NORMAN, Okla. Oklahoma soccer coach Randy Evans announced Friday that five high schoolers have signed national letters of intent to play for the Sooners beginning next season. The class consists of four student-athletes from Texas, one from Oklahoma and another from California. The newcomers should provide immediate help to a Sooners defense that lost three key players to graduation.
“The top priority of the ’05 class was to bring in defenders because we had anticipated the need to replace three out of the four starters in the back from last season (Erin Young, Samantha Faulkner, Kirstin Karfonta),” commented Evans. “We accomplished that goal with four out of five incoming freshmen being defenders and we also added a terrific attacking personality. We are thrilled to be able to add the size, speed and overall ability of this class to our squad. All five players should have an immediate impact with as many as four projected into this fall’s starting lineup.”
Following is a look at what Evans had to say about each of next season’s prospects:
5’9” - Defender - Southlake, Texas
- Ajufo (pronounced “a-JOO-fo”) attends Carroll Senior High and plays club soccer for Dallas Inter Blue 87.
Coach Evans: “Helen reminds me of a shut-down cornerback in football. She plays an outside back position and doesn’t let anyone come down her side of the field with the ball. She is a terrific athlete that also has a great sophistication on the ball. She has the ability to come in and start right away.”
5’8” - Forward/Midfielder - Oklahoma City
- Cook attends Edmond Memorial High and plays club soccer for NOCK United 87.
Coach Evans: “Lauren will add a dynamic element to next year’s team. She is dangerous in the attack and applies relentless pressure on the ball defensively. Lauren will, without hesitation, sacrifice her body to make the play. She should be able to step in and be one of our top forwards or midfielders.”
5’8” - Defender - Highland Village, Texas
- Corbit attends Marcus High and plays club soccer for Solar.
Coach Evans: “Katie is a strong and tenacious defender with the athleticism to compete for a spot in her first year. She is a player with great determination, work rate and good knowledge of the game. You can tell that the transition to college is going to be an easy one for her.”
5’5” - Defender - Placentia, Calif.
- Attends El Dorado High and plays club soccer for The Slammers.
Coach Evans: “Traci is a fantastic athlete. In addition to being a highly recruited soccer player, she was also a top softball recruit and will play both sports at OU. Traci is a hard-nosed defender, tremendous in the air and has the ability to effectively attack out of the back. I don’t see her being left out of the starting lineup.”
5’8” - Defender - McKinney, Texas
- Attends McKinney High and plays club soccer for Dallas Inter Blue 87.
Coach Evans: “Tally is a physically dominating centerback that has the technical ability to impact both sides of the ball. She is one of the best at heading the ball that I’ve seen. She is also very skilled on the ball, as evidenced by the district offensive player-of-the-year honor she collected while playing forward for her high school team. We expect Tally to make her presence felt from day one.”
5'7 - D/MF/F - Odessa, Texas
-Attends Permian HS and plays club soccer for the '87 Jackson Futbol Club.
Coach Evans: "I'm thrilled to add Savannah to this year's recruiting class. She is an All-Region forward for her high school, but her true value comes from her versatility. She attended our camp last summer and proved she can be effective up top, run the flanks or be solid in the back. I'm expecting her to be able to fill in where we need the most help. She has the athleticism and ability to compete for a starting spot."