The UCSB women’s soccer team will add 10 freshmen for its upcoming season after the team fell two games shy of qualifying for the Big West Tournament last year. Despite losing only five seniors from the roster to graduation, this recruiting class will try to fill the holes left in the forward and backline positions.
Attempting to step up in the forward position will be Amanda Ball from Chino Hills High School, who headlines the class. Ball will have an opportunity to start right away and looks to fill the shoes of graduating senior forward Allie Ariniello, who tied for most goals on the team last year. Her athleticism and playmaking abilities up top make her a huge threat in the scoring department for UCSB.
“I think we finally bring in — in Amanda Ball — something we have not had for a while,” Head Coach Paul Stumpf said. “And that’s a very athletic, a very smart and a very technical soccer player, who is going to score a number of goals herself. But, she’s also going to attract so much attention, that I think she’s going to open up some space for some other people.”
Aside from Ball, the Gauchos turn to three more newcomers to add depth to the attacking positions. Brittney McKinney from Chaminade Prep in Woodland Hills, CA, is a player with a knack of putting the ball on frame and finished within the top 10 in her high school’s scoring list.
Jordan Alves from Mary Star of the Sea High School can play in the forward and center midfielder position and can provide some versatility in the position. The San Pedro, CA native is in the discussion for possibly earning playing time in her first year. Recently committed Zoe Purcell from Torrey Pines High School, will add another option at the forward position for UCSB.
“We have not done a great job of scoring many goals the last couple of years,” Stumpf said. “We specifically went after some goal scorers that we thought were going to help us right away.”
Defense, the strongest suit for UCSB last season, will lose three key leaders. The departure of Taylor Gehring and the Gankema twins, Paige and Lindsay, will most likely be filled by returning players, says Stumpf.
However, Chace Schornstein from Redwood High School has potential to battle for a starting role, along with Kate Shoemaker from Poway High School in San Diego. The two use their size and physicality to keep the ball away from attackers.
Despite a breakout season from junior Beth Ritter in between the goal posts last year, the Gauchos welcome three recruits in goalkeeping that can potentially threaten Ritter’s starting role. At 5’8”, Hannah Frogge from Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma has the ideal frame for a goalkeeper and has athleticism to go with it. She had an impressive 90 percent save percentage her senior year.
Remi White from Monte Vista High School and Brittney Rogers out of Murrieta Valley High School will also be in the goalkeeper rotation.
“[Frogge is] going to come in and she’s going to challenge the two returning keepers pretty much right away in goal,” Stumpf said. “The other two goal keepers coming in — Remi White and Brittney Rogers — most likely, an educated guess will tell me they’re going to be backups at least their first years.”
A version of this article appeared on page 7 of May 8, 2014′s print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of The Daily Nexus.