2012 and 2013. Geist also has three varsity letters as a kicker for the football team and was named NWOC’s top PAT kicker, earning First Team honors.
“She’s a tremendous goalkeeper; good size, good hands, and she’s good with her feet, both from the ground and from her hands. She had a stint with some of the youth national camps and we’re looking for her to come in and compete right away,” Rhode said.
Matthews, a defender and California native, plays for Real So Cal in the ECNL. She helped her team to a Coast Soccer League Championship in 2010-11 and an ECNL National Championship in 2011-12. Matthews has also been a varsity starter for Royal High School since her freshman year, helping her team to two consecutive CIF playoffs. She was also named one of four team captains in 2013-14.
“She can play anywhere in the midfield and anywhere in the back. She’s also has tremendous speed and can strike a ball with very good accuracy and distance; she’s a good crosser of the ball. We are looking for her to bring that for us out wide as a full back,” Rhode said.
Jones, an international player from England, is a forward and currently plays for Reading FC in the FA Women’s Premier League, making appearance for the first team during the 2012-13 season. She has helped her team win the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire County Cup in 2012 and 2013, and win their division in 2012-13. Jones has eight CAPS for the U19 Wales National Team, helping her team to the 2013 UEFA U19 European Championships. She also plays for John Madejski Academy, leading her team to the British College Sport Elite Cup in 2013, and was named “Academy Player of the Year” in 2012-13 after scoring 35 goals that season.
“She’s a striker and she can score from the ground or in the air. She also played for Wales in the U19 Championships. We are looking for her to come in and make an impact as a freshman,” Rhode said.
Tewes, a midfielder and transfer from Ventura College in California, just finished her sophomore year for the Pirates. The 2013 season she tallied a team-high six goals and was given All-Western State Conference First Team honors, and 2012, she was named to the conference’s first team as a freshman. A Buena High School graduate, Tewes was named Channel League’s Most Valuable Player during her senior year. Prior to committing to Ventura College, Tewes played for the Eagles Soccer Club, helping her team to a Surf College Cup Championship in 2010, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country.
“She will be a holding mid or center back for us,” Rhode said. “What we liked about her in particular is that she is hard-nosed, a good tackler, and a very good passer.”
These 11 players will be added to Oregon State’s roster in the fall of 2014.