Friesen Announces 2014 Women's Soccer Signing Class
Feb. 13, 2014
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's soccer team and head coach Mike Friesen are pleased to welcome six new Aztecs to the program as they recently signed their National Letters of Intent. The signing class will be on campus for the 2014 season and will join a program that has won back-to-back Mountain West regular-season and tournament championships, and made consecutive NCAA appearances.
"We are excited about the direction our program is going," Friesen said. "This past season saw our team battle back from a demanding non-conference schedule, where we were playing good soccer just not getting results. One of the values of our program is resiliency and hard work, and to see the team rebound from the tough start to win the conference and league tournament was really fun. But we continue to set high goals for ourselves and our returning group has already started working toward those goals. We are really excited about adding this group for what they bring on and off the field.
"A huge thank you goes to associate head coach Juan Pablo Favero for his work in the recruiting process," Friesen added. "He plays an invaluable role in the process, as does our current team, which goes out of their way to not just meet and host recruits, but represents our school and program so well."
Angela Mitchell comes to Montezuma Mesa from Corona, Calif., and Roosevelt High School. She plays her club soccer with the Legends FC, which won the 2012 USYS national championship and was the 2013 USYS Region 4 champion. She was also a state finalist in track and a scholar-athlete. Mitchell is no stranger to SDSU, as her father, Mario Mitchell, was a standout defensive back for the Aztecs in the 1980s. All four of Mitchell's older siblings have played Division I athletics. When asked why she chose SDSU, Mitchell explained, "I've wanted to go to SDSU since I was in the fourth grade. I love the area and I've always been a fan of the soccer team."
"Angela will add a lot of pace to our front line," Friesen said. "She has the ability to change the game quickly with her speed. Angela also has a great work rate and we are excited to see what that combination will bring to our team."
Aliyah Utush, from Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif., joins the Aztecs with experience in national camps and the id2 program, and plays her club soccer with the San Juan Soccer Club, the same club that produced Aztec great Cat Walker and current team member Julia Platter. She is a league MVP who chose SDSU because "not only do I love the area, but I love the school. It has been my dream school since I was a kid and when I was given the opportunity to become an Aztec I couldn't pass it up. I also really love the coaching staff."
"Aliyah will be a great threat on our front line," Friesen said. "She seems to score goals every time I see her play. Her work rate on both sides of the ball will give us another great option up top."
Hailing from Alta Loma High School in Alta Loma, Calif., Stacie Moran has been on the ODP State and Regional Team Rosters since 2009. She plays club for Inland Empire Surf and was named the U16 National Presidents Cup MVP. She chose SDSU because "the coaching, location and soccer program all seemed to be the best fit for me. They also have the nursing program I need in order to achieve my career choice."
"Stacie is an athletic and technical player," Friesen said. "She has the ability to play in many places on the field and we will look to use her versatility. Stacie has played at a very high level and we anticipate that will serve her well with her transition to SDSU."
An ODP Regional Camp member since 2010, Xochi Hunter comes to San Diego State from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. A native Milpitas, Calif., Hunter plays club soccer for the Mustang Fury, the same club that produced former SDSU standouts such as Aubree Southwick, Michaela DeJesus, Heather Vandevanter and current Aztec Kelsey Booth. Hunter was a 2012 ECNL PDP participant and an all-league player while at St. Francis. She picked the Aztecs because "Coach Friesen has won many awards and I've had the pleasure to experience his coaching first-hand. The city of San Diego is beautiful year round and I will have family in the area. The academics are also excellent."
"Xochi is a very technical player," Friesen said. "She is also creative on the ball and will add to the style of possession that we play. We feel like Xochi has a big up side and we are excited to see her put the work in to accomplish great things."
Hailey Balma, from Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif., also plays club soccer for the Mustang club and is a scholar-athlete who has participated on regional teams and has been a member of the Cal North State Team as well as a US Soccer USSF Training invitee. Her high school team, which she captains, is currently ranked No. 7 in the country. Her Mustang team was a three-time State Cup champion and advanced to the Far West regional finals in 2009.
Balma on San Diego State: "There are many reasons I felt that SDSU was the school for me. San Diego State has an incredible soccer team, which I am very honored to be a part of, consisting of great players and an amazing coaching staff. The campus is beautiful, the location is perfect, the university's academics are very impressive and the students I've met so far are just as great as the school itself. I cannot wait to be a part of such an incredible team and family."
"Hailey will bring a great work rate with her to SDSU," Friesen said. "We have watched her develop over the past year, and it has been noticeable how hard she has worked on her fitness and her game. We are excited to have a player that is motivated to make herself the best she can be."
Originally from Apple Valley, Calif., Katie Saavedra currently attends Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, Calif. She plays her club soccer for Laguna Hills Eclipse East where she is team captain. While at Granite Hills High, she was team captain for a squad that won league three straight years and was a CIF finalist in 2011. Saavedra has been both an all-league and all-CIF player in high school. She chose SDSU "not only for the beautiful location, but also for the ecstatic feeling I got when I visited the campus and stayed with a few of my future teammates. I absolutely love the coaches as well as the team. They are all so awesome. I could tell right away when I got on campus and stepped on the field that SDSU was the place for me."
"I have seen great leadership characteristics in Katie," Friesen said. "Her ability to win balls in the midfield will be crucial to our success going forward. Katie is also a box-to-box player and very dangerous going forward. We believe that Katie will make an immediate impact this fall."
Also joining this class is redshirt freshman Erika Leal, from Carlsbad, Calif., and the Surf Soccer Club, who sat out this past season while recovering from a knee injury. "We really missed having Erika on the field this past fall," Friesen said. "We were looking forward to her contribution to our team, but are excited to have her healthy and a part of this already strong class.
"This group is one of the most talented classes that we have had in my time at SDSU. We believe that the character of each of these players will make this class very successful. The foundation that has been laid by the current players and the players that have come through this program will give this group a head start. I am very excited to see where they will help lead us."