April 5, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University women's head coach Shannon Stiles has announced the addition of five new players for the 2007 season. Signing national letters of intent with the Bulldogs are Lauren Ames, Catherine Cullen, Sheridan Jones, Ashley Riley and Elle Sweeney. The Zags finished the 2006 season with a 10-9-1 overall record and a 3-4-0 mark in the West Coast Conference.
Ames played goalkeeper at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, N.M., where she earned three varsity letters. She helped La Cueva to the 5A State Championship in both 2004 and 2006 and a runners-up finish in 2005. For her efforts in 2006, Ames, who was team captain, was named first team All-State, All-District, and All-Metro.
"Lauren is a very good goalkeeper with all the physical tools to become a great goalkeeper," said Stiles. "She is intelligent, she works hard and she has height and quickness. She will add a great dimension to our team this upcoming year."
Cullen is a defender from Parkland Secondary School in Sidney, British Columbia. She was a captain both her junior and senior year and was named the Parkland Secondary Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Cullen also was a member of the British Columbia Provincial Team from 2003-06.
"Catherine is our first ever Canadian player," mentioned Stiles. "She is an intelligent defender and a great leader. Catherine has trained in an extremely competitive environment in the British Columbia area and will bring a wealth of experience to our back line."
Jones was a four-year varsity member of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Ore. In 2006, she earned first team All-Northwest Conference after leading the league in assists. Jones was also named second team All-State and was Hillsboro's second leading scorer. She is a two-year member of the Super Y League NW Regional ODP team and was a selection to the national camp in 2004.
"Sheridan possesses speed and quickness and will challenge for a spot in our midfield," stated Stiles. "She will add depth to our team this fall."
Riley was a four-year forward for Taos High School in Taos, New Mexico. She earned District 2-4A first-team in both 2003 and 2004 as well as Class 4A All-State second team in 2004. In 2005, Riley led all New Mexico prep girls in regular-season goals (40) and points (125). For her efforts, she was named District 2-4A Co-Player of the Year.
"Ashley is a player who is totally committed to improving her game" said Stiles. "She is fast and fluid and can beat defenders with her skill 1-vs-1. Ashley will add a much needed element to our attack. We are looking forward to her ability to score goals."
Sweeney is a defender from ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. She was a four-year varsity starter and was a captain both her junior and senior years. Sweeney, who was named Continental League All-Conference honorable mention, plays club soccer with Real Colorado which won the 2006 State Championships.
"Elle is a tenacious defender who can play on the left or right side," said Stiles. "She has quickness and good overall speed. Elle is also versatile enough to challenge for a spot in the midfield."