After the most successful season in the history of the Lipscomb women's soccer program, setting the single-season record for wins, goals, goals against average, and qualifying for the first-ever Atlantic Sun Tournament, head coach Kevin O’Brien has announced his 2014 signing class. The new class consists of 10 players from across the country that will add depth and talent to a squad O’Brien already thinks has a lot of promise.
“This recruiting class will bring a wealth of talent and needed competition to a program that’s already moving in the right direction," O'Brien said. "Each of these players bring something special to our team. Whether it is athleticism, technical proficiency, or tactical acumen…these players will strengthen the collective abilities of our team in a major way.”
When asked about the recruiting process at a Divison I Christian University, Coach O’Brien had this to say:
“At Lipscomb, it’s not about finding the best players necessarily, but it’s more about finding the right players for our unique and awesome environment. We want highly competitive players that have a desire to serve God with their gifts in our sport. For me, recruiting players who both excel on the field and have great character is what we are looking for at Lipscomb.”
“The culture we are creating in our soccer program strives to be so much more than just soccer…we want to serve our community, be involved in global missions and have a God glorifying testimony on and off the field.”
The great news for all you Lady Bison Soccer fans is that O’Brien feels he and his coaching staff have scored a recruiting class that not only fits perfectly within the vision of the program, but will also help move the program closer to their goal of winning an A-Sun championship.
“I am so impressed with the pedigrees of this year’s incoming players," O'Brien said. "They include multiple state, regional, and national champions at the club and high school levels. Half of this group is being developed every week through the ECNL (Elite Club national League) program while the others are representing their age group Olympic Development programs.
"Not only are they wonderful soccer players, they are great kids off the field too! It’s a privilege to get to work with such high caliber people on a daily basis. I truly think I’ve got the greatest job in the world!”
Jade Abarca - Sachse, Texas (Club: Sting 96 ECNL)
High School: Sachse High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "I chose Lipscomb University because it's a Christian school and I like the fact that I can be close to God while I'm studying and playing soccer. The campus environment is friendly. Also the soccer team bonded well together like a family, which is an important thing for me."
Athletic Achievements: Region III Olympic Development Program, 2011- Disney Showcase- Champions, 2011- International Girls Cup- Champions, 2011- State Cup- Finalist
“Jade is a very technical player with a great soccer brain,” O’Brien said. “She’s strong in combination play and should add to our teams ability to possess the ball under pressure.”
Sierra Anglin - Cross Plains, Tenn. (Club: Tennessee Soccer Club)
High School: Pope John Paul HS
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "Great coaching staff and team unity, excited about the opportunity to build a great winning atmosphere, wonderful learning environment , and great support for athletics."
Athletic Achievements: Tennessee Olympic Development Program, Four-time All-County First team , two-time All-Region , 2013 All-State , 2013 Tennessean All-Mid State First Team, 2013 Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State First Team.
“Sierra is an athletic player that can play anywhere down the left side of the field,” O’Brien said. “She has nice speed and composure on the ball and we are excited to add her to the squad.”
Elizabeth Ashwood - Magnolia, Texas (Club: Albion Hurricanes FC 96 ECNL)
Position: Center Forward
High School: Magnolia West HS
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "I loved the campus and Nashville."
Athletic Achievements: West High School Varsity MVP (2011-12), ODP State Team (2012), Royal Varsity Tournament Top Goal Scorer (2014)
“Liz is a handful of a striker,” O’Brien said. “She’s the type of player that defenders hate because of her tireless work ethic on the defensive side of the ball and her ability to convert chances in the box. Fearlessness and toughness are two qualities that make Liz a great addition to the squad.”
Natalie DuBoise - Placitas, N.M. (Club: Rio Vista FC 96)
Position: Left Forward/Midfield/Defense
High School: Albuquerque Academy
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "Christian environment and Nashville rocks."
Athletic Achievements: Three-time high school state champion, District Player of the Year 2012, First Team All-State 2011 and 2012, two-time club state champion, New Mexico 95 ODP Team (2008-2012).
“Natalie is a fit and fast left winger that can consistently make dynamic runs forward,” O’Brien said. “Our attacking options improve greatly with the addition of Natalie and we expect her to compete straight away.”
