RUSTON – The Louisiana Tech women’s soccer team continues to improve with every season, having qualified for the conference tournament four out of the last five years and most recently recording the second most victories in program history with 14 wins.
The 2017 recruiting class will go a long way in helping LA Tech continue this trend as head coach Kevin Sherry, who will enter his 11th season at the helm, announced on Wednesday the signing of 11 players.
The team lost many core members from last season due to graduation, making certain areas of need a priority for this class.
“Our recruiting pool to choose from is always a small one, but we searched near, far and wide to find the players who we believe are a perfect fit for us,” Sherry said. “This group has a good number of in-state players and I believe we have found some of the best players coming out of Louisiana in this recruiting cycle.
“I strongly believe that this recruiting class has addressed our needs and if these recruits come into preseason fit enough, they have every chance of making an impact as freshmen.”
In years past, only one or two players from Louisiana would sign to become Lady Techsters. This time, three in-state players will call Ruston their home for the next four years.
Chesna Castro is from DeRidder where she was named all-state, all-central and all-district as a freshman, sophomore and junior. She totaled 20 goals last season as a junior.
There is also Gabrielle Parent who has lettered five years at St. Frederick Catholic High School in nearby Monroe. She is a four-time all-district MVP and four-time first team All-Northeast selection and has been a Louisiana state champion with Shreveport United Soccer Club 99G Blue.
Finally, there is Elizabeth Doll (younger sister of former Techster Madison Doll) who has played four years at Northshore High School in Pearl River. Doll has also played for Louisiana ODP for five years.
“Chesna is a tall defender who will give our back line some help stopping the constant long balls from our opponents with her aerial ability,” Sherry said. “Gabby is another defender who can also play in midfield. She possesses a high technical ability and her powerful and accurate delivery from set plays will be an asset. As for Elizabeth, she is a totally different type of player from her sister. She is I believe the best header of the ball in the south.”
As has been the case in recent years, the state of Texas was recruited very hard by coach Sherry and his staff. Five of the 11 signees call the Lone Star State their home, starting with midfielder/forward amber Posthauer out of Plugerville, Texas.
Posthauer was named to the US ODP South Texas first team for five consecutive years at Region III camp. She has also been a member of Dallas Sting ECNL/Sting Austin 996 Premier from 2013-17.
“Amber is a natural finisher and is the game winner we have been searching for to bolster our attack,” Sherry said. “She scores goals, period. This will give our offense a consistent threat because of your natural ability in front of goal.”
Another Texan signee is Cameron Nguyen, a defender from Allen, Texas, who has been an all-district selection in high school and is a team captain on Dallas Texans 98G who finished as runner-up at the 2016 Disney Showcase.
Defender Katherine Alexander from Cedar Hill, Texas will join Nguyen on the back line. Alexander is also an all-district honoree and is a member of the Lake Highlands Classic League D1 and was a North Texas State Cup champion with Texas Spirit ’98 North in 2015-16.
“Cam is a hard-nosed defender who will give our back line some much-needed toughness in wide areas, coupled with calmness under pressure when passing from the back,” Sherry said. “Katie is another tough defender who has impressed at our ID camps.”
The final two signees from Texas are midfielder Corina Hernandez out of San Antonio and forward/defender Savannah McGill from Fort Worth.
Hernandez has been part of Sting Austin 99 Premier for the last three years which has been ranked No. 1 in south Texas. McGill is a two-time first team all-district selection who has averaged eight goals per season.
“Corina is a technically-gifted player with great close control who will come in to supplement the midfield,” Sherry said. “Savannah is a tall player to add height to our roster who is very adaptable and can player either as a striker or a defender.”
Two signees – Aubrie McFall and Lorena Lopez – are from the southeast. McFall is a midfielder from Madison Alabama. She was selected to play for the AHSADCA North All-Star Team and has been a member of BUSA ECNL and BUSA RPL.
Miranda is an IMG U19 MVP and IMG Defensive Player of the Year for IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida. The midfielder/defender was also a member of the U17 Mexican national team and has participated in five national championship games.
“Aubrie is hard working and very passionate about the game,” Sherry said. “She has a lot of potential and will no doubt progress very quickly in our training environment. Lorena is a classical type of defender who reads the game very well, is always in the right position to make interceptions and has a very high technical skill level which fits exactly with how we want our defenders to play.”
The final signee is traveling the farthest. Grabrielle Clark is a midfielder from Centreville, Nova Scotia who plays soccer for Shattuck-St. Mary’s U19 Team in Fairbault, Minnesota.
“Gabby is a very good midfield playmaker who can control the game from the center of the field with her accurate passing,” Sherry said. “Her high technical ability is a perfect fit for our passing style.”
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