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SDSU Women's Soccer Signs Seven to NLIs

SDSU head coach Mike Friesen signed seven athletes to NLIs and added a transfer from UCLA.
SDSU head coach Mike Friesen signed seven athletes to NLIs and added a transfer from UCLA.

Feb. 3, 2011

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's soccer program signed seven standouts to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, and added one transfer, head coach Mike Friesen announced. The incoming class will be on campus in time for the 2011 season, one in which the Aztecs will look to capture a Mountain West Conference championship and return to the NCAA tournament.

One the first day of the signing period, SDSU inked Kelsey Booth, Mariah Helmer, Hannah Keane, Sarah Klein, Haley Locker, Racquel Rodgers, Melanie Vaughn and added Sophie Metz.

"We are very excited about the incoming class," Friesen said. "Not only are there some very good players in the group, there are some exceptional students and people. We value our team chemistry and feel like every one of these players will add to our team dynamic."

Booth comes to Montezuma Mesa from Clayton Valley High School in Concord, Calif. A four-year varsity starter, she led the team to four league championships and was named league MVP her junior season. Her club team, the highly regarded Mustang Earthquakes, won numerous tournament championships, including The Mustang Stampede tournament and Surf Cup as well as the 2010 GSSL Championship.

"Kelsey is a technical player that will be able to play up top and in the midfield for us," Friesen said. "She is creative and hard working, which I believe will make her a successful college player."

Hailing from Mission Viejo, Calif, Helmer signs with San Diego State out of Mission Viejo High School. The Slammers FC member has led her club team to a top-three finish in the regional tournament and captured the prestigious Surf Cup tournament championship four times. A team captain of her high school, Mission Viejo plays in the most competitive league in southern California and captured the league crown in 2009.

"Mariah is very good on the ball, which will give her an opportunity to play in the midfield for us, as well as at center back," Friesen said. "She is a solid defender, and reads the game very well."

Keane, a forward from McClatchy High School in Sacramento, Calif., brings club experience from the California Rush. The ODP regional camp attendee led her club team in points and assists and led them to the championship of the Cal Cup and the NorCal Premier Fall League. A member of ESPN's ESP camp, and a state ODP member, Keane led the Sac-Joaquin Section with 48 goals as a junior.

"Hannah is a true goal scorer," said Friesen. "She has knack for the goal, which is something that you can't teach. She has good speed and size and I think that she will add to our attack immediately."

Klein commits to San Diego State out of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Wash. Klein plays her club soccer with Seattle United Copa, and before that the Emerald City FC. As club team captain, she garnered the club's "Pivotal Player" award. The Seattle Times honored her high school endeavors on the pitch, while she was also the varsity football team's kicker during her sophomore year.

"Sarah is a solid player that will compete on our backline," Friesen stated. "Sarah has a great work ethic, and is not afraid of a challenge. She has good size and speed and will do very well for us."

Locker, a forward from Seattle, Wash, comes to San Diego with an impressive resume in multiple sports. On the soccer field, the Ferndale High team captain was named to the 3A state team. As a member of the Emerald City FC, Locker was a member of a state championship team as well as a Far West Region Quarterfinalist. The 2010 NW Conference Female Athlete of the Year, Locker has lettered in basketball and track, where she has finished in the top three in the state in the 100m.

"Haley will be the fastest player that we have had at SDSU," Friesen said. "Her speed will be an asset for us, and will give us a chance to stretch teams out. She has the ability to score goals and create goals with penetrating runs. She has had a limited time in club soccer, so we believe that she will just keep getting better every day."

Rodgers joins the Aztecs locally from Serra High School in San Diego. Rodgers played club soccer with Nott's Forest Football Club and the San Diego Surf Girls Premier Elite, where she won the Presidio League title in 2010 and competed in the regional tournament. As a midfielder and defender, Rodgers has served as team captain the last two seasons and garnered the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2010. An all-CIF field hockey player, she has also been named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team.

"We are excited to have another San Diego player on our team," said Friesen. "Raquel will look to contribute as a wide player for us, either on the back line or up top. She has good size and speed and provides good service with her left foot."

Vaughn, a goalkeeper from Lakewood, Calif., currently attends St. Joseph High School and plays for the Wolfpack Soccer Club. She helped her club team to a top-50 national ranking. A three-year varsity starter, she has been named the Defensive Player of the Year as a goalkeeper, as well as seeing limited time on the field as a striker. In her current high school season, she has only allowed six goals through 16 games, and as a forward in limited action, has scored three.

"Melanie will look to compete for a starting position in the goal right away," Friesen said. "She is a great athlete, which gives her the ability to cover more ground than most keepers. She gets better every time I see her play and we are excited to see how she will develop."

In addition to the seven signees, SDSU added Metz, a transfer from UCLA, who is currently enrolled at San Diego State. The midfielder from Pleasanton, Calif., played her freshman season with the Bruins, starting in multiple games as the team advanced to the College Cup. As a club member of the Pleasanton Rage, Metz was named one of the top prep athletes in the Bay Area in 2008. She captained her high school team, Foothill High School, to a No. 1 national ranking and was a member of the ODP state team and regional player pool.

"Sophie has experience as a starter at UCLA on a team that went to the Final Four," said Friesen. "She will come in and give us quality minutes in the midfield and on the back line. She is a technical player, a very good ball striker and has some leadership qualities as well.

"We feel like we gained a lot of experience with a young team last season," Friesen said. "And now we add in a very good recruiting class as well as the return of 2009 MWC Offensive Player of the Year Cat Walker and one of the best soccer players on the team, Tiffany Hurst, after they redshirted the 2010 season, and we feel like we are in a position to have an outstanding year. We are approaching our spring training with that attitude and cannot wait to add these young ladies to the mix."