The new players are Hunter Summers, Stephanie Romero, Tatjana Shirley, Jenna Price and Kelsey Reiman.
Versatility and knowing how to win are two of the strongest characteristics for this class. They all can play multiple positions and each one has played on state championship teams in club and high school competition.
“We wanted to try to get players who could play more than one position,” Ireland said. “There are injuries and sometimes you are forced to move a player to a different position. These players have played multiple positions in both high school and club soccer so they have that kind of experience.
“This class also really embodies success. Every one of them has had a high level of success in high school and club soccer. They are all coming in with a lot of soccer experience and knowledge which makes the jump from high school to college that much easier.”
Summers is the sister of Taylor Ann Summers, who will be a sophomore member of the Lady Bisons soccer team. Summers, from Jacksonville, Fla., is a 5-foot-4 defender-midfielder. She was an All-Conference selection in 2007 and 2008. She was also named to the Ultimate High School Sports magazine's “Top 24” list.
In club soccer she played for the Florida State Cup Champions in 2006. Her club team made the Florida State Final Four in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Last season in club soccer she played a level higher than her age group.
“I see Hunter playing an outside back or in the midfield,” Ireland said. “She is a very aggressive player. She works very hard. She is quick and has good speed.
“She knows how to play. She has been very well-coached. She has traveled all over the country playing. That experience will make a difference.”
Romero, 5-6, is an outside midfielder and defender from Tulsa, Okla. Her club team won the Oklahoma State Championship in 2007. She was one of 13 members of her club team, the Hurricane Futball Club, to receive NCAA Division I scholarships.
Her high school team, Bishop Kelley, was the Oklahoma State Champion in 2007 and 2008 and a state semifinalist in 2009. She has lettered in both soccer and cross country for three seasons.
“Stephanie has been very well-coached and has traveled all over the country,” Ireland said. “She is going to be a tremendous fit for this team. She is a tremendous kid who plays with a lot of energy.
“We see her playing as an outside defender or in the midfield. She is a very technical player. She has a very good first touch with the ball on the ground. She sees the field very well. She is a very good defender and can also attack out of the back which is something I am looking for.”
Reiman, 5-5, is a defender from Fairfax, Va. Her high school team was the Virginia State Champion in 2009. Her club team was ranked first in the state of Virginia is 2005 and 2006.
She was an All-Region honorable mention selection in 2008. She was first team All-District in 2008 and second team All-District in 2009. She is a three-year starter for her high school team serving as team captain from 2008-2010.
“I have Kelsey pegged as a center back,” Ireland said. “She brings a physical presence. She is very strong in the air. She is very technical. She has a lot of experience and a lot of success as a defender.”
Price, 5-4, is a midfielder-forward from Louisville, Ky. Her club team has won the Kentucky State Championship four times. Her high school team, Sacred Heart Academy, is a three-time Kentucky State Champion.
Price was an All-State selection in 2008 and 2009. She was also All-District in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 she was captain of her high school team. She was also named MVP of the state semi-finals in 2009.
“Jenna brings a lot of energy,” Ireland said. “She can run and run and will not stop. She is not the biggest player but she is a very versatile player.
"We are going to look at her as a midfielder or forward. She will definitely help us in our attacking third."
Shirley, 5-5, is from Albuquerque, N. M. and plays midfield-forward. In 2007 she was an All-District selection. She also was team captain of her Valley High School team in 2006. She was named both “Rookie of the Year” and MVP in 2006.
“Tatjana is a player we found very early in the recruiting process,” Ireland said. “We are very fortunate to have her. She is a very talented center midfielder. She will make an immediate impact.
“She is dynamic in the way she plays. Her vision is very good. I think she will open things up for us in our attacking third. She plays everything very simple but she sees things most players don’t. She almost slows the game down because she makes things look so simple. Those are players that are extremely rare to find.”
The class also is known for its academic abilities.
“Academically, we are bringing in a class which is going to do very well which is super important,” Ireland said. “You look at the academic part of it, the athletic part of it and the success that they bring in and there is no doubt that this class is going to make an immediate impact on our program.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations