Golden Eagle soccer staff inks 12 newcomers for '09

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech soccer coach Becky Fletcher didn’t take the task of putting her first recruiting class together lightly, signing 12 girls to play at Tech next year. Fletcher is excited about the impact that the 2009 freshmen will make right away.

“From an attacking standpoint, we just added a lot of variety,” Fletcher said. “We can look at every single one of these young ladies and know that each one can come in and contribute immediately and that is something that we wanted with this class.”

In addition to six girls from Tennessee, Fletcher signed players from Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Hawaii, and Maine. The large incoming class gives the Golden Eagle bench some much-needed depth.

“Having some depth at each position is going to be really good for our program,” Fletcher said. “Now we are in a position that when we go to the bench the play should continue at a high level.

“We have quality with this class, not just quantity. If they live up to their potential, this class could be very special,” she added. “We feel that with the combination of our returning players and this group of signees that Tech soccer will have a little different look next fall.”

Fletcher will have her hands full in the fall, when it comes time to piece together which players fit well together, and where.

“Finding the right combination of players should be interesting,” Fletcher said. “But that’s an exciting problem to have. They’re going to have to compete to win a spot and to get playing time. I think competition is key to a successful program; competition everyday will make everyone better.”

Alex C. Stevenson
Outside back, Cleveland, Tenn.

Cleveland High School (Andy Byrd)
KFC Mustangs (Dom Maples, Mike Kelliher)

At Cleveland High School Alex was named Chattanooga best of preps in 2007. She was an all-district selection all four years, and all-region in 2007 and ’08, as well as all-state in 2008. As Co-captain of her team, Alex helped lead CHS to three straight district championships from 2006-08, and a regional championship in 2007.

Alex is a National Honor Society member, and earned the TSSAA Academic Achievement Award, as well as the team TSSAA award all four years of her career.

“Alex is very hard-working and never stops, and she has a great attitude.” Chris Walker
“She will be competing for an outside back position. She has played a variety of positions in high school and club, which shows her versatility. We think that she will be a solid addition to our backline.”

Andrea Meloff
Forward, Rochester Hills, Mich.

Rochester Adams High School (Nate Norman)
Livonia City Soccer Club (Rick Larson)

Through three seasons at Rochester Adams High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan Andrea is a three-time all-conference, all-district, and all-area selection. She has led her team in scoring all three seasons, and has 37 goals, 30 assists and 104 points in her career. Andrea has helped her high school team to a regional championship and state final-four in 2006, and a district finals appearance in 2008. On the club level, she has won one state championship, and gone to three state finals. A member of the state Olympic Development Program team since 2004, Andrea helped her team to the 2007 regional finals.

Andrea is a member of the Kick-Off Freshman Mentor Program, and a district qualifier in Business Professionals of America, and plans on majoring in marketing in the fall at Tech.

“She is a goal-scorer, and she works herself into good position. She comes from a good club, so she has always played with good players.” Chris Walker

“Andrea is a somewhat of a soccer junkie. She loves the game. Her speed and comfort level with the ball give her the ability to create opportunities for her team. She is a true front runner that loves to run at teams and can attack them in a variety of ways. We are excited about her attacking mentality.”

Jennee Kimball
Midfield/Forward, Memphis, Tenn.

Harding Academy (Justin Battleo)
Lady Lobos (Kieron Heblich)

Jennee set the career assist record at Harding Academy in Memphis, and finished her high school career at No. 3 all-time in Tennessee. She started on varsity all four years of high school, and was captain her senior season. Jennee was a first-team all-state selection in 2008 after scoring 27 goals and adding 21 assists, leading her team to the state championship title. She was also named to the Best of the Preps team in 2007 and 2008. She was also a member of the Tennessee '90 ODP team for two years.

In the classroom, Jennee is a member of National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and is the recipient of the Harding Academy Academic Scholarship. She will graduate with honors this spring.

“Jennee is a very well rounded player. Her work rate is impressive on both sides of the ball. She is very comfortable with the ball at her feet. She can take players on 1v1 and she plays a great final ball. She is a very versatile player with great athleticism. She reads the game well and makes very good decisions. We are excited about the spark that she can provide in the attacking third.”

Megan Polk
Goalkeeper, Franklin, Tenn.

Franklin High School (Jimmy Burchett)
Stones River Lady Strikers (Graham Whitehouse)

A goalkeeper from Franklin, Tenn., Megan was a co-captain at Franklin High and earned three varsity letters. She also played club soccer for Stones River Lady Strikers, and won seven Tennessee state championships. Meagan is a member of National Honor Society, and on the Principal’s List academically.

“Megan is 6-feet tall, and has solid hands. She has a good presence in the goal, and also organizes well. She is a solid keeper and we expect for there to be a great competition this fall between our keepers. ” Becky Fletcher

Kerri Reid
Midfield, Peachtree City, Ga.

McIntosh High School (Marcia Clark)
Birmingham United (Eric Dade)

A hard-working midfielder, Kerri earned the team’s sparkplug award in 2007, and impact award in 2008 at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Ga. Kerri was on the Georgia ODP state team in 2003 and 2004, went to ODP regional camp in 2005, and was an alternate in 2006. On the club level, Kerri won a state championship, and Disney championship.

