TULSA, Okla. - The Oral Roberts women's soccer staff is proud to announce the incoming class for the 2013 season.
Joining the program will be nine freshmen and one transfer, including five from within the borders of Oklahoma, three from Texas, one from California, another from Illinois and an international athlete.
"As a staff, we are overwhelmed with the quality of this class," head coach Ryan Bush said on Wednesday. "The first of many impressive attributes of this class is the work they've done in the classroom. This class is arguably the strongest academic class coming into the program."
"We want student-athletes who get it done on and off the field. These student-athletes are great representatives of ORU as an institution, the overall athletic program and the women's soccer program as a whole."
Signees of national letters of intent include: Kaily Cox, Jenks, Okla. (transfer from Depaul); Chablee Sanders, Stillwater, Okla.; Mallory Bourgeois, Jenks, Okla.; Kirstie Wilburn, Tulsa, Okla.; Amy Carroll, Owasso, Okla.; Brigitte Taylor, Tulsa, Okla.; Kellye Oakman, Alvarodo, Texas; Tahlor Lyman, North Richland Hills, Texas; Hannah Briggs, Friendswood, Texas; Alexia Herrera, Laredo, Texas; Megan Guigo, San Diego, Calif.; Cathryn Sherman; Algonquin, Ill.
"They are the deepest class we've brought into the program in four years," Bush went on to say. "They possess size, strength, speed and are all round very good soccer players."
"We are very excited to add these student-athletes to our soccer family, and to continue the success of our program in all areas."
The Golden Eagles picked up a transfer in Kaily Cox from Depaul. Cox saw action in five contests last season for the Blue Demons, netting a goal in a victory over Ohio. A member of the 2009 Jenks state championship team, Cox was a four year letterwinner for the Trojans, receiving All-State and All-District honors. She also excelled on the volleyball court and in cross country.
BUSH ON KAILY: "Kaily is a very dynamic player who will compete right away. We will look to her to feel in the gap from a couple of our graduating seniors. She is very composed on the ball and is an excellent player. She's very crafty and has the ability to break the game down off the dribble and pass. Kaily will make an immediate impact this upcoming season."
Adding an in-state signee, the Golden Eagles inked Chablee Sanders from Stillwater. Sanders played on the backline and midfield for the WSA 95 club team out of Northeastern Oklahoma. A multi-sport athlete, Sanders also excelled in track and cross country, lettering in each year during her high school career. Sanders, who plans to major in health and exercise science at ORU, received the honor of academic all-state in both soccer and track.
BUSH ON CHABLEE: "Chablee is and outstanding competitor, top notch athlete and will easily test out as one of the top athletes in the program right away. She has a tremendous work ethic, which fits the culture of our program. She's a fierce defender and a top class competitor. We are always excited to add players which Chablee's attitude into the team."
Mallory Bourgeois, a local product out of Jenks, signed her letter of intent to play for the Golden Eagles. She is a three year letter winner at one of the larger high schools in Oklahoma, helping her squad to a district championship. A member of the TSC Hurricanes 95 Shubert club team, her squad participated in the Elite Clubs National League championships and played in 2 national championship games and was ranked as high as #1 in the nation.
BUSH ON MALLORY: "Mallory is an excellent back with a great ability to read the game. Mallory is tall and ahs the unique ability to reach a large portion of the field with her kicking. Her strong physical presence and ability to read the game will help her compete immediately for playing time. Complimenting her play on the field, Mallory also gets it down in the classroom, posing a 28 ACT score and is ranked in the top third of her class."
Kirstie Wilburn decided to stay and play for her hometown Golden Eagles, signing a letter of intent with ORU. She comes to ORU after playing her high school soccer at Bishop Kelley, having tremendous success as the Comets won three state championships, including 2010 and 2011 in 5A and most recently in 2012 at the 6A level. In 2012, she was named to the All-District team, as well as All-Metro second team. Wilburn played for the Tulsa Hurricane SC in Tulsa.
BUSH ON WILBURN: "We are excited about Kirstie because she's a very dynamic player. She has an exceptional attitude and is a tenacious competitor. She will come in right away and compete for playing time anywhere in the defense or midfield. Kirstie is another player who adds a lot to our program immediately because of her work rate and attitude. She is a great academic student, posting a 3.98 GPA. We are excited to add student-athletes who are excellent on and off the field."
Joining her sister Rachel on the ORU roster will be Owasso, Okla., native Amy Carroll. The midfielder was the team captain for the NOAH Jaguars under the direction of David Perryman, and played club soccer for Blitz United Soccer Club '95 Navy.
BUSH ON CARROLL: "We will look for Amy to follow in her sister's footsteps. Amy has great character and an exceptional work ethic. She can serve the ball very well from the wide part of the field and has the ability to take players on. She's creative and can be a scoring threat off free kicks. We are excited to add her into our soccer family. She carries a 4.0 GPA and is an excellent all around student-athlete."
Submitting her letter of intent with the Golden Eagles on Wednesday was Kellye Oakman of Alvarado, Texas. In 2012, Oakman was named the most valuable player in District 8-3A, as well as All-District First Team. She has been named to the All-District first team three times, including defensive MVP in 2011 and defensive newcomer of the year in 2010. Oakman has also achieved much success with her club programs.
BUSH ON KELLYE: "Kellye is an exceptional player and has a lot of solid tools that will help her compete at the Division I level. She has good size and strength, but can really settle down and connect passes very well. It is hard to find players with both the physical presence but can fit into a possession style system. Kellye has all the soccer tools needed to come in and compete right away for playing time on both the backline and in the defensive midfield. She's an outstanding academic student who will make a positive impact on the program right away."
Also playing her club soccer in the ECNL, FC Dallas '95 member Tahlor Lyman signed with ORU. Lyman lettered all four years in both soccer and cross country at Richmond High School in Texas. The North Richmond Hills native is an outstanding student off the field, being named to the academic all-district team, participating in the distinguished achievement program and named an AP scholar with honor. Lyman's father, Stephen, also attended ORU.
BUSH ON LYMAN: "Tahlor is an exciting addition to our 2013 squad. Tahlor will make an argument to be the fastest player in the program. She is very explosive and has the ability to make the game happen on her own. Tahlor will have a positive impact right away in the attacking part of the field. With her athleticism, she has the ability to immediately come in and produce offensively."
Megan Guico will join the Golden Eagle program following the completion of her high school career at Patrick Henry High School in San Diego, Calif. The forward, midfielder combo was named the most valuable player and team captain for her high school squad. Guico plans to major in biomedical chemistry.
BUSH ON GUICO: "Megan is a very dynamic player who has played a number of positions at the competitive level. Megan is a very creative player and is very composed. We are excited and she will fit in well with our system and style of play. Megan played for the prestigious Albion Soccer club who qualified and competed in the National League and National Cup. Megan is another one who is very good academically and adds to the quality of this class."
Illinois native Cathryn Sherman inked with the Golden Eagles on Wednesday, bringing a successful high school career to Tulsa. Playing for Anthony Cappello at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Ill., she was named All-Conference and was an All-Area mention in 2012, helping her squad to the district championship that season. In 2011, she was played with the Chicago Fire Jr.'s who competed in the Elite Club's National League that was State Cup Runner-Up. Off the field, Sherman is an Illinois State Scholar and among the top three-percent in her 500-plus graduating class.
BUSH ON CATIE: "We are excited about adding Catie to our backline. She is a strong physical presence, but is very technical and connects passes very well. She is a good all around player and can play in the midfield or the backline. The great thing about Catie is she can defend and connect out of the back with fits our system. She comes from one of the top ECNL teams in the Midwest and has a lot of experience that will help her complete right away."
The Golden Eagles added an international signee on signing day, receiving a letter of intent from Maria Stordahl of Levanger, Norway.Stordahl comes from one of the top soccer leagues in Norway, competing with Kattem IL in the Toppserien league. Her scholastic program also had success, winning the district championship in 2009, reaching the National Cup championship game the same season, as well as 2011.
BUSH ON MARIA: "We are very excited that Maria made the decision to join our soccer family. She competes in the prestigious Toppserien which is the top shelf league in Norway. Maria's team made it all the way to National Cup finals in 2009 showing the level of experience she will bring right away. Maria is a very impressive student athlete who will fit right in with our soccer family."
A native of Tulsa, Brigitte Taylor is currently in her senior season as a forward and midfield combo at Union High School. She helped the Redskins to a pair of district championships and reached the state championship twice. Taylor was an all-conference performer and was also named to the all-district team. Taylor played club soccer under Kerry Shurbert with the TSC Hurricane ’95 Shubert team in the ECNL, helping them to US Youth National League Championship in 2010-11. Her club team has won the Oklahoma state championship in their respective divisions from 2007-12.
Alexia Herrera is set to join the Golden Eagles by way of United High School in Laredo, Texas. A four year letter winner, Herrera has been a part of an undefeated district and bi-district championship teams. She was named first team all-district, all-city most valuable player and her team’s player of the year in 2012 as the top goal scorer. Herrera played club soccer for the Laredo Heat under Israel Collazo.