DES MOINES, IOWA – Drake head women’s soccer coach Corbin Stone has announced the signing of eight student-athletes to play soccer for the Bulldogs starting in the 2007 season.
Katie Anderson (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North), Jessica Bolinger (Phoenix, Ariz./Cactus), Abi Dodds (Topeka, Kan./Hayden), Bailey Dorrington (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier), Megan Masada (Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln East), Amanda Schultz (Leawood, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), Kristy Talbert (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay) and Ali Walsh (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central), committed to play soccer for coach Stone at Drake in the fall.
“With this class, we have collected perhaps the best group of students, players and athletes ever for Drake,” said Stone. “We have pace and athleticism coupled with soccer ability and potential. What I like most about this group is that all these players have room to grow and mature as soccer players and athletes.”
Dodds was a three-year captain and two-year first team all-state selection for Hayden High School in Topeka, Kan. She helped lead the KCFC Futuras to Kansas State Cup championships in 2004 and 2005 with a return trip to the finals in 2006. She was a member of the Kansas State ODP from 2001-05. She was also a captain of the 4A state champion basketball squad and its starting point guard.
“Our last recruit from Topeka, Kristin Underwood (Kat) was an ESPN Academic All-American. We believe has the potential to be as accomplished a student-athlete as Kat. However, where Kat was one of our best athletes, Abi will be one of our brightest, tactically astute central midfielders,” said Stone. “She has great ideas and outstanding technique, making her a fine replacement for Mallory McGannon.”
Schultz a five-foot-five midfielder/defender was a four-year varsity player and led St. Thomas Aquinas to Kansas State Championships in 2005 and 2006 and a No. 2 ranking in the country by the NSCAA. She was a second-team All-State selection in 2006 and helped lead her club team to the Kansas State Cup Championship in 2005.
“Knowing that we will not have to play against Amanda next year is a relief, since she can be very dangerous,” said Stone. “ Capable of attacking or defending, she is an athletic wide player who can play in the midfield or in the back. She is the third KCFC player we will have had on our roster, which means she will be prepared for the college game. She will look to fill holes left by the departure of Else Rau and Melissa Nelson, both of whom were wide versatile athletes who could defend and attack.”
Walsh was named Offensive MVP of Hazelwood Central as a sophomore and junior, she recorded 36 goals and 38 assists in her first three years in high school. She was a member of the eight-year running Missouri State Champion St. Louis Soccer Club and a member of the Missouri State Olympic Development Program (ODP) team from 2003-05.
“The last two years, we have watched Ali terrorize defenses with her deft touches, tremendous pace and attacking mentality,” commented Stone. “Whether up front or wide out, she knows how to make the right runs and break down sophisticated defenses. She will make the perfect complement to our target forwards, Sarah Foote and Liz Woerle. I am confident that come conference time, Ali will be creating chances for the team.”
Dorrington comes to Drake from Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she was a two-time captain and helped lead the team to state championships in 2006 and 2004 and an appearance in the state finals in 2005. In her time with the soccer team, she was on first-team All-State in 2005 and 2006 and was named to the All-Tournament team from 2004-06. On the Club side, she was a member of the Cedar River Soccer Association from 1998-2005 and helped win State Cup Championships in 2000-2002 and 2005. She was also a member of the Iowa State ODP Team from 1998-2004. Interestingly enough, she also won two basketball state championships, most recently in 2006.
“I have known Bailey for almost nine years. Even when I worked with her as a youth player she always impressed me with her athleticism, soccer ability and attitude. She can pull the strings in central midfield, run at defenders out wide or slash and play as a target up front,” said Stone. “Bailey will make an immediate impact. It is worth pointing out that she has been on several occasions to the state tournament in track, soccer and basketball; that kind of winning attitude and experience will make a difference at Drake.”
Phoenix, Ariz. native Bolinger was a captain for Cactus High School from 2005-06 where she led her team to state semifinal appearances in 2003-04 and 2005-06. She was a member of Sereno 89 White club team, which won the Arizona State Cup Championship in 2004 and appeared in the Region IV Championship Semifinals. She was also a member of the Arizona 89 ODP Team in 2004.
“We are excited to have another player from Sereno. Sereno does an outstanding job of developing thoughtful, skillful soccer players who understand what it means to compete at the highest level,” commented Stone. “The Sereno Club experience should help Jessica bring a more composed presence to our young back line. Perhaps she will play alongside Katie Sauer, our returning center-back from Sereno; they would make quite a pair. I look forward to seeing how Jessica will impact our team this fall, as she certainly has the potential to help us right away.”
Talbert helped lead FC Milwaukee to Wisconsin State Cup Championships in 1999, 2002, 2004-06. She was a member of the Wisconsin 88’ ODP Team from 200-06 and is the captain of Whitefish Bay High School for 2007.
“Kristy comes from a great soccer tradition in Whitefish Bay and FC Milwaukee,” said Stone. “She is a tough, hard-nosed competitor who can disrupt attacks in the middle of the field, she will add some much needed discipline and intensity to our defending. Every team needs an enforcer.”
Masada helped lead Lincoln East High School in Lincoln, Neb. to State Championships in 2004-05 while also a member of the Sparta Velocity Club Team, which earned Nebraska State Cup Championships in 2004-05. She was also a three-year letter winner in basketball and led her volleyball team to the state finals in 2004-05.
Megan is one of those players who has been flying under the radar because of her participation in many sports,” said Stone. “A talented multi-sport athlete, she has competed with some of the best athletes in Nebraska in volleyball, basketball and soccer. Having attended our camp this past summer, she demonstrated her versatility to play in central defense or as a holding central midfielder. She is tall, athletic, strong and good in the air.”
Anderson was named MVP of Naperville North in 2006. She also helped lead her team to a final four appearance at the Illinois State Tournament in 2004 while earning All-City honors by the Naperville Sun the same year and was a member of Illinois State ODP Team from 2003-06.
“We are thrilled to have Katie join us. She is capable of playing a variety of positions, but due to her pace we will probably play her up front,” concluded Stone. “She reminds me a lot of Melissa Nelson, a fast gifted athlete who has enormous room for growth as a soccer player. Katie will surprise a lot of teams next year.”
“Anderson has ACC pace, Walsh has Big Ten moxie and athleticism, Dorrington has Big 12 size and athleticism, while Bolinger and Dodds bring a tactically sophisticated and technically mature approach to the game,” commented Stone. “In addition, we have great versatility in Schultz-to defend and attack out wide with pace, Talbert - to do whatever it takes to win the ball, and Masada – to use size and athleticism in central defense. Most of all, this class is not afraid to bring a determination to succeed and compete anywhere on the field using their unique individual talents. Our upperclassmen will need to work hard over the summer to compete for spots in the starting lineup this fall.”