Kate Mason - Keller, Texas (Club: FC Dallas '96 Premier/ECNL)
High School: Keller High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "Because of the overall atmosphere of the team, the campus, and the city."
Athletic Achievements: District MVP 2013, First Team All-Region 2013, First Team All-NEPS (National Elite Prep Showcase) 2014, (Best GK of the tournament).
“Kate is a very capable goalkeeper that will compete for playing time immediately,” O’Brien said. “She is an excellent communicator and excels on crosses and commanding her penalty box."
Paige Miller - Anderson, S.C. (Club: Carolina Elite Soccer Academy)
High School: T.L. Hanna High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "I loved the Christian atmosphere of the school and I fell in love with Nashville. I also wanted a competitive soccer program where I could play and be challenged without losing my love for the game. The coaches and girls made that last statement seem more possible."
High school: Region champions in (2011-2013), 2012 Viking Cup Champions, All Viking Cup tournament team, 2012 SC 4A State Champions, 2012 South Carolina All-State, 2012 All-Region, Super 22 (TOP 22 Ranked State players in all Divisions).
Club: (CESA) 2011 & 2012 South Carolina State Champions, 2012 South East Region Champions.
“Paige is a solid attacker that has the ability to beat players and get off shots and quality services,” O’Brien said. “She is strong technically, tactically and athletically, and will provide the team with a needed attacking punch.”
Emily Rogers - Medina, Ohio (Club: Cleveland United)
High School: Walsh Jesuit High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "I chose Lipscomb because I loved the environment. I felt welcome there from the moment I stepped onto campus. Lipscomb also offers a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, the field I am interested in. In addition, the service opportunities to work in places like El Salvador and Uganda are amazing and I am looking forward to volunteering. Most importantly, I chose Lipscomb because I wanted to play soccer for a program that is dedicated to improvement and driven towards success."
High School: State Champions 2010, 2012-13, National Champions 2010, First Team All-North Coast League & First Team All-District 2012-13, Second Team All-Ohio 2012-13.
Club: Regional Champions 2012, State Cup Champions 2013, National Champions 2013, National League Winner 2013.
“Emily is a hard-nosed defender that won’t back down from a challenge,” O’Brien said. “She is tough on the tackle, fast and hard to beat one-versus-one. She will be a great addition to our core of defenders.”
Mary-Stewart Schwarz - Brentwood, Tenn. (Club: Tennessee Soccer Club 2014 ECNL)
High School: Brentwood High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "I choose Lipscomb for the opportunity to get a great education, play soccer for a great program and stay close to home in the city I love."
Club: 2010 State Champions, 2009, 2011 & 2013 state finalist. Region quarter finalists 2011 & 2012, Olympic Development Program.
High School: D1 AAA State Champions 2012, D1 AAA All-State Team 2011 & 2012, All-Midstate First Team 2012, All-District team 2010-2013, All-Region team 2012, Tennessee Olympic Development Program.
“Mary-Stew is a target forward with really good feet,” O’Brien said. “She can hold the ball well and will help our possession in the attack. She also has a cannon and will look to score when she gets faced forward.”
Peyton Sedgwick - Milton, Ga. (Club: Atlanta Fire United ECNL '96)
Position: Outside Back
High School: Cambridge High School
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "The environment and the people are so great! I loved that everyone made me feel at home and that I have the opportunity to help an athletic program grow!"
Athletic Achievements: Georgia Olympic Development Program, Two-time Georgia State Cup Champions , ECNL Top 15 at Nationals 2012, National Olympic Development Program.
“Peyton is a great athlete,” O’Brien said. “She is fit, fast and a darn good defender. She has a never-quit attitude and will make our team stronger defensively for sure.”
Jacelyn Zapf - Bonifacius, Minn. (Club: Eden Prairie Soccer Club)
High School: Homeschooled
Reason I chose Lipscomb: "Faith-based academics and soccer."
Athletic Achievements: Three-year State Cup champion, Minnesota All State Team, All-Conference player 2011 & 2014.
“Jacey is a technical playmaking midfielder that can play centrally or out wide,” O’Brien said. “She has good vision, distribution and defensive chops...she will help the team on both sides of the ball.”