NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team announced its 2006 signing class on Friday, Feb. 3. OU head coach Randy Evans signed nine athletes that will join the Sooners in the fall.
Last year, the OU coaching staff reloaded its defense to accommodate the senior class that exited following the 2004 season. This time around, the Sooners have filled its need on offense after losing one of the program’s most prolific scorers, Lauren MacIver.
Among the nine recruits, eight of the athletes can play in the midfield or up front as attackers, with the remaining signee providing the Sooners’ depth at the goalkeeper position. The class consists of five student-athletes from Texas, two from Oklahoma and two more from New Mexico.
“I am thrilled with this class,” said Evans. “We have certainly improved our team’s overall athleticism. Last year we were two games removed from winning a Big 12 Championship and I believe this class puts us a step closer.”
Following is a look at what Evans had to say about each of next season’s prospects:
5’10” - Midfield/Defender - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Coleman is an all-state performer from St. Pius X High School. She helped St. Pius to an undefeated season and State 4A Championship in 2004. Additionally, she plays club soccer for Rio Vista FC and also plays for the NM State Olympic Development Team (ODP).
Evans on Coleman: “We discovered Ashlee at our camp last summer. Her size, athletic ability and overall skills give her the versatility to help us in the center of the midfield, out wide or in the back.”
5’11” - Midfield - Tulsa, Okla.
Farrand was nominated for the High School “Heisman” at Jenks High School. She also played for several years on the Oklahoma ODP team and plays club for Tulsa Soccer Club.
Evans on Farrand: “Ashley is tremendous in the air, solid in her tackles and a great distributor. She should challenge immediately for a spot in the defensive midfield.”
5’11” - Outside Mid/Forward - Katy, Texas
Fitzpatrick is an all-around athlete at Katy High School where she played soccer, volleyball, and was a district high jump champion and regional qualifier. She plays club soccer for Challenge SC and is a member of the South Texas ODP team.
Evans on Fitzpatrick: “Daphne is fast, can run all day and has a terrific left foot. She is expected to make an immediate impact in our attack from either an outside midfield or forward position.”
5’5” - Forward/Defender - Norman, Okla.
Hahn helped her Norman High School team to back-to-back state championships in 2004 and 2005. She also helped her club team, United FC, to a state championship in 2003.
Evans on Hahn: “Kasey has terrific speed, strength and agility. We are expecting to use her athleticism to bolster the attack or help solidify the defense.”
5’10” - Goalkeeper - Austin, Texas
Macdonald was a first team all-district goalkepper for James Bowie High School and played club soccer for the Austin United Capitals. She graduated early from high school and enrolled at OU in January.
Evans on Macdonald: “We were thrilled to get Tara a semester early. She has shown the attitude, work ethic and ability to challenge for the top spot.”
5’6” - Midfielder - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Leyendecker plays high school soccer for Albuquerque Academy and makes the commute to Dallas to play club soccer for the Dallas Sting.
Evans on Leyendecker: “Kate is a very smart and well-rounded player. Her decision making and skilled distribution should be a great fit in our midfield.”
5’8” - Defender/Midfield - Frisco, Texas
Kate plays for Centennial High School and is teammates with Leyendecker on the Dallas Sting.
Evans on Marr: “Kate has the speed and strength to improve our back line and is also very skilled on the ball which enables her to play in the defensive midfield.”
5’6” - Defender/Forward - Cedar Hill, Texas
Rebecca is an AP honors student at Cedar Hill High School and plays in the Lake Highlands Classic League in Dallas for the new FC Dallas.
Evans on Nelson: “Becca is another good athlete with terrific speed in this class. She attacks out of the back for her club and plays up top for her school. So have the luxury of using her for both of those positions.”
5’5” - Forward - Plano, Texas
Whitney plays for Plano East High School and on one of the nations top rated club teams, the Dallas Texans ’88.
Evans on Palmer: “Whitney is one of the fastest players I have ever seen. She is also very dynamic on the ball and I think she will be one of the most feared players in the league.”