“Kerri is a work horse in the center midfield. She covers a ton of ground and leaves everything on the field every time she steps out there. Her work rate is impressive. She is good technically and very comfortable with the ball. She organizes the center mid very well and looks to control the flow of the game from her position. ” Becky Fletcher

Jacquie Watkins
Mid-field, Mililani, HI

Aiea High School (Wanette Shirafuji)
Honolulu Bulls Soccer Club (Phil Neddo)

Jacquie comes to Tennessee Tech from Mililani, Hawaii, as a forward. Through three seasons at Aiea High School, she has earned all-division first and second-team honors, two team Most Outstanding Offensive Player awards, and has served as a team captain for soccer as well as cross-country. Jacquie is a six-time ODP participant, and traveled to ODP camp five times. In 2008 she was selected as one of five soccer players from Hawaii to attend region IV camp in California. She has been to two US Club U-18 National championship tournament’s, including a third place finish in 2007.

“Jacquie is a threat to score. She is aggressive, and really puts the backs under pressure. She has very good pace and a great work rate.” Becky Fletcher

Kris Cambron
Forward, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.

Notre Dame (Jim Schormerhorn)
ERSA Express ’91 (Matt Yelton)

As the 2008 Chattanooga Area Player of the Year, Kris has the ability to beat her defender 1-on-1, and has excellent skills with the ball. She was a two-time all-state selection, and team MVP in 2008 at Notre Dame in Chattanooga, leading her team to the state semi-finals four consecutive years. Played club soccer for ERSA Express ’91 and was on the Tennessee ODP state team in 2007 and 2008.

Kris is an Honor Roll student, and a member of National Honor Society and the Green and Gold club. She has also received Algebra I and Community Service awards.

“Kris is an attacking midfielder or center forward. She is very smooth technically and can hold the ball really well. She has great field vision and can play a great final ball. She also has the ability to run at players and the creativity to take on. She has a knack for scoring goals.” Becky Fletcher

Sarah Gawthrop
Forward, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Baylor School (Jimmy Weekley)
ERSA Express ’91 (Matt Yelton)

Sarah played soccer at Baylor School in Chattanooga, and was team captain in high school. Playing the forward and mid-field positions, she led her team to the state finals in 2005 and 2007, and the state semi-finals in 2006. In 2007 Sarah was named all-region first-team and "Best of the Preps" second-team. She also played club soccer for East Ridge Express ’91, and played for the Tennessee ODP state team for two years. Sarah also competed in track, and was the 2008 400-Meter and 4-by-1 relay state champion.

“Sarah has played a lot of different positions at the club level, which gives her a comfort level with the ball at her feet. She will be competing for an outside back position. She has really good speed and can serve a great ball. She will be a very solid outside back that has the ability to get forward to start our attack.” Becky Fletcher

Leigh Heffner
Defender, Arvada, Colo.

Faith Christian High School (Amber Jenkins)
Real Colorado Athletico (Brian Haynes)

Leigh comes to Tennessee Tech from Arvada, Colo., where she played high school soccer at Faith Christian High School. Through three seasons, she has been named Faith Defensive player of the year three times. A second-team all-state selection in 2008 Leigh was team captain, and led her team to a state championship in 2008. Leigh has been a member of National Honor Society since 2007.

“Leigh is very athletic and has a very strong presence as a center back. She is good in the air and reads the game very well. She organizes well and is very comfortable with the ball at her feet. She is very composed and does a great job of possessing the ball. She tackles hard and positions herself well. She will be another great addition to our backline.” Becky Fletcher

Emily Homan
Midfield, Naperville, Ill.

Naperville North High School (Brent Terada)
Eclipse Select (Mike Nesci)

Emily is a mid-fielder who led her team in assists at Naperville North High School in Naperville, Ill. A four-year starter, she led her team to conference and regional championships in 2007. Emily was also a two-time academic all-conference selection.

“Emily comes from one of the top club teams in the country, and she plays at a very high level. She is a flank player that has good speed and is very good with the ball at her feet. She works extremely hard and will bring some variety to our attack.” Becky Fletcher

Julie Thompson
Center-Mid, Knoxville, Tenn.

Christian Academy of Knoxville (Nathan Pifer)
SMSC Clazeiro (Antonio Almeida)

Julie is a three-time all-district, all-region, and all-state selection, and a two-time state champion at Christian Academy of Knoxville, and helped her team to an undefeated season in 2006. She was a first-team all-prep extra in 2008, and second-team all-prep extra in 2007. In three years, Julie has scored 37 goals, and has 20 assists.

“Julie is another great addition to our midfield. We plan on her playing more of a holding/defensive mid position. She is scrappy and does a great job of winning 50/50 balls. She sees the field well and does a very good job of positioning herself. She is good technically and makes good decisions.” Becky Fletcher

Cassie Lyons
Outside back, South Portland, Maine

South Portland High School (Andy Pappas)
Maine Coast United (Jon Meek)

Cassie is a defensive specialist, and received the Defensive MVP award in 2007 and 2008. She was also team captain in 2008, and a member of the quarterback club. Cassie has been a member of National Honor Society since 2007, and was a Dirigo Girls State alternate in 2007.

“Cassie is an athletic outside back. She has good speed and is comfortable with the ball at her feet. She reads the game well and tackles hard. She can also serve a very good ball. She is a great addition to our backline